The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Newcastle Star Becoming Better Player Under Manager’s Guidance

1:23 pm, Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 by Ed Harrison · 91 Comments

Hatem Ben Arfa came on early in the second half on Saturday,  and did a fine job for Newcastle, as he ran at and threatened the Manchester United defense, and the Frenchman made sure he was involved in the game.

ben arfa manchester united 1-0

Hatem Ben Arfa – in action on Saturday

And that gave some relief to the rest of the team, who were coming under some pressure from a more and more anxious Red Devils side as they tried to get the equalizer, as the second half progressed.

Alan Pardew is trying to make Ben Arfa a better player, by doing at least a couple of things.

One is to keep the player involved in a game, as he has a tendency to disappear sometimes, and the second thing is to track back on defense when he’s required to do that, which is not a natural part of Ben Arfa’s game, by any means.

But Ben Arfa and Alan Pardew can take some encouragement from the lad’s contribution on Saturday, as he was prominent in a positive way for Newcastle in those final 30 minutes, and was brilliant in working the stoppage time down along with Moussa Sissoko – and the Red Devils simply couldn’t get the ball back.

This is what Alan Pardew said about his player :

“I thought Hatem had a big part to play in that last bit. He was brilliant at keeping the ball, taking us up the pitch and giving us a rest.” “That is what I want him to do. If he plays like that, he is in the team.” “I think he now knows what I expect from him,”

The stats of Ben Arfa on Saturday are excellent, and reported in the Chronicle today, and he had a 90% pass accuracy and had 35 touches of the ball – and he did his part on Saturday.

And of course we are concentrating on areas that Ben Arfa can improve on – but he has enormous skills and technique, and he can win any game for Newcastle, and he’s scored some unbelievable goals for Newcastle in the three and a half years he’s been at the club.

If Ben Arfa can learn from what Alan Pardew is telling him  - he will definitely become a much better player – and he’s already good – very good.

What Ben Arfa has to do is to continue to improve some of the weaker elements of his game, and keep involved in games, and if he can do that Newcastle are going to have an even better player on their books.

And to Ben Arfa’s credit,  he has already become a better player since he arrived on Tyneside, and he’s matured as a person at Newcastle too.

Comments welcome.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 on us on Google+

Tags: Coaching · Hatem Ben Arfa · Newcastle News · Premier League

91 responses so far ↓

  • 1 NUFCarter // Dec 10, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    On Steven Taylor, i remember when Barcelona were apparently interested in him haha!

  • 2 cyprus // Dec 10, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    You sure are a Pard’s fan. If Pard is to go onto next level, he has to get Cisse – HBA – Guti back in the groove. Long may our rise last.

  • 3 Shadow_Shearer // Dec 10, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I just hope we tie him down to a new contract. Which is not gonna happen if hes not getting games.

  • 4 NUFCarter // Dec 10, 2013 at 1:44 PM
    haha class!

  • 5 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I’m not sure pardew is making him a better player, the lad has pretty much stood still in his development since he arrived. Still has the brilliant skill but all the problems that held him back from the top clubs.

  • 6 NUFCarter // Dec 10, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    here’s an older one, still brilliant though.

  • 7 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    by the way…i don’t blame pardew for this, no other manager has done much to iron out his problems either, at least pardew keeps him in check, more than others have.

  • 8 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:02 PM


    You know that a lot of what I said stems from yesterday’s debate, you are very staunch in your support for AP which is good because not many are, however I asked for some AP bandwagon fans to take a step back and be realistic, do you think we shouldn’t be in top 7th – 9th finish this season with the squad we have? You haven’t answered my question, a bit like yesterday when you tried to justify AP being a better manager than AVB, but then couldn’t back you argument up so sidestepped the question

    By all means have a check and get TDS to check (can’t remember if I was on the blog at the point of predictions) I certainly didn’t make a prediction but how many of those ppl that made predictions based their forecasts on the manager rather than the squad?

    I think the majority on here have stated that this is the best squad we’ve had since Sir Bobby Robson’s time. The realism I called for Martoon had a lot to do with certain individuals coming out & praising AP for the fantastic job he’s doing, I’m just pointing out that we are on par performance wise & in league table for where a squad like ours should be, I did praise him for Saturday just as I crucified him for Wednesday when he could and should have changed it within 20mins/25mins. Certain individuals hid behind Shelvey head-butt/none head-butt and referee decisions for the loss, refusing to blame AP because of their love for mediocrity (AP), the realism I ask for is don’t be afraid to criticise when he gets it horribly wrong (you won’t be a negger)!! Spurs, Chelsea & Man Utd fantastic results, losing to Hull, Sunderland & Striker-less Swansea bad results.

  • 9 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    our toon

    Just picking one point out there that tequila made….what do you make of AVB?

    I think the man is a poor manager, didn’t do well with chelsea…both di matteo and benitez did better with the side. Also at spurs he has done worse than harry redknapp and AVB had a gareth bale as a real goal threat which he wasn’t quite to that level under harry, more a winger with assists and the odd goal.

    For me AVB isn’t much better than your run of the mill prem manager, he is very very one dimensional. That system work for him at porto but it’s no good if you can’t adapt, something a lot of us, including myself at times, criticise pardew for.

