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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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Magpies Must Keep A Lid On This Festering Situation

9:17 am, Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 22 Comments

Ben Arfa has not trained with the first team during this pre-season, and his days seem to be numbered at Newcastle.

alan pardew sociedad

Alan Pardew – fell out with Ben Arfa
In the open training session today at St. James’ Park, which should have just started at 9:00 am Newcastle time – he will not be participating at all.

And because of that Ben Arfa had arranged to meet with fans at a Newcastle city center bookstore tonight, but that has been called off, and we’re pretty sure he was told to cancel that appointment by the club and probably be Alan Pardew himself.

Fans have already decided who is to blame for this altercation with one of the most skilled players at the club, but Newcastle now have to manage the situation – we are not taking any sides in this article.

It’s got to be handled well in the next three weeks, otherwise it could all blow up, and have a negative impact at the beginning of what is a crucial season for Newcastle United.

We want Newcastle to do well this season, and real success would be finishing in the top six, and we still think that’s possible – although there’s a lot of hope in that statement. :D

It certainly didn’t help with  the news last night that assistant manager John Carver, first team coach Steve Stone and goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman were informed on Saturday that a new system would be implemented and they now will not get any free family tickets.

That’s been quickly picked up by the press, and it’s another opportunity to hit Newcastle and Mike Ashley, although that decision could have been made by Lee Charnley.

If we just think about the coming season, the club has done well to get in nine good players this summer already, and the situation with Ben Arfa and to a lesser extent Jonas Gutierrez – who is not even in Newcastle at the moment – must be contained until September rolls around.

Otherwise the whole thing could blow up about how Ben Arfa has been fed to the wolves, and how Jonas has been badly treated, when it’s not even clear what he did wrong last season.

It’s just five days to go before our first game against Manchester City next Sunday afternoon – and Pardew and others get big money to handle (big) problems.

The very last thing we want to see is more negative headline in the press – we’ve had enough of that already this year.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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Tags: Coaching · Hatem Ben Arfa · Jonas Gutierrez · Transfer News and Rumours



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22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Beatroll25 // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    I don’t think Ed is writing these blogs anymore.

    A Ben Arfa post without the word mercurial…pah…BRING BACK DR. ED!!!!

  • 2 SpecialK // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    The hatem Ben arfa meet and greet wasn’t cancelled by Ben arfa himself, rather it was the owners of the back page that have cancelled it (aka niall and biffa).

  • 3 Beatroll25 // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    The press blows these things out of proportion.

    Benny is in the reserves. He hasn’t kicked off, refused to play/train or caused disharmony enough to alienate him from the club entirely.

    Also quite right that the coaches don’t get free tickets. We all know what happens. They give them to their mates or mates of mates and probably turn over a small profit. They have likely abused the system and generosity rather than Ashley being a cock. I hate Ashley as much as the next fan but if you jump on this to add to you’re arsenal of Ashley hates then you are just clutching at straws and trying to find any way to bash him.

  • 4 Pottz // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Top 6 with this defence would be a miracle

  • 5 londonderry toon // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    lads new blogger here any body think playing first elevin agaist newcastle elevin with benny boyyy in yhe newcastle 11 behind closed doors as nxt sunday long time away without any f ball for players like any thoughts

  • 6 Pardews Prolific Boys // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Beatrice @1 agreed where’s the real ed?

  • 7 Laurent Robert 32 // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    A message from the Back Page:

    It is with great regret that we must announce that the planned appearance of Hatem Ben Arfa at The Back Page shop later today has been cancelled.

    Since accepting the invitation last week, it has become increasingly clear that Hatem will be excluded from the training day event at St.James’ Park today.

    In light of the increasing media circus that news has prompted, both the Back Page and Hatem agree that staging the event would be counter-productive and cancellation is the most logical course of action.

    Hatem sends his apologies and is saddened that he’s unable to meet supporters at this time.

    The shop remains open as usual today and we look forward to seeing many fans after they’ve visited SJP.

  • 8 ToonTiger // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    I wonder if Jonas has something to do with colo issues?

    Pardumb has probably had enough of giving Benny special treatment and has decided to concentrate on the squad harmony as a whole rather than appease the maverick. Undeniable talent maybe but has consistently shown not quite a team player.

  • 9 Ancientcoptic // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    ToonTiger – Ben Arfa getting special treatment seems to be the problem. If he was treated as an equal, he would probably have ended the season with a run in the team and an actual position to play in.

    If the guy is training and wants to play, what is the problem?

  • 10 croftus5678 // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    hmm tricky one this as if someone said to me if you dont play me in the team i’ll go to the fans and tell them your bullying me i’d take that as a threat and they would be straight out of the team for being a baby and causing trouble for everyone.

    if he wasnt such a good player on that odd day he does decide to play we wouldnt care (like jonas who nobody bats an eyelid at) i say let him go abroad free if needs be to stop trying to effect our players inc our new signings in a negative way.

  • 11 hitman // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    now that hba is well and truly in exile,who will be the next fall guy for p45due when things arnt going right,we all no he blames others for his short comings.my bets on goofy or cabella.

  • 12 Ancientcoptic // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    BTW, our supposed squad harmony without Ben Arfa in the side, has gained us 5 wins in the last 21 games, some of those only coming via injury time goals. That is relegation form.

  • 13 Transfer Sage // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    This is a good move from Ben Arfa, it shows he does care and is willing to take some steps to put things right, whether he will do enough and whether the fat head Pardew will accept him back is another matter.

    I am still of the belief that just because you have skill and flair shouldn’t mean you don’t defend, a lot of South American sides show that you can defend and attack as a team.

    But that’s our problem, the manager seems to struggle with the team playing as a whole in attack and defence so how much of this is Ben arfa’s fault I’m not sure about. I think he can do more defensively as well as more offensively but I don’t think he is as big a problem as the manager makes out by any stretch.

  • 14 Our Toon // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    To me this is a win win for HBA. It proves to me that the club who have tried to portray him as a trouble maker have somewhat backfired. They started a PR battle and have lost, good on the lad though….maybe he’s not the petulant bad boy the club have tried to make out that he is…to the doubters looks like HBA has disappointed yous by agreeing to cancel this, surely if he’s as bad as yous seem to think he is then he’d just tell them to stuff it go to the press directly and tell all!!

  • 15 dcdick // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Pardew ain’t a manager & never will be until he can “manage” players like HBA….. & that is not going to happen.
    Is he the most unpopular manager Newcastle have ever had ?
    I’ve seen them all since the 50’s & he gets my vote for the most arrogant/useless/spineless jumped up excuse for a manager/coach that I have ever seen at the Town.

    Pardew Out !!!

  • 16 Our Toon // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    TS

    It’s safe to say players like him should be asked to press high up the pitch rather than tracking back and occupying a place on the wing….to sit in and defend. On the continent they prefer the pressing style as following players and occupying positions just leads to disaster.

    Having said that though surely the fact he hardly featured in the 2nd half of the season except from the bench is an indicator that he wasn’t the actual issue and it was the bullshit tactics.

  • 17 martoon // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    SpecialK @2 – I thought Niall & Biffa ran the website nufc.com – where as the back page is a separately owned shop?

  • 18 ToonTiger // Aug 12, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Only Ruud ‘sexy football’ Guillit can hold a candle to Pardew as far as unpopularity