Newcastle Top Professional – I Hope I Can Keep My Place


Vurnon Anita epitomizes the strong team spirit at Newcastle this season, where competition for places is more intense than it’s been over the last decade at the club.

Vurnon Anita rangers

Vurnon Anita – a top professional at Newcastle

Vurnon had a bit of a tough season last season, after arriving from Ajax 16 months ago, and he was getting used to the very physical nature of the English Premier League, but he has now acclimatized to the English way of playing football,  and the Dutch International has played well almost every time he’s been given a chance in the first team, including starting the last couple of games.

And you never hear Vurnon complain about anything, and he is very willing to fight for his place in the Newcastle starting line-up, and he seems to take nothing for granted at Newcastle:

“I am happy to be in the team. To be part of this team is a very good feeling at the moment.”

“We will see if I start the next game but I hope I can keep my place and continue to do well. Of course it’s up to the coach.”

“He will decide, but if I play I am ready to help us achieve our goals.”

As we mentioned earlier today,  Vurnon will be an important player against Stoke City in a coupe of days time, because Cheick Tiote is suspended after  picking up his 5th yellow card at Crystal Palace.

And it’s not stretching things too much to say how Vurnon performs  on Thursday will go a long way towards how Newcastle will fare against the Potters – and we are certainly hoping we can win that game.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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73 comments so far

  • santonthenewmaldini

    Dec 24, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #1

    Hope we dont go 442 against Stoke thats what they want is for us to go long with Shola we should keep the 451 with Arfa taking Tiotes place this will give Stoke nightmares if we have him Gouffran Remy and Sissoko being able to run at them interchanging with Cabaye and Anita battling and snapping at their heels

    Our best formation is the 451 turning into 433 it never worked with Arfa on the right hand side and Cisse in the middle because they never tracked back and left us lop sided but it works with Sissoko and Gouffran on the wing also Remy tracks back which helps us win the ball in better areas for counter attacks

    I think we will win 2 -1 and it will be a struggle but thats only if we play 442 if we go 433 we could win 2 or 3 nil quite comfortably

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  • Shadow_Shearer

    Dec 24, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #2

    I’m hoping Anita can keep his place as well. I agree we need another winger, problem with it I feel is Anita won’t get as many games as Sissoko will be put back in central mid.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #3

    same team as palace for me, no need to change things around unless injury/fatigue is there.

    I’d not mind shola starting though, does more than just long stuff, think him being on gives remy a bit more space as people pull to mark shola too.

    either way i am confident we can continue our good form.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #4

    I think if we can bring in another forward as well as a winger then we have done well in january…maybe a CB too but not crucial as we have 3 playing well and taylor coming to fitness.

    I’d like to keep everyone then in the summer assess who should go…whether cisse, obertan, marv, shola, remy etc…..no point selling mid season unless good money comes in and we have a replacement through the door.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #5

    Probably the last time I will be on before the Stoke game, so Merry Christmas to you all!! I hope we all get 3 points for Christmas, and that you all have a great day with friends and/or family wherever you are in the world.

    All the best gentleman.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #6

    and ladies. Can’t forget the female members of the blog!

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  • Spoof

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #7

    I will be amazed if Anita doesn’t start v Stoke, he has played well of late and with Tiote suspended he has got to be a certainty for Thursday, long term I think we may see more of him as Pardew does seem to like the 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 if you prefer it to be called when we are away from home and seeing that Anita’s graft is what really helps us to dominate the midfield when part of a 5 then I would expect us to see quite a lot of him, the only way I can see that changing is if Pardew gets really confident an tries to attack a bit more and leaves Anita out with Sissoko dropping deeper allowing Ben Arfa to play wide right, as much as I would like to see this Pardew does prefer to have those who work for the team, as a result I expect to see a lot more of Anita than what we have so far in his Newcastle career, but where that leaves Ben Arfa is anyone’s guess.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #8

    lilongwe

    merry christmas to you and your family too…same to all here

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  • Spoof

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #9

    TS
    we can’t play the same team as Palace due to Tiote being suspended.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #10

    spoof

    what i think is good is that our form without ben arfa means he has to work hard to get back in and be consistent which is good for him.

    also why is tiote suspended? i thought he only had 4 yellows?