  • 10 70TWO // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    What Carr seems to have done is select players that have proven themselves in other countries, can play in the Premiership and yet young enough to take a step up in ability. Some of the dead wood now needs cutting out and the same type of player bringing in with CL or Europa experience.

  • 11 70TWO // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    On Steven Taylor,
    I was hoping Arsenal were going to bid for him a couple of seasons ago when they were short. He needs to rebuild his reputation fast and get some games under his belt, a month on loan would go some way towards that.

  • 12 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM


    I agree. I think Carr has scouted well with the budget/age policy in place. Couldn’t do a great deal more really. Just missed the odd player, like benteke for the 7/8mil villa paid.

    I think now we have a reasonable squad, which i feel we do. Instead of getting 4/5 players for 3-5mil each we should maybe look to bring in 1 or 2 for maybe 10 mil each year. Improve the quality.

  • 13 // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Car MOT – Only £14 (usually £54.85)

    In Newcastle, the Voucher lasts 12 months for all of those who have just (over) paid for their MOT. So whether your car has just passed its MOT or is due shortly this offer is for everyone.

  • 14 Jonny // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    He needs to lose weight

  • 15 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Transfer Sage

    AVB, I’m pretty sure he won the EL with Porto which was no mean feat, personally I think he is a good manager who isn’t scared of egos or even trying to change things up, at Chelsea he was massively undermined by Terry, Lampard and Cole as previous managers have said these players have the owners ear and have too much power, he tried to change it and paid the price (I commend him for that). At Spurs he finished 5th last season 1 pt off champions league, he achieved what Harry did. This season he has made a lot of signings who will settle after a full season but he is in 6th not bad for a manager in the EL is it? He’s a manager who rubbished AP’s claims that Spurs problems are caused by EL and said that AP has his “OWN AGENDA” when it comes to that competition (pretty sure he was in the EL last season and finished 5th)

    He’s won more in his career than the overrated and overhyped Harry Redknapp, You have Judged AVB on 1 season and compared him to HR who was manager for 4 maybe 5 seasons!! Bale was a massive part of how they played as a team, but yet they lie in 6th 1 place above us with no sign of relegation.

  • 16 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM


    We’ve made him bulk up compared to last season, he looked fat against Arsenal in the last game but has come back this season looking more muscly.

  • 17 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    our toon

    redknapp had the team 4th two seasons in a row….AVB came in and they dropped to 5th, even with the emergence of gareth bale…to me he is worse than redknapp who has done very well in his career with the clubs he has had and always entertained.

    i’m not saying AVB is a bad manager, just don’t think he is comfortable of playing anyway other than the one he really likes, and it’s dull to watch in my eyes, very slow, not much zip to their play.

  • 18 nufc 11 // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    When he was last back in the France team he was playing within a structure nice simple passes notting to fancy but effective he was developing the whole time since then he has fallen way back needs to trim down a bit to half a stone or so. He goes missing far to much when wen given cart blanch to roam around make sure he knows his role and stop the hollywood passes and shots from anywhere, and dribbling into dead ends and hell be a better player for it, Same thing is going on at the moment with one Davide Luiz at Chelsea maverick players have to learn to play for the team and fight for the cause I remmeber Ronaldo was like that one time and now look at him alot to be siad for it.

  • 19 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    our toon

    at chelsea he went about it the wrong way too…he dropped lampard and terry just because the media deemed them too old…they have shown since he left how influential and key they are to chelsea playing well..he was a fool to drop them for non-footballing reasons

  • 20 roy // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I thought HBA was trying to get Man Utd back in the game with some of the ridiculous passes he was doing. The team is better with out him in it and if they can mug someone into buying him they should cash in.

  • 21 Ian Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    132Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 9, 2013 at 9:49 PM
    Thanks for the financial data which supports the claims in Cassidy’s book. The two sites as you implied have expired- thanks for making the effort.

    Our Toon – What are these undercurrent of issues regarding the club that could be resolved if we all got involved with T4C?

    Any movement, for so called change needs to capture the hearts and minds of fans. Anecdotal evidence to date suggests that this has failed abysmally. I have frequently stated that as a starting point the formulation of a Mission Statement – which clearly outlines the specific aims and objectives would be a good idea.

    The march alienated a good number of the toon army because a number of the marchers carried sack Pardew banners. Pardew has only just started speaking after games to fans. Irrespective of your views the vast majority of fans are behind Pardew and the team.
    We just want to enjoy the rise of the toon- long May it continue.

    It’s not apathy on the part of the fans as you endlessly imply we just are not convinced by the facile approach of T4C.

  • 22 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    People cannot seriously think Pardew is a better manager than AVB and simply use this season as a yardstick. AVB narrowly missed out on top 4 last season and has had a summer of chopping and changing and has yet to find his best team or to have his players settle. I think they will perhaps fall outside the top 4 again this season, albeit only narrowly, and will be a much stronger side come next season.

    The football AVB plays is sometimes an attempt to be too perfect (something that can be labelled at Wenger and his Arsenal) side but I will never slate a manager who tries to play football the right way. I despise the ‘results at all costs’ approach by the likes of Pulis and Allardyce who play shocking football just to try and get points, but I can understand why they do it.

