These Two Players Are The Tops


It’s always a good sign when two players who have been on the periphery of the first team this season,  finally get a start, and they play very well and in fact turn out to be Newcastle’s best two players.

ben arfa villa

Hatem Ben Arfa – top man – again

And that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night, and following the withdrawal of Yohan Cabaye, who signed on at PSG yesterday – both Hatem Ben Arfa and local lad Sammy Ameobi got starts at Norwich City and lead our poll for Man of the Match,

Ben Arfa leads with 38% of the vote, followed by Sammy with 22% and Moussa Sissoko in third place with 14%.

We’d love to see both of these very skillful wingers get a lot more chances for Newcastle in our last 15 games of the season – and of course Ben Arfa has always been  a match winner for Newcastle.

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player At Norwich

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87 comments so far

  • jimmysmith

    Jan 30, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Comment #1

    Well, I guess the litmus test for this ownership is how it invests its cash as it now starts to come in.

    If you could bring yourself to be gracious you might argue that up till now we’ve been prudent because the cash wasn’t there yet. But now it should start to roll in, if I understand things correctly and so we should expect to see a greater outlay on players and infrastructure.

    Will austerity wash when there’s money in the bank and an owner benefitting from the global exposure that comes on the coat tails of NUFC and the EPL?

    I sincerely hope not.

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  • DIRTY MAG

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Comment #2

    Canny nervous for Saturday like….

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #3

    No we can’t blame Pardew for the lies he’s told to spout out on behalf of Ashley and no we can’t blame him for the way Ashley runs the club…he’s just doing what most managers without an ounce of decency would do….that’s making sure he gets paid every month of course…because if he had an ounce of decency and any money in the bank he’d resign and manage West Ham.

    …but we can blame him for not getting the best out of a very good squad…we can blame him for the way he sets up the team and we can blame him for stifling some great talent.

    Not an ounce of decency and a dinosaur manager from a bygone era whose just taking the money.

    Cockney t0sser

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  • Dingo†®

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #4

    Jimmysmith you cunning linguist you…. I echo those sentiments.

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  • Spreadthetoon

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #5

    Sparky
    You are a complete tool. Got it.

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Comment #6

    can’t believe some of you still think we’ll get someone else in during this window…we’ve known about cabaye’s departure since the summer yet not planned to bring anyone else in.

    We were in the same position as Spurs knowing how much we were going to get and could have gone out and got his replacement without anyone out there knowing Cabaye was going and how much for…especially as the last bid from Arsenal was circa 10 million.

    If we were genuinely going to get someone else in we would have them by now and would have tied it all up before cabs skipped of the PSG.

    It’s all bollox…no-one else coming in…Ashley will wait til the summer because we’re safe and nothing to lose but lots of money to save because Ashley won’t held to ransom by the clubs who know how much we got for Cabs

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Comment #7

    spreadthetoon…nice contribution moron

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  • lukes26

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #8

    Just watched the game..

    I was never a fan of Cabaye’s. I think he’s smug and petulant. However, there was something missing from the midfield play. The passing wasn’t as quick and you could tell there was a lot more hesitation than usual.

    I thought Sammy did really well, he could have done better if Remy had decided to actually pass the ball. He’s improved drastically in the last 18 months. He can only go 60 minutes though.

    Sissoko was my MOTM..dont know how he makes it 90 minutes with all the running he does. He oddly makes a better winger than Ben Arfa when he gets the ball in those positions.

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  • Spreadthetoon

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    Comment #9

    Sparky
    Okay there you got me! We’ll I completely agree with u and ur sentiment about a lack of planning ! But you are vexing it at the wrong person. No ?

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  • Dingo†®

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:20 AM

    Comment #10

    Nice to see you’re a proper part of the
    ‘gloom army’ Sparky….

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  • laurits90

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:20 AM

    Comment #11

    sparky55

    What if we waited, so that Cabaye wouldn’t turn his noes, and stay with us..? it’s a maybe 😉

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  • Dingo†®

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:20 AM

    Comment #12

    it’ll get better mate! chin up son

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    Comment #13

    I see it as two separate issues.

    No we can’t blame Pardew for the way the club is run…I fully understand that…but we can blame Pardew for how he manages and coaches the team…which in my opinion is badly….that’s all I’m saying

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  • Dingo†®

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    Comment #14

    after all, football is game of two halves

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  • lukes26

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Comment #15

    I miss the old days, when fans could settle the Pardew argument with dueling pistols, once and for all

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Comment #16

    Sparky,

    So your bewilered at why we are sitting 8th in the table (9) points behind fourth.

    And that is stiffling this squad? Or, so-called squad (full) of talent?

    Where should we really be sitting? Sparky?

    Has he not done his job really well at this point in the season with what is at his disposal?

