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

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Ben Arfa Will Start – But Pardew Still Unimpressed

8:51 am, Saturday, January 4th, 2014 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 15 Comments

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 arsenal at home 1-0

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.

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Tags: FA Cup · Hatem Ben Arfa · Newcastle News




15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jayphoto // Jan 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Agree with pardew on this! If you look at top wing and outside players they work their socks off off the ball! Ronaldo, messi, lavezzi to name a few! In the premier league Suarez and sterling chase everything, as do Walcott, Valencia etc
    In the modern day wingers can ‘t be like Ginola and Pires, it leaves the team too exposed! Think the only position that should be except from tracking back are the number 9 strikers

  • 2 Marty-Toon // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    His main problem is that he tries to score every time he attacks,no matter what the angle ,not thinking of easier or better placed team mates.
    He should watch videos of Messi/Ronaldo n the likes and see some of their movement and choice making.

  • 3 Marty-Toon // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    On the same key there Jay

  • 4 jeff // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    ronaldo does not work his socks off lol. defensively he contributes nothing. but thats ok cause hes the best player in the world

  • 5 jayphoto // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    @jeff you know i mean the portuguese ronaldo and not the brazilian one right? The guy presses constantly, notches up about 8 miles per game!

  • 6 asenski // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    i think every manager has as much fault as player’s drop in form
    in our case that should be pardew’s game organization reflecting to cisse’s case

  • 7 Blaydon-Toon // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    HBA is a great player when on song but he is a one trick poney (with lots of tricks) he needs to educate his all round game sometimes giving a simple pass and moving into space is as good as beating 3 players thus giving more options as any defender would have to second his moves

  • 8 Laurent Robert 32 // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Criminal why he can’t be involved with the team.

    The lad is asked to concentrate on tracking back and having 9 men behind the ball (which also aids Williamson), not play his natural game.

    If we had emphasis on attack I’ve no doubt that the Benny would flourish. He’s a maverick, but a highly skilful one.

    I want to enjoy watching the team play positive football and stand up to be counted, so to speak, not cowardly cautious football which is Pardew’s foundation.

    Under him, the team is moving forward with brakes on.

  • 9 Douglas // Jan 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    HBA is one of the players I’d sell. Also Marveaux, Taylor, Santon, Gutierrez, Obertan. Need two goal scorers More midfield creativity a left winger, a right back and a center back. Sooo, 5 out (plus some never to make it youungsters) and 5 in.

    It will never happen.

  • 10 The next Mike Williamson // Jan 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Shola doesn’t track back or track forward, or take people on, assist goals, take shots, or keep possession.

    It has to be HBA everytime. He gives the whole team another dimension and boost.

  • 11 ash1001 // Jan 4, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    So if Ben Arfa has only done OK in his recent appearances, according to Pardew, where does that leave Shola, according to Pardew no doubt it will be brilliant.
    And then there’s the question of how Pardew has done as far as team selection and tactics is concerned, not very good in my opinion.
    Pardew certainly knows how to open his mouth at that he is brilliant.

  • 12 spitfire_ // Jan 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    “He needs to really get a good game under his belt if he’s going to force his way into the Premier League team”

    Hatem had very good game against Stoke but that was not enough because the next game he was again on the bench. How some player can have confidence with when after one good game sit on the bench again.

    Pardew’s man management for some players is very poor for some reason.

  • 13 Sav // Jan 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    In fairness to Hatem, we have been very poor getting bodies into the box lately as our pressing game takes a toll on players. Nevertheless, there is rarely anyone running to the near post or seeking that killer pass from Ben Arfa. That is perhaps why we have such a high percentage of shots taken from outside the box – there just aren’t better options available.

  • 14 Bleemo // Jan 4, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Funny thing is statistically this is his most productive season for us on average.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatem_Ben_Arfa

    Scroll down for stats.

    So in half a season he has 3 goals and 6 assists in all comps. last season it was 4 goals and 3 asssists all season. Season before when we finished fifth he scored 6 and made 7.

    In other words going on form he would end up with 6 goals and 12 assists for this season by far the best. Quite startling when you consider he is mostly coming on from bench this season and started most of the season before last.

  • 15 Jam only For H.ben Arfa // Jan 4, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    It’s a big news today, because hatem will start, Happy!!!




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