    AP is somewhere in the middle of that, and in recent games has been attempting to play a lot more football. However, tactically, he has nowhere near as much knowledge of the game as AVB does, and I do think AVB will go on to be one of the finest managers in world football. Bear in mind, he has only be managing for a short period of time and he is already a PL league manager with a Europa League in his back pocket…

  • 23 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Interesting how Ian feels that he speaks for the vast majority of fans.

    Care to elaborate on this anecdotal evidence you speak of? Or is it more of a case of ‘I was speaking to fans during the Man United game’ and ‘I was in a pub in Jesmond discussing tactics following the Norwich victory…’

    If so, keep it to yourself because we all know you are talking bollocks.

  • 24 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    *levelled at Wenger

  • 25 cyprus // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Roy my man.
    I TOTALLY disagree. Ridiculous passes? When?
    You must’ ve been searching hard.

  • 26 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:10 PM


    I’m astounded that you would think HR is a better manager the AVB, Spurs only been in CL once I believe under Redknapp, the season he got the boot they weren’t in CL. Tequila was using AVB as a rational explanation for why we war better off with AP…for the life of me I just don’t see it, lets see where both sides end up this season!! At Chelsea he went against the media by targeting the players he got trouble makers (Cole, Terry, Lampard) Lampard now plays a bit part under Mourinho and doesn’t complain, Ashley has been dropped and not a word, the players thought they had an easy target!! Unlike the Ba situation where he spat his dummy out wanting to play in the middle and then getting his wish before leaving

  • 27 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM


    Do you believe there are underlying issues at the core of the club? No ground advertising money, lack of investment in squad, no ambition off the pitch (10th position finish) return of JFK (the list goes on). These issues won’t get resolved sitting on you backside or going to games whilst fuelling the fire that starves the club of actually reaching its potential!! I commend T4C for actually attempting something, the majority believe the club is broken at its core and that’s down to the owner and his decisions, do you believe the club is maximising its potential?

    If not then apart from going to the local in Jesmond what have you proactively done apart from criticise a group that’s tried to achieve something!! AP only has the job because no one else would take the rubbish that comes with it (he’s Ashley’s mouthpiece) that’s why he gets a lot of stick, rightly or wrongly.

  • 28 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Ian Toon
    I like you like the facts and figures and here is another set to get your brain around courtesy of:
    pent last 5 Years Gross

    1 Manchester City £640,650,000
    2 Chelsea £390,000,000
    3 Liverpool £304,450,000
    4 Tottenham £310,900,000
    5 Manchester United £229,750,000
    6 Arsenal £188,200,000
    7 Aston Villa £179,600,000
    8 Sunderland £153,630,000
    9 Stoke City £99,825,000
    10 Newcastle £93,150,000
    11 West Ham £81,850,000
    12 Southampton £75,350,000
    13 Everton £63,500,500
    14 West Bromwich A £50,745,000
    15 Fulham £50,580,000
    16 Swansea £48,455,000
    17 Hull City £41,525,000
    18 Cardiff City £29,695,000
    19 Norwich City £22,750,000
    20 Crystal Palace £18,800,000

    Sold last 5 Years
    1 Tottenham £306,300,000
    2 Liverpool £220,550,000
    3 Arsenal £192,400,000
    4 Manchester City £163,700,000
    5 Manchester United £128,800,000
    6 Newcastle £118,150,000
    7 Sunderland £103,700,000
    8 Chelsea £100,100,000
    9 Aston Villa £93,600,000
    10 Everton £75,816,000
    11 West Ham £54,800,000
    12 Fulham £39,700,000
    13 Swansea £29,860,000
    14 West Bromwich A £28,810,000
    15 Southampton £14,600,000
    16 Cardiff City £12,925,000
    17 Crystal Palace £9,750,000
    18 Stoke City £8,650,000
    19 Hull City £8,250,000
    20 Norwich City £1,100,000

    Profit/Loss on transfers in and out

    1 Manchester City -£476,950,000
    2 Chelsea -£289,900,000
    3 Manchester United -£100,950,000
    4 Stoke City -£91,175,000
    5 Aston Villa -£86,000,000
    6 Liverpool -£83,900,000
    7 Southampton -£60,750,000
    8 Sunderland -£49,930,000
    9 Hull City -£33,275,000
    10 West Ham -£27,050,000
    11 West Bromwich A -£21,935,000
    12 Norwich City -£21,650,000
    13 Swansea -£18,595,000
    14 Cardiff City -£16,770,000
    15 Fulham -£10,880,000
    16 Crystal Palace -£9,050,000
    17 Tottenham -£4,600,000
    18 Arsenal +£4,200,000
    19 Everton +£12,315,500
    20 Newcastle +£25,000,000

    “Nett total divided by the 5 giving an average of the money spent in transfer fees by each premiership club each season in the last five Seasons.

