In his interviews yesterday for the Cardiff City game today, Alan Pardew admitted that Frenchman Ben Arfa will start the game against Cardiff City, but said that the winger had done only OK in recent substitute appearances.
Ben Arfa – in action against Arsenal
Here’s what Alan said about the player who is still a darling of the Newcastle crowd:
“The only one I’ll confirm as playing is Hatem. He will definitely start.” “Our fans have been desperate for him to start, but having said that, in the cameos he’s had, I only think he’s done okay. That’s my opinion.”
“He needs to really get a good game under his belt if he’s going to force his way into the Premier League team, and this is a great opportunity for him, and he’s the only one that at this stage I’m going to say is definitely playing.”
There are a couple of things that Ben Arfa needs to improve in his game, and where he’s behind the two current starters who play out wide – Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko.
He still loses the ball too much – gives the ball away, but given his style of play where he takes players on, that’s always going to happen.
And he still needs to track back more, and when he does track back he’s got to make it count with some decent tackles to try to get the ball back – and not just go through the motions.
On the other side of things he’s one of Newcastle’s most gifted players, and is a thrill to watch when he’s on song, and he can be a real entertainer, and the Newcastle fans know it.
And the stage is set today for Hatem to weave his magic, and with some top players being missing, we just hope Newcastle can make it through to the next round – another defeat would not be good.
And three defeats in a row – that’s an official crisis at a club like Newcastle, isn’t it? 😀
Let is know how you think the game will go today.
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 on us on Google+