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

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Howay The Lads!!

This Player Our Man Of The Match – He Was Simply Brilliant

8:38 am, Friday, December 27th, 2013 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 28 Comments

Alan Pardew has told the Newcastle players that when they get their chance n the first team they should take that opportunity, and we saw Ben Arfa start the game yesterday and he was brilliant for Newcastle and a constant source of pain to the Stoke defense – what a player this lad is when he’s in form.

ben raf fouled by pieters

Ben Arfa being fouled by Erik Pieters for the late penalty

And it’s not surprising that Ben Arfa is our Man of the Match for yesterday with a huge 74% of the vote,  and surely Alan Pardew cannot leave this player out of the starting line-up against the league leaders Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s the current results of our poll and still time to vote for your best player in yesterday’s game.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player Against Stoke?

View Results

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


28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Jail’s too good for Ashley.

  • 2 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    We had a squad that finished fifth and was added to with some very good players in January, however mine and a lot of other peoples gripe is that it wasn’t strengthened when it should have been almost causing disaster.

  • 3 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM


    i dont think the original plan was to buy in jan but it worked out and hopefully it is lesson learner…we not have a good 17/8 players who can all play in the team well and it leaves us running within our means with an extra 20/30mil coming in from new tv deal with BT

    Hopefully we can start to kick on even more now and look to build.

    I agree we have had some bad transfer windows leaving us short and taking a huge gamble, but hopefully lessons are learnt and now we can reap the rewards.

  • 4 bills-son // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Ben Arfa did next to nothing while they had eleven men. And neither did the rest of the team.

    I’m not knocking HBA but lets keep his performance in perspective. I would still go with the Palace team against Arsenal.

  • 5 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    And I will admit I was wrong about how we’d do this season, I originally predicted finising eighth with 55 points ( or there abouts) but I quickly retracted that when a striker wasn’t bought, I thought we would struggle, but I can’t see how Ashley can be given plaudits for bringing in Kinnear and spending nowt in the summer.

  • 6 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Bills…maybe we should the season up untill yesterday in prospect?

  • 7 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:49 AM


  • 8 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    We need an upgrade on Ameobi, I will stop slating Mashley if he brings a good goal scoring forward in January through the door. I might not be gushing in praise though.

  • 9 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM


    I think ben arfa played some nice passes, little reverses down the line to debuchy which were good and kept things simple….but yeh the whole team played poorly until the red cards so can’t knock just HBA like you say.


    Could argue that its rare to sign 5 in jan, so like they said 2/3 of those were players targeted for the summer. They had to sign as messed up the previous summer but maybe that’s why this summer we were so frugal. Ideally we got one or two more in but not the end of the world we didnt…we still had a deep enough squad, not like the summer before where we didn’t.

  • 10 bills-son // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:56 AM


    I think we are decent team who have played well in parts and are benefitting from a settled side with no injuries and only the odd suspension.

    I still think we are three players at least off being genuine CL challengers.

  • 11 bills-son // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM


    I also think Ashley keeping Pardew has been a big factor in how we are performing this season.

  • 12 jasper // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    One of the reasons Whelan got his marching orders was that after the first foul when Cabaye was about to take the free kick he walked up to him and stuck his finger in Cabaya’s face in a “I’m going to get you” gesture not shown on the tv.
    We all thought thus was stupid and their were lredictions at that point that he would end up off, and thnCabaye craftily niggled him a few minutes later. The rest is history…..

  • 13 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM


    I posted this yesterday but dont think you were here….what about benteke?

    With only 4 goals this year, and what seems a lot of pressure on a young lads shoulders, expected to carry his team for a second year, maybe not the time is right to get him here.

    The lack of goals has stopped all rumours of him to spurs/arsenal and might be best time to strike before the world cup where his value could triple. Also he will want to play a in a team scoring goals to get a spot in the side over the likes of lukaku, mirralas etc.

    Might cost a good 12-15mil but with the extra tv money worth a punt.

    I think they do play to replace shola though, pretty obvious i think as they aren’t giving him a new deal despite him having a mini resurgence.

  • 14 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    I might not be able to remember the games that well when thinking back – I tent to forget things as we move along, but it seems that alot of people have a problem seperation a win from a good performance?

    …yesterday for though were a good win and a good performace from the team as a whole regardless of Stoke playing with only 9 men.

    Great game by Benny and Cabs and Santon did well as well :-)

  • 15 jasper // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    The two lessons from yesterday were that Sissoko is not and never will be a central midfielder, he just can’t get his head up and doesn’t know where others are.
    The other was that Anita is. Before the sending off everything was going through him and he was the one that , in effect, won the game with the pass to Remy.

  • 16 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    You’re a fairly well balanced poster, so you’ll be able to see my side as well, you could argue that three of those five should have been brought in the previous summer with Mbwia and Sissokho arriving when they did. Which ever way you look at it we have been sold short in a few windows which ultimately had us avoiding relegation by the skins of our teeth.

  • 17 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Jasper…that second yellow for Whelan was just after the book if anyone asks me!

    …just poor luck that he had already been booked :-)

    The Remy faul was a penalty and wven though I disagree with the current rules it is a red card!

  • 18 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Bringing in somebody of Bentekes calibre would be a huge boost to the squad and maybe show the fans that the fat man had lofty ambitions.