    1 Manchester City £95,390,000
    2 Chelsea £57,980,000
    3 Manchester United £20,190,000
    4 Stoke City £18,235,000
    5 Aston Villa £17,200,000
    6 Liverpool £16,780,000
    7 Southampton £12,150,000
    8 Sunderland £9,986,000
    9 Hull City £6,655,000
    10 West Ham £5,410,000
    11 West Bromwich A £4,387,000
    12 Norwich City £4,330,000
    13 Swansea £3,719,000
    14 Cardiff City £3,354,000
    15 Fulham £2,176,000
    16 Crystal Palace £1,810,000
    17 Tottenham £920,000
    18 Arsenal -£840,000
    19 Everton -£2,463,100
    20 Newcastle -£5,000,000

    Which goes to show you can be top or near the top and not spend a fortune to get there – just be sensible with your buying and selling

  • 29 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Our Toon if the majority share your opinion how come the march could only muster a few hundred ? I mean it was on a match day so there were plenty of people in Newcastle already going to the game.

  • 30 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM


    Many were sceptical whether the march would go off peacefully. That is a practical reason, not one of ideology. Having taken part in the march, I can confirm that many lines the pavements in order to clap and cheer as the march went past.

  • 31 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM


  • 32 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    our toon

    I’m not agreeing with tequila, just talking about AVB, not meaning to compare him with pardew myself. Redknapp had them 4th twice, the two seasons before AVB but missed out one year as chelsea came 6th but got in champs league at spurs expense as they won it…the year AVB gave them a bad start.


    I don’t think AVB is worse than pardew, but the man isn’t doing very well, playing dull football. Arsenal have rightly been labelled as over complicating the game but they still move the ball very quick and look for the perfect goal….spurs are flat, move the ball slowly and dont have the technical skill of arsenal players, not to play a technical game at pace anyway.

    I’d personally say AVB isn’t as good as the likes of pochettino, martinez, rodgers…all of those, not they have decent players, get the ball moved around much quicker…where spurs have gone backwards since AVB came in despite them spending a heck of a lot of money.

    Redknapp have them higher in the league and until a bad run the end of his final season they were around 3/4 points off top with only 10/12 games to go or so.

  • 33 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    our toon

    lampard features less under mourinho but under di matteo in the season avb was sacked, and last year under benitez he played a big role, scored a lot. He was dropped far to soon and for political reasons, not footballing ones as he offered a damn site more than some.

    I would much rather have redknapp than avb any day, he has done a lot more in english football.

  • 34 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Ciaran, I think I made the point before the march that it would be poorly attended because the majority of supporters did not share your sense of crisis at the club.
    The blog attracts people who are very vociferous in their opinions however I do not think it is representative of fans as a whole. Certainly from my own experience talking to supporters both at games and in general.
    If a few hundred had marched on say a wednesday when there was no match on then a few hundred would be deemed a decent turnout.
    Ian has alluded to what I think are the reasons time4 change has not really taken off . There has to be some meat in the message. Change to what and to whom. I have yet to hear a clear statement of what they want when MA goes. Who is waiting in the wings to take over.
    Sorry bur fan ownership does not cut it regardless of how desirable that would be because when push come to shove the fans are not going to dig deep into their own pockets to buy the club.

  • 35 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    I’d take Pochettino ahead of AVB any day of the week tbh as I prefer the way he has Southampton playing, but people are being too quick in writing off AVB, the guy has brought in a lot of new players who will all need time to settle.

    Redknapp is and always has been a cheque book manager and nothing more than a dodgy cockney spiv market trader

  • 36 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:45 PM


    Credit to redknapp though he knows what he needs. He knew he needed a good AM to play off crouch so went out and got van der vaart, paid only 8 mil and got 2 good years from him before moving on.

    AVB didn’t do great last year, not bad but worse than redknapp had done the previous two.

    I don’t think AVB is bad, jsut find him dull and massively over rated, fair enough though as he won a quadruple at porto. just doesn’t seem to adapt to the english game

  • 37 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:47 PM


    I merely support T4C, I am in no position to answer questions about their long term strategy. However, I do think fan ownership is something that can be pursued if it was properly organised. If fans are unwilling to put hands in their pockets then that is something we would have to face up to at the time, but we cannot simply rubbish it as an idea because you have speculated that fans would not be interested.

    As for Ian’s allusions? Delusions more like.

    T4C are a pressure group for change that operate as a coalition of many fans groups. If MA deviates from the way he has ran the club over the years, then T4C can see that as success. If he ups sticks and leaves then that counts as success too.

    I think T4C’s main goal is to see MA leave the club, but right now I think they are in pressure mode with more coherent strategy to be worked out in due course.

  • 38 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Transfer Sage

    It’s way too early to be writing him off though, he’s not a manager who has his sides playing in a great, fluent style, his sides are more methodical, disciplined and measured in their approach..

    Regarding Redknapp, he was asked by the Spurs chairman if he wanted VDV as they had been told they could have him for what was a very good price and he agreed to it, he did not identify him as the player he wanted and it was a last minute deal.
    He is a good manager, I just don’t like the man as he has no class

  • 39 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM


    I agree that Spurs do play a little more methodically than they should, and the speed of play is slower than Southampton, Liverpool and Arsenal. However, I do think he has assembled a very technically smart side and I do think their football will improve in the near future as this side gets more familiar with each other.

    Having said that, I would agree with JB that of all the coaches in the PL right now, I would take Pochettino in a heartbeat

  • 40 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Ciaran I appreciate you are a supporter rather than an organiser for time4change but if you don`t know what their long term strategy is then that suggests that there is no long term strategy.