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  • bobby mango

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #11

    Santon – I agree. Would love to see HBA back in the team.
    If we can’t fit him in now, when we’re doing so well and playing a formation that’ll suits him and at home vs Stoke, then I wonder what his future holds.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #12

    spoof

    my bad….shouldn’t use espn for my stats

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  • Spoof

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #13

    TS
    it is great that Ben Arfa can’t get into the side, as it does show that we have some talent, yes he is a maverick but as I have said for a few weeks now at the start of the season he was on fire our best player by a country mile, he then had 1 bad game against Hull and from that point onwards he has never started a match from his preferred right wing berth, I just feel that he has been harshly treat and I really do hope that he does get his chance again as he proved 2 years ago that in a decent side playing well he is outstanding, would we have finished 5th without him, I don’t think we would, with Tiote and the rest of the defensive game of ours in pretty much decent shape I am sure that Ben Arfa’s positives would out way his negatives at the minute, looking back at the possession we had at Palace could you imagine the damage Ben Arfa could have done ?

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  • G

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #14

    Merry Xmas to all, hope 2014 turns out to be an excellent year for the toon. On a side note, some of the papers are saying we have been in talk with Metz over Diafra Sakho. Doesn’t have a fantastic record, and I don’t remember ever watching him play. Anybody got any thoughts on him?

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  • clinath@ed

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #15

    Cheers Lilongwe, all the best to you and your family. To the rest of you reprobates out there, here’s wishing you too, a very Merry Christmas and TOONtastic New Year.

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  • santonthenewmaldini

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #16

    @Spoof

    It wasn’t just the Hull game where he was poor he was terrible against Everton ball hogged and offered Santon no protection he got hooked after that and has not really been involved since from the start which has been a little harsh but Sissoko has played much better and offers more overall than Arfa does on the wing so he should only get to play there if Sissoko or Gouffran gets injured now think that wanting to be world player of the year chat went to his head

    I would prefer Arfa on the left wing if I had the choice where his role would be to beat the full back and whip it in for the strikers because we would get more goals as a team if that happened as he is too greedy on the right and shoots far too much but a free role behind the striker could be good for him as well like a Suarez role with freedom to move into space it would mean that teams would try to squeeze him in the middle with 2 or 3 players leaving space out wide for the likes of Debuchy to exploit

    Thing with Arfa as well how long will he put up with being on the bench?He has not uttered a word in complaint for being on the bench but that could change when the window opens

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  • wolfshead@toon

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #17

    we are vulnerable to set pieces esp stoke having some big feckers and the lanky robot gets his head on everything id bring in mym for colo he doesnt like the physical stuff

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #18

    spoof

    Yeh it would be good to see, but to also question would we be keeping possession as well with him in the side?

    For me possession isn’t everything, dortmund play a brilliant style of successful football and they average 46% possession….they get it and attack straight away, might make them a little more open but score a lot more and are brilliantly exciting to watch.

    Nothing against ben arfa, just always think for a man of his natural talent he is capable of so much more. The way he beats people is unreal, does it even easier than suarez…the difference is end product and consistency. As well as work rate, not so much defensively, but offensive work rate.

    It also might go against ben arfa than he doesn’t quite fit into pardews systems fully, he always looks forced into a position.

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  • jayphoto

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #19

    Stoke are a very different side under Hughes than under Pulis! Much dirtier off the ball but they play a bit on the floor now! Considering people are raving about southampton stoke are only hust behind them! Tough game and they’ll try and park the bus, i’d try and find a place for HBA to unlock the defense

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  • wolfshead@toon

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #20

    stoke will be at us with set pieces firing the ball into the lanky robot id have mym for colo he doesnt like the physical stuff

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #21

    santon

    i thought just behind the striker like he was at palace made him look dangerous, bit of freedom, not total freedom but enough to put doubt in the defenders minds as to where he is.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #22

    jay

    southampton have been on a bit of a bad run though, stoke are plodding in mid table as they will all season i feel. I just dont see many goals in them, obviously the odd game where it comes together but wont be many of them.

    Crouch for a 6’7 bloke is as useful in the air as anita.

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #23

    our biggest problem with stoke might be ourselves

    its ok for us and players thinking an easy game, but we then need to put in the same level of performance as against palace, man utd, chelsea otherwise it wont be easy and they could get a grip

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  • santonthenewmaldini

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #24

    @Transfer Sage

    I tell you I bet Anita will try to beat him in the air !!

    I actually love for a little guy Anita just gets stuck in he takes a proper kicking but just gets back up for more

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  • Toonfan8

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #25

    we have good squad now, maybee two more players in and we will be in great shape, and it has to be striker and winger…we have solid CBs, great Debuchy on the RB and two youngsters pushing Santon for LB position…so our defense is strong…CM is our best position we have Cabaye,Tiote,Anita for that position and cover in Jonas,Bigi…and Sissoko can also play there, but he is best at RW as he has there a lot of space, Gouffran is excellent as a LW,great instinct for goals, tracking back and always trying to find space for himself…Ben Arfa in some matches can be very important as he can do something that others cant…Sammy Ameobi can also play on the wing…on the AM position, Cabaye can be used there, but it isnt his strongest position, Marveaux i got big hopes of him and i really rated him very high, but for some reason he never got in to the team, i dont know why, Ben Arfa showed in last match, that he can play there also, but cant lose ball so easy sometimes….strikers Remy seems very good, always has good chances for scoring, pacey and great instinct, Shola no goalscorer but very useful, good hold up play and also useful in defensive set plays, Cisse offers nothing but goals, but he seems that he lost his goalscoring instinct….