  • 19 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Bills…there are probably alot of factors as you point out.

    The form is defiinitely a factor and we seem to play more like a team again (maybe the team is not picking it self anymore is a factor as well?)

    I am still a bit weary about a few things!

  • 20 SpaceGhost // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:13 AM


    Reflections after the Stoke game :

    1. We can go without Cabaye but we can’t afford to miss Tiote. His last season’s exploits made forget how good he is in that role. No wonder Chelsea considered him at one point. The 2 red cards covered the cracks in the team. Not too sure the introduction of Shola was enuf if it was 11 vs 11

    2. My new found faith in Remy. I admit I was suspicious of his motives coming to NUFC but he has won me over by giving Cisse a much needed goal, rather than capped a personal glory havin a hat trick.

    3. Cisse’s penalty was the finest penalty I have seen this season. Pure technique matched with unbelievable confidence. He placed it exquisitely in the top corner where no keeper in the world could have gotten near.

    4. Krul could have done better but Debuchy was all over the place. Sissoko didn’t even know where to stand on the field. Worst ever performance from the big man. He even managed to fluff a free header. Perhaps coz of his role yday to support Remy.

    5. Santon vs Walcott? I’m not too sure about this at all. Dumett did a good job at Man City against Navas. Or Mbiwa there if Pardew insist havin Colo partnering Willo. We need pace if we’re pushing up the defence.

    6. Tavernier had a good game & Vukic scored the winner against Bradford with a brilliant goal. Tavernier & Vukic the new Debuchy & Cabaye?

    7. HBA need to start against Arsenal. Stoke’s play was just thuggery at times. Arsenal may just give HBA the stage to show Deschamps a thing or two about the World Cup. Who do you drop for this game?

  • 21 bills-son // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:14 AM


    I think few would disagree that we should have signed more players last summer to consolidate our 5th finish. But nobody expected the loss of form, injuries and suspensions that we had and ultimately that was why we nearly got relegated. I can’t remember anybody predicting relegation for that squad before the season started.

  • 22 saxonfenken // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    bills-son #4

    I agree entirely, with Tiote out and Ben Arfa in the whole structure of the team was different, It showed up badlly in the first half. wher Ben Arfa was not nearly so effective.

    Even the pentalty he won in the second half was not down to him but a supid challenge after he had miscontrolled the ball. Yes he is a dynamic player, yes he is exciting to watch, yes he hit the post twice (Suarez and Aguero from the same position would probably have scored these), but does he fit into the team, is he still a luxury, was we better with him in the side in the first half,
    Lets not get to carried away by playing against 9 men for 45 mins or so.

    A great 3 points though how ever we get them

  • 23 Widowmaker // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:15 AM


    I thought HBA was the only bright spot prior the sending off.

    It was not his fault that Sissoko was all over the place and midfield losing shape. Tiote must be reinstalled and Sissoko rested rather than Anita. Sissoko is full of energy but he lacks the football brian of Cab’s and it showed in the first half.

  • 24 Transfer Sage // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:16 AM


    Totally see you point, i think you agreed with me yesterday when i said we gambled relying on Best to carry us through after carroll left and also on perch to step up knowing taylor was out all season and colo got injured.

    I think last summer should have had mbiwa, debuchy to go with anita. Then in jan sissoko, gouff and haidara.

    I said i’d judge ashley on this summer just gone, and it wasn’t good, wasn’t terrible…added some much needed pace and goals but still need one or two more.

    I think this jan is another good test, we now have money available, we have a solid financial base, we are doing well in the league but we still need one or two to keep pushing on that bit more. Maybe after last january he thought it’s the best time to do business and get deals…we’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

  • 25 Jail for Ashley // Dec 27, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Not many people would have predicted relegation after a team finished fifth, but that loss of form was born from the fact the players knew that fifth place couldn’t be replicated after being badly let down and the injuries were very easy to predict, did you honestly expect to see a defence of about six players stay fit all season.

  • 26 texasgaijin // Dec 27, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    agree with bills-son #4. team looked horrible before the sending offs. if that was a 4-3-3 with gouffran and ben arfa supporting remy in the middle, we should never play that same formation again. cabaye, sissoko, and anita were bossed around the midfield, and remy is much better when he has the freedom to roam out wide and cut inside. as someone else suggested, ben arfa is more of a luxury than a necessity. i like us much better in a 4-4-2. the additional midfielder with a second striker seems to make a huge difference.

  • 27 Ancientcoptic // Dec 27, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    bills-son: ”Ben Arfa did next to nothing while they had eleven men.”

    Ben Arfa created our best chance ”playing against 11,” he dragged 2 defenders out using his dribbling skills, Sissoko ran into the space, and Ben Arfa played a beautiful ball into Sissoko who should have laid on a chance for somebody in the box.

    You will notice that playing against 11 he did not once give the ball away, not once.

    He was always our most dangerous player, against 11, 10 & 9.

  • 28 Jeff from Benwell // Dec 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Jail for Ashley
    I’ve sussed it !!!
    Go on admit it.

    You’re a lass aren’t you ?

    There was a familiarity about your posting that reminded me of something.
    THEN IT STRUCK (like a bolt of lightening)

    You remind me of me missus.
    A REAL man just doesn’t go ON & ON & ON & ON & ON like you do.

    Well done , I think more wimmin should get involved with footy

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