  • 41 Transfer Sage // Dec 10, 2013 at 3:59 PM


    but still harry knows what he wants, can see he advantage of the player on offer and uses him well

    not writing him off, just not seeing him adapt to the league as of yet

  • 42 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM


    The march got the recognition it deserved and plenty supported it on the streets, the march turnout may have been disappointing but as with all marches I think quite a few of the fans who are against Ashley’s regime would rather moan on a blog than physically do something proactive. Others say well what’s the alternative, we need to have something lined up…these are people who forever will live in fear (be ruled by fear) when Liverpool fans were eventually heard by the 2 American owners do you honestly believe they thought oh wait we can’t kick them out because WE haven’t lined anyone up….wake up man force change and alternatives will appear sit back and do nothing Ashley will carry on laughing at us. World beaters to relegation contenders back to world beaters, if you happy being a Yo-Yo then enjoy mediocrity…I will try all things to change what is wrong by getting involved!!

  • 43 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Transfer Sage

    Surely knowing what type of player you need is a basic requirement for a manager?

    He does get the best out of the players he has and as a manager, tactician he’s very good but he’s a media darling who gets away with more than most managers would be able to, look at what he did with the Ba contract he’s almost a law unto himself

  • 44 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM


    Vague concepts are enough at this stage as far as I am concerned. We are not happy with the way the club is run and we want to see change, in whatever manner that comes.

    Some want change to mean being slightly more ambitious in the transfer market, some want change in the way the club communicates with fans, some want change in the ownership entirely.

    To claim that a small pressure group absolutely must put forward a single uniform message would actually be counter productive as it could alienate people who support the premise of change, but not the manner proposed.

  • 45 roy // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    The so called protest march against Ashley had more bald heads in it than a EDL march and about the same amount of protesters 50 odd.

  • 46 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Our Toon, for gods sake man if you are going to try and drive the owner out of course you need an alternative.
    Newcastle cannot exist in a vacuum it has to have somebody at the helm.
    When you have an election you don`t vote just to get the government out you are voting for an alternative part to run the country

  • 47 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Dare I say but my initial choice was Poyet unfortunate he is now at the scum, he’s played AP in 3 games and won all 3. AVB will need time to get his lot playing and no doubt they will do well, His team is set up the way of Mourinho though. Another one who Sir Bobby had a big influence over!! Martinez is good but Pochettino has bought well and also got his team playing well, big test this weekend. HR is a cheque book manager, the very cheque book manager and his shady dealings had a lot to do with the demise of Portsmouth along with their owner!! Those crediting him for signings made at Spurs, Damian Comoli was in charge of the signings (DF) Levy signed the cheques and Harry got them playing.

  • 48 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Ciaran, sorry mate but vague concepts don`t cut it for me.
    It`s the vagueness that puts people off.

  • 49 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Our Toon

    Poyet is finding out what it is to take charge of a squad that has had millions wasted on poor/average players. Unless they spend big in January they will go down

  • 50 Ciaran // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM


    While vague concepts may put you off, it could attract 3 others. Concrete concepts may attract you and put others off.

    “You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

    A wise man once said that and I happen to agree with him. But like I said, I don’t know the organisers, or know their long term strategy, I just happen to agree with what they are doing.

  • 51 Ancientcoptic // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Transfer Sage

    Tottenham had more points last season under AVB, than the season before with Harry Redknapp.

    Myself, I personally rate AVB, but I can see how he could split opinion.

  • 52 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    T4C had and continue to have my backing as they are season ticket holder and have the right to protest against what they feel is damaging our club, but the lack of a clear message is the one thing that is letting them down and stifling the amount of support they are openly getting

  • 53 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:16 PM


    How do you propose fans to find a new buyer? First of all you want to ensure the owner wants to sell, currently he doesn’t want to because he gets bums on seats every week….free advertising which would cost him millions elsewhere, doesn’t have to invest a massive amount into the club whilst the masses quietly go on with mutterings of displeasure but no force to back it up. Even if we find a buyer Ashley needs to have incentive to sell, sitting back doing nothing won’t help!! When he sells he won’t stop and say wait I need Tequilamag here because he found me a buyer or his group for change found me a buyer, Ashley will want his money back and will want to make a profit on that investment make no mistake so there is no need for you to find a buyer or for anyone else to find a buyer. You can assist though by ruffling a few feathers, by forcing change/forcing his hand to sell.

  • 54 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:21 PM


    I think he’s done well considering the rubbish he has there, he lost 1-0 to hull with 9 men, lost to stoke with 10 men, I think he will get them out of trouble even with the dross he has available to him. I don’t think he has had a result so far where I’ve thought “oh they shouldn’t have lost that game”

  • 55 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Our Toon

    He’s got the hardest job in the league keeping them up unless they spend in the next window, he has poor players/squad but is making the best of what he has

  • 56 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Pardew supporters have been labelled the Blind faith brigade. I would suggest that supporting an organisation without knowing what their long-term goals are is the definition of blind faith.
    If there was somebody waiting in the wings who was upfront about who they are, where they were getting there money from and what they wanted to achieve then I would happily fall into line. MA does himself no favours with many of the decisions he makes and I have little trust he has the long-term interests of Newcastle at heart but in all my years supporting Newcastle the same charges cold be levelled at all our owners.
    When you look at the PL name me one owner yo could say hand on heart was a good guy who cared about the supporters or the clubs they own.
    Abramavich is not exactly squeaky clean in regards to how he came by his money and is a vanity owner.
    Mansour part of a ruling elite with a terrible human rights record .
    The Glazers with a leveraged buy out of Man U saddling the club with huge interest payments. That is a pack of cards that come crashing down if the fail to make CL every season.