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  • Spreadthetoon

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Comment #17

    Sparky

    I am equally disappointed but you are clouding two issues here surely. I am frustrated with Pardew often but let’s put it this way. Man U won the title plenty of times ugly. If AP can do the same in years to come I won’t complain, just a little in the interim mind ‘

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:28 AM

    Comment #18

    Not to mention the problems that he has had to deal with because of this lovley regime

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #19

    Dingo…no gloom mate…if you look back at any of my posts I support the team 100% all the time and think they perform miracles despite the shackles round the players ankles and necks…IMO we win games because we have players who despite the managers prehistoric tactics their footballing DNA just kicks in and hey do what they do best.

    Once the lads cross the white line on the pitch I’m on there with them…once the final whistle blows I’m usually left with me head in me hands wondering what could have been…but that’s life under the current regime.

    But no gloom…just forever hopeful

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  • laurits90

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:29 AM

    Comment #20

    I support Pardew really.

    -He truly believe that every player have to compete for his place. This, I support cause the players would’ve become lazy otherwise.

    And I’m quite surprised Hatem won the vote really. OK he had his chances, but most of the time his just selfish, and shoot from long range.
    I think this is the reason why he’s not a regular.

    The thing we need is strikers – so that we can start practicing our attack!
    As of today, we may have the least treathening attack in the league!

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  • laurits90

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #21

    sorry my bad spelling lol 🙂

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    Comment #22

    toon prodigy

    Lost to Hull at home, drew with west ham at home with one shot on target, lost to Cardiff, lost to Swansea, lost to sunderland…you know the ones…all those premiership giants.

    Where should we be?…with Laudrup or Martinez or Rogers or the southampton manager whose name I can’t spell in charge I think we’d be 5th

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    Comment #23

    Sparky,

    If we had Man Citys & PSGs outlook and owners I could understand the ridicule of Pardew and wanting better.

    Unfortunelty, we have Mike Ashley.

    And no manager who is looking to progress in his career will touch us under these policies and structures.

    There is always an up and coming manager in France though who might use us as a stepping stone 😉

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  • lesh

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #24

    sparky55 @ 2

    You sound like Catchy and you’ll not do yourself any favours imitating his somewhat limited imagination!

    Give it a break, step back and look at the bigger picture before spitting your venom at Pardew. You might just see that you might focus your attention on Kinnear who you may consider more worthy of your wise observations.

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  • Korean Magpie

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #25

    Grenier’s just said that he knows nothinh about the transfer and will not be leaving Lyon…Just as I expected….

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    Comment #26

    IMO opinion the managers performance has nowt to do with the owners outlook.

    We beat Chelsea and spurs with Ashleys outlook so that proves we’ve got a decent team that can perform…that very same team due to poor footballing management cost us the results mentioned earlier.

    Can’t see how you can realistically blame the outlook of the owners for that…but that’s just my opinion

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  • sparky55

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    Comment #27

    lesh…kinnear doesn’t pick the team or decide on tactics…he’s a tool who does nothing and is serving out the balance of the contract he had before he had the heart attack.

    Once he’s gone Ashley will replace him with another sycophantic moron but the manager picks the team and decides on tactics so that lays at Pardews door IMO

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  • Spreadthetoon

    Jan 30, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    Comment #28

    Korean
    Grenier has confirmed that he’s not certain to stay at Lyon …,.. GFN France source on twitter

    Don’t give up yet. Includes u as well Sparky

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #29

    I’v seen this hatred all too many times on this blog.. Blame the manager.

    It’s becoming tiring.

    It was tiring 12 months ago when we were going through a shocking spell with injuries when our best players missed more than half of the games of the season.

    People blamed Pardew and said he could of done better. Maybe so. But we got to the quarters of Europa which im proud we give it a go. Something has to give, which was our league form.

    Thats not good enough for some people. I think it is, but people are waiting for the run of bad results which they can carry on the ridicule rather than praise when it is due because of their eho’s rather than support this manager and team.

    This year he has proved those people wrong again without the extra games and without the injury crisis and with having absolutely no say in transfers. I think that is credible. Infact I know it is.

    Some people need to get a grip on what this football club wants to achieve. We have had some very very credible results this season, anyone can pick out a bad result but the table does not lie.

    At the moment, it’s very little where ambition is concerned. That is not the managers wrong doing. He is no miracle worker.

    I’ll argue when we have a squad like City’s or PSG’s and want to break the top four. Then we may look at a top class manager to take us forward.

    And then it’s going to be a right job bringing him here. Do you think Pelegrini, Mourinho or any other up and coming quality tactical genius is going to take what Pardew is on right now?

    Delusions of grandeur.

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  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    Comment #30

    Sammy was great in the first half, but was totally gone in the second haft. Sammy is too lazy like his older brother Shola. They only last one half and cannot play a whole match.

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  • theartfuldodger

    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:29 AM

    Comment #31

    o be honest, the thing most people consider our strength is perhaps our weakness. Im talking about SCOUTING.

    We have looked at, perhaps too much at, cabella and grenier.
    Shouldnt we have looked at others too. Shouldnt we have a list of 4 to 5. Is it fine to identify 2 players and keep waiting till we get them.

    Guys, if Grenier doesent come today then forget about it.
    Reading by the comments, its almost sure anyways that he aint coming.