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  • Spoof

    Dec 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #26

    Santon
    as I said one bad game v Hull and he has never had a chance in his preferred right wing position, against Everton he was central, Ben Arfa runs at defenders, give him half a yard which you get from the wing and he is dangerous, in the centre it is too crowded he doesn’t get the time or space, he is hopeless in the centre but on the wing we have all seen what he can do, after the Hull game he has never started on the right.
    TS, I accept what you say about Ben Arfa, he does have weaknesses, but with a player like him why not build a team around him, get the rest of the midfield/strikers to cover and track back and tell Ben Arfa to go out and just do whatever comes into his head, give him a free role, if we continue to try and shackle him into tracking back and closing down then we have lost his effectiveness.

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  • wolfshead@toon

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #27

    ben arfa aint that effective since him and cisse were benched we are a powerful balanced unit bennys trickery is handy late in the game when the opposition defenders are running out of petrol

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  • jayphoto

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #28

    Was watching Torres last night and he reminded me alot of Cisse! Just thinking it’s been over 3 seasons since Torres had form!
    Think cisse still has goals in him, but not in our system! Our build up play is too slow for him, when he scored goals for us we counter attacked quickly in that 4-3-3! For me cisse isnt intelligent enough a striker to time the runs right and find the space in a slow build of play posession side, he becomes static or drifts offside!
    I think really what we should be doing in recruitment now is more than signing good players! We should sign players suited to our style who will compliment how we play, rather than change it!
    Id love to see Hernandez signed, such a clever striker!luuk de jong another that would go well! Theres a few strikers in spain that would fit also!

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #29

    torres suffered after his hamstring problems when he lost his pace, that was his game, to run behind…same as owen after his injuries (and also lost his heart)

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  • Spoof

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #30

    Owen lost his heart, I never knew he had one lol

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  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #31

    spoof

    haha…he used to be amazing for liverpool

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  • Iain Dowie

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #32

    I really hope that Ashley has the sense to invest in 1 or 2 top class players in January to help us sustain our form or even push on. The prospect of having another great striker and integrating an on form Ben Arfa back into the squad is exciting. At the minute our team has the perfect balance and playing stye which is preventing pardew from changing the team.
    Although he is playing well the only player that you could question is Santon as he has mad one or two mistakes,but like i said why change the team when its working.

    The people who are always having ago at Pardew are just embarrassing, hes got the lads playing brilliant and winning games.

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  • scout

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #33

    Owen doesn’t have a heart just a swinging racing post imo

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  • Ted Bundy

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #34

    I reckon the emphasis against Stoke will be to win whilst conserving as much as energy as possible for the match 3 days later against the Gooners. With that in mind I think we’ll set up very similar to Crystal Palace, with perhaps HBA coming in to replace Tiote. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Shola start though, as they’re still going to pose a big threat from set-pieces – just depends if Pardew thinks we’ve got enough to keep them at bay with primarily just Willo, Colo, Debuchy and Sissoko.

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  • roy

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #35

    Stoke, are one of the worst teams in the league, It should be an easy three points for the mighty Mags.

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  • roy

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #36

    Shola, up front with Remy and a midfield of Gouffran, Cabaye, Anita and the awesome Sissoko and its a 4-1 victory.

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  • Yohan Kebab

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #37

    quick stat from the palace match

    anita completed 7 tackles of 7 attempted

    tiote 1 of 9

    on the surface this looks bad but i think its a reflection of how anita sitting back has freed cheick to just get in the face of the opposition, pressing the ball without fear of leaving gaps behind

    its a good partnership, and i think that we will miss cheick against stoke

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #38

    Roy

    How many times have we thought that in the past? No such thing as an easy win and please don’t tempt fate. We should have beaten West Ham , Hull and Swansea. Stoke will be very hard, make no mistake.

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  • The next Mike Williamson

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #39

    Don’t forget Cisse has had 7 goals wrongly disallowed for offside. If it wasn’t for that his goals record would be fantastic, and he would maybe not have lost his confidence

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  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #40

    Ted Bundy

    Hopefully pardew is now concentrating more on teams worrying about us than the other way round as has been the case previously. Trying to play teams like Stoke at their own game would be suicide when our skill can undo them.

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