  • 57 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:29 PM


    I would suggest that supporting an organisation without knowing what their long-term goals are is the definition of blind faith.

    Isn’t that the situation with Ashley as our owner???

    No one knows what his long term goals are for the club

  • 58 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Our Toon, it is not up to the supporters to find a new owner but there has to be one if MA sells up. That is so self evident I am surprised it even needs to be stated.
    MA will sell when he wants to and no amount of wailing on the internet or a few hundred supporters (many wearing Wonga shirts) is going to change that.

  • 59 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    JB but MA is already here, that is reality not blind faith. I may not like MA but I have to accept that is the state of play.

  • 60 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:37 PM


    But by Ashley already being here it is the epitome of blind faith as we are all hoping that he will do the right thing by the club without us actually knowing what he is going to do with the club.

    None of us know his actual intentions or aims other than finishing inside the top 10 this season

  • 61 70TWO // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    I have no proof but I like to think Ashley was taken in by the allure of the club. He has invested his own money and is prepared to invest a certain amount of time also to turn NUFC into a self sustaining business. If along the way he makes a few quid and then sells for a reasonable profit, who wouldn’t!
    He has made plenty of gaffs and potentially does not know how football really works but a steady improvement in the squad and no rapid accumulation of debt is a good thing, right?

  • 62 mindshaft // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    I don’t rate AVB that highly, he’s doing okay but he has spent over 100 million on players albeit some probably not his choice
    I’d prefer Martinez who has made the step up at Everton and has them playing good attacking football, Rodgers is doing the same at Bindippers and Porti at Southampton – unlikely any of those teams will win the league but are exciting to watch for their fans and have a chance at champions league ( well maybe not Southampton )

    I’d rate those three higher than Pards who I would place alongside Steve Clarke, Paul Lambert, David Moyes and above Malky McKay, Mark Hughes, Sam Allardyce etc

  • 63 Novocastrian66 // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Isn’t blind faith what supporting a football club is all about?
    This T4C campaign is built on sand. Change to what exactly? There is no alternative to the current incumbent.
    Sir John Hall’s Magpie group where a real alternative to the McKeag “family silver” ownership. That is why everyone got behind his campaign.
    I admire the T4C for their passion for the club, however there isn’t an alternative. If their campaign was to try and change Ashley’s strategy to the club it would get my backing however they want him out. This is fair enough if there was an alternative but there isn’t.

  • 64 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    JB you could make that argument for all owners. Is it blind faith for Chelsea supporters for Abramovich. Who is to say that he will not get bored with his football toy.
    All supporters live in hope that the people that are running their clubs are acting in the best interests of the club. Do yo think Cardiff supporters were happy he made them play in red ? or Hull City is going to be Hull Tigers. In a perfect world all clubs would have a proper voive from the supporters in the running their clubs but in the PL nobody has that.

  • 65 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM


    I honestly don’t know whether to laugh or cry at what you have put!! Ok here goes…. “I would suggest that supporting an organisation without knowing what their long-term goals are is the definition of blind faith” I know more about what T4C are looking to do and what their goals are than what our owner has in store for us, please tell me what his plans are?

    When the club is sold, trust me even if you have 10 buyers lined up with your preference being the man with the master plan, that’s all irrelevant because you have no say over who he sells to (you can have a say in making him sell though) big difference, please don’t confuse being in a position to force change to actually having a vote on a new owner, this isn’t an election, democracy wins off the pitch…in the board room Ashley chooses not the democratic faithful!!

    Mansoors invest in there club, brokered a deal with Etihad for £100m or something daft like that, are building a new training complex and youth facilities, on the human rights issues I’m pretty sure SD clothing is made in sweatshops!! Abramhovic invests, Jack Walker did it for the love of the club all others have owned clubs as a hobby or a new plaything, our owner is only interested in SD

  • 66 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM


    The Chelsea owner wants the club to challenge for the league, champions league and domestic cups every season and spends accordingly, they are all clear intentions from the owner, we have top 10 finish this season as the only intention of our owner, hence “Blind Faith” that he will do the right thing long term with us

  • 67 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM


    “JB but MA is already here, that is reality not blind faith. I may not like MA but I have to accept that is the state of play”. You can do something about getting change, by sitting back and doing nothing we achieve nothing. I’m not saying that I agree with everything that T4C are doing but I can have a voice to steer them away from areas I don’t believe we should be venturing into, under Ashley not even the Supporters Trust has a voice. I respect you opinions mate and this is all healthy to debate, you make some valid points but we can’t get change by doing nothing

  • 68 JackButler // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM


    Basically you cannot label T4C has having blind faith when we all have the exact same thing for Ashley

  • 69 MacToon // Dec 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    There is plenty of information about T4C out there if you wish to find it.
    The fact it is again under discussion is an achievement in itself.
    Lets not forget that on the the 4th December, less than a week ago, a motion was tabled in parliament:
    “That this House condemns the decision of Newcastle United FC Chairman, Mike Ashley, to withdraw all report facilities for journalists working on the Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle Journal and Sunday Sun”

    So many on here wallow in their own self importance it’s embarrassing!