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  • swemag

    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:32 AM

    Comment #32

    @ Toon Prodigy

    Too right. Most class players were missing for long spells. He did not have the same team available to him as the year before when we finished five. As simple as.

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  • toon62

    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:44 AM

    Comment #33

    Respect the positive views but I agree with Sparky, we are not progressing one bit in a footballing sense with this manager. What do we stand for? What is our style of play? I have no idea and neither does anyone else. Southampton play passing football, Liverpool are devastating on the break, Man City are pace and power, West Ham hoof ball, NUFC who knows, it swings from game to game, hence the unpredictable results. That is NOT the owners fault, it’s the Manager and coaches. Pardew is on the verge of another historical milestone for NUFC, 3 defeats in a row against the unwashed, if that happens against a poor unwashed side, at home, then he should walk as that is the end of our season, humiliated and going nowhere.

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  • theartfuldodger

    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:47 AM

    Comment #34

    Toon62

    Our style in most games is to contain first and try to nick one,mostly using long range efforts.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:50 AM

    Comment #35

    o be honest, the thing most people consider our strength is perhaps our weakness. Im talking about SCOUTING.

    Instead of only scouting unhappy players, players with loopholes we should be considering spending 20 mil on a centre midfielder we have just lost.

    Replacing proven quality with quality, then we can build a squad to achieve something.

    Graham Carr has the eye no doubt, but I can’t help but feel he is being wasted aswell in the roles he has been asked to do.

    Give him a free role with 20 mil to spend if not Pardew? Who the fu*k is Joe kinnear?

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Jan 30, 2014 at 3:01 AM

    Comment #36

    Toon62,

    So your basing our progress under Pardew against Sunderland only.. What about..

    A fifth place finish
    Quarters of Europa with a fragile and small squad
    Victorys against multiple top 6 sides over the past few years.
    No say in transfers or who he has had to lose

    The football?

    How can we possibly have some sort of footballing identity with the way this football club has been run from top to bottom?

    We have an identity. It’s erratic for very good reasons.

    This football club has been through turmoil, uproar, protests, all because of incomings, outgoings, poor judgement and a lack of consideration from this regime in this past 6 years. Hell, they can barely speak to it’s fan base.

    We may well support the team on the pitch and the manager may slip up like any other human being but there is mountable other factors that come into play other than players and managers.

    It’s called ambition and support and this manager has had neither.

    Only lies and being undermined.

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  • Premiership Manager

    Jan 30, 2014 at 4:48 AM

    Comment #37

    Fed up with the doom and gloom hate club. We are making progress and heading in the right direction regardless of whom is the manager and what the board are doing. The club are financially sound despite the owner debt and we are no longer a club who buy expensive players and then sell them on for nothing because they can’t cut it in the EPL. When we have sold it’s been for a profit and the right reasons.

    Regarding ambition and reality the target was always a top ten finish this season and that is something we will achieve. Being realistic that will be an acceptable finish and will lay a good foundation to build on for next season. Everybody wants instant success however it does not happen overnight however we are moving in the right direction.

    As for HBA one match does not cut it for me. On another thread somebody posted that the stats suggest we lost 60% of the games when Cabaye didn’t play, however you could look at it another way and that is when HBA played we lost more games than we won.

    not only did he squander several chances he also took on too many players when he had options. I’ll put it plain and simple, he is not a team player, he gives away possession to cheaply, doesn’t tackle back and unbalances the team making it easy for other teams to counter attack and cut us open. If he was half as good as some people on this forum make out, why have none of the top teams made an offer for him? It’s simple they look at the impact he has, the pluses and minuses and there are too many negatives for them to contemplate.

    It’s simple, HBA is a luxury not many teams can afford and that is why he’s still at Newcastle.

    Sammy looked good but unless his stamina and commitment improve he will remain a bit player.

    It’ll be interesting to see how LDJ settles in as he could be a very good player for us and it would also be good to see Cisse given a couple of games with him to see if he can recapture his form and confidence however I personally think if Cisse doesn’t improve he’ll be sold during the next window.

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  • Blofal

    Jan 30, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    Comment #38

    Im very worried about De Jong. Watching his videos he seems the same type of player as Cisse… ie he relies on good service.

    We haven’t been providing that for a while which is half the reason for Cisse’s decline.

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  • Novocastrian66

    Jan 30, 2014 at 5:04 AM

    Comment #39

    I have to say I wanted Pardew out at the end of last season, however I have enjoyed watching Newcastle this season. I think we’re playing decent football with plent of commitment.
    Yes there has been some sticky moments this season, every team has those no matter how good they are. Even Man City have had their poor spells this season.

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  • Blofal

    Jan 30, 2014 at 5:09 AM

    Comment #40

    Novo I really liked the way we set up against Norwich. Pardew said the team would look different and I think it worked.

    We dominated despite the fact our players weren’t used to it and weren’t able to instinctively pick out passes. If that cohesion improves and our runs improve it could be very exciting.

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