  • 70 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Our Toon , please point out to me where MA has imprisoned people without trial for criticising the regime and I will accept your comparison.
    You have no idea what the goals are for time4change because as far as I can see it seems to be MA out without any concrete alternative. If I am wrong please enlighten me, who is the saviour you have lined up ? Are you going to put your own money into it ? If so you only need 100.00 of you prepared to invest £2700 each. As you cold only muster 600 for a march that cost nothing to participate in on a match day I would suggest you still have some work to do.

  • 71 mindshaft // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    So where does Pards rank in the list of Toon managers since 62 (including interim managers) basically my lifetime – jeez, we’ve had some terrible managers!!!

    Toon Managers 1962 – 2013

    Joe Harvey – excellent
    Gordon Lee – terrible
    Richard Dinnis – terrible
    Willie McFaul – terrible
    Bill McGarry – worse than terrible
    Joe Harvey –
    Arthur Cox – average to good
    Jack Charlton – terrible
    Willie McFaul – oh not again
    Colin Suggett – terrible
    Jim Smith – worse than terrible
    Bobby Saxton – terrible
    Osvaldo Ardiles – worse than terrible – clueless
    Kevin Keegan – Messiah days
    Terry McDermott – errr terrible
    Kenny Dalglish – worse than terrible
    Ruud Gullit – huge ego, worse than terrible
    Steve Clarke – average
    Sir Bobby Robson – god status
    John Carver – poor
    Graeme Souness – disastrous much like Daglish
    Glenn Roeder – nice guy did decent job
    Nigel Pearson – meh terrible
    Sam Allardyce – not a good match for toon, terrible
    Nigel Pearson – not you again
    Kevin Keegan – ruined his messiah status
    Chris Hughton – nice guy, did decent job
    Joe Kinnear – Joe f…ing Kinnear – terrible in every sense
    Alan Shearer – god like player – terrible manager
    Chris Hughton – nice guy, did decent job
    Alan Pardew – well out of this lot I’d put him behind Keegan (1st time), Robson, Harvey, Cox but you would have to say he’s at least as good as the rest

    Anyone else got any thoughts?

  • 72 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    JB the difference is MA is reality we can see what he does and scrutinise and criticise his actions that is not blind faith it is merely being awake.
    Time4change is blind faith because it is envisaging. or not envisaging a future without telling s what that future is supposed to be.

  • 73 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Mactoon thanks for posting the link I will read abosrb and get back to you. May take a little time as I spend most of it wallowing in my own self-importance.

  • 74 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Well did not take as long as I thought, that is about the Chronicle it still does not shed ant light on what time4change want.
    Got any other links?

  • 75 DokToon // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    in the voice of stewie griffin, from family guy:

    “so, ummm, how about those mackems? huh? huh? huh? sucking the rear end of the dog, wouldnt you say huh? huh?”

    lol :)

  • 76 Mister Tuff // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    A lot of accusations today about T4C in that they are devoid of:-
    mission statement
    long term srategy
    long term goal
    plus suggestions of vagueness and vague concepts.

    If you think about it the above list can be equally levelled at the Toon.
    Nobody has heard Tubbs speak about the club.
    We have the so called directors saying one thing then Percy and JK saying different things.
    What are our real ambitions as far as the league goes, cups, short term/ long term, Europe etc.
    Nobody knows it changes all the time. Would it be so unreasonable for Tubbs to issue a annual statement setting out what the position is and then for the rest to work towards that -instead of all the amateur PR of people saying different things. They are the “professionals” and should get into the 21st century and do better in sharing concepts/ambitions/dreams with the fans -who after all are just ordinary folk who want their team to do well.

  • 77 Our Toon // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:15 PM


    For the last time my friend I state & please read what I put carefully:

    Me, You, T4C can put 100 prospective buyers in front of MA he will not pick any of them, he will go with the highest bidder, our job is to ensure he sells. We don’t pick a buyer it has never worked like that in football!! You follow Ashley blindly without knowing his intentions why does the thought on an unknown new owner scare you?

    As for Mansoors I’m pretty sure they are a Dubai based invest company with ties to Abu Dhabi and UAE rulers, they are Qatari based or Bahrain based. Human rights abuses are everywhere and in every country, in some its hidden away and others its out in the open, SD uses kids to make clothing for them, working in poor working conditions having ppl on zero hour contracts, don’t get all righteous with Ashley just because he owns our club (human rights abuses which you bought up are abuses no matter how little or how big) Carry on living in fear mate, I fulfilled my duty by informing you, ultimately you decide yourself on what is wrong and what is right…just don’t complain when another shocking decision is made though!!

  • 78 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Mister Tuff, I agree entirely with that point. There is plenty of reasons to criticise MA, for me getting into bed with Wonga probably tops my list but the communication is pathetic and ultimately just makes things harder for MA.

  • 79 UpAndHatem // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Our Toon @ 67

    You sum it up with your last line “….we can’t get change by doing nothing”

    Tequila @56 onwards
    T4C were quite clear in what they were about in this article

    I for one, have stated all along that the club needs to be more transparent with their plans and communicate this clearly and effectively to the fans. This is a change that I would welcome.

    Just to round things off, the following quotes should tell you that change is needed:

    “it was a nightmare, an absolute living nightmare.” Kevin Keegan

    “They have the very best fans in the world and they do not deserve crisis after crisis. It’s time for change. I repeat, Newcastle United need a new owner now!”
    Tino Asprilla

    “The day Mike Ashley leaves Newcastle will be a good day for the fans”
    Kevin Keegan

    “A club like NUFC and its fans are steeped in tradition and don’t deserve this circus. Mike Ashley is a good businessman but does not realise the potential of this great club. It’s time to hand it over to somebody who does.”
    Paul Kitson

    “Players don’t want to join Newcastle anymore. Kevin Keegan sold this club to me when I joined. If Joe Kinnear was speaking to you, are you going to join this football club? I’m not so sure.”
    Rob Lee

  • 80 mindshaft // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    to sell the club you need a bidder willing to pay the price, fatty is in no rush to sell and he def won’t sell at a loss
    He’s tried to sell us before without luck as the club is way to expensive with the loaded debt (some would say it’s way overpriced without the debt) – only way to sell the club is to actually pay off the debt to fats over next few years by staying mid table in prem and being frugal in transfer market
    means we’re unlikely to challenge for much but in the 50 years I’ve followed toon we’re rarely challenged for owt anyway

  • 81 mindshaft // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    As for those quotes I’m not convinced

    Theres plenty of former players slagged fats off who are now saying it’s the way clubs will have to be ran in the future including Barton, Lawrenson, Shearer etc

  • 82 UpAndHatem // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Mister Tuff @76

    Spot on

  • 83 yo-yo // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    People need to remember that AVB is 3 years younger than Ryan Giggs – so he is still learning his trade. If he is given time and support then I think he will prove to be a very competent manager but they all have their hiccups. I’d say he has more potential than AP but he has yet to prove himself in the EPL.

    Any group such as T4C that is a pressure group for change sure as hell needs to have some pretty solid ideas of where they want to go or they will be ignored. A few vague platitudes will persuade nobody. Anybody can p**s into the wind.

  • 84 John Tudor // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    and what does anyone know at least im no longer being ripped off by any of them

  • 85 UpAndHatem // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Mindshaft @ 81

    What, you are not convinced that ““They have the very best fans in the world and they do not deserve crisis after crisis.” ?

    I would be interested to read any quotes by Shearer and Barton that fully supported the way Mike Ashley is running the club and that some form of change was not required. As for any quotes from Lawro, …enough said

  • 86 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Our Toon, fair enough mate you have your opinion I have mine.
    I would make the point though that nothing I have written means I have no right to complain when he makes a decion I disagree with, not supporting time4change does not negate my right to criticise.

  • 87 tequilamag // Dec 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM


  • 88 LGFUAD21 // Dec 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Think Avb is similar to moyes. Both need time. Especially AVB.

    He is trying to break in essentially a whole new midfield. We struggled with the same last season but looks how they play together now.

    I do think he is also harmed by signing to many players in 1 position. They aren’t getting enough time on the pitch together to get used to each other.

    Meanwhile they still lack a winger and in sold ado they bought the wrong style of striker for how they want to play.

    They have someone in the middle when they either need a tank of a target man up top or another Defoe.

  • 89 bills-son // Dec 10, 2013 at 6:35 PM


    Rob Lee might have said players don’t want to join this club. ..

    But he was wrong.

    Five good players joined us in January and other clubs were interested in Remy.

    Just because RobLee and the likes of Asprilla played for us doesn’t mean they don’t get caught up the hype that surrounds us.

    Fans on here have short memories. Pre-season and after the first 2/3 gamex 75% of the posters on here were saying we were a laughing stock joke club heading for calamity and relegation. Thats when Lee and Asprilla piped up.

    A few of us on here who said that the negative hype around the club was media driven hysteria were called deluded.

    Take a look at the table to see who was right.

  • 90 Brutooon // Dec 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    as a big fan of HBA i was suprised when AP did the change gouffron to HBA. Gouffron simply because of his hardworking defensive duties. but i was wrong, HBA did well in keeping the ball, hope he can play more part for the team since this is the world cup year

  • 91 Sav // Dec 11, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    If only Ben Arfa hadn’t started rabbiting on about the Ballon d’Or after his couple of decent performances early in the season. Next game he was rubbish. So predictable. So Newcastle.
    And before he gets ALL the credit for Saturday, don’t forget one insane crossfield back-pass which so nearly cost us dearly. He’s like Jinky Jimmy Smith – you love to watch him but often he’s a liability.

previous post: It’s All Good At Newcastle – There Are No Issues

next post: This Is Why Newcastle Must Keep Improving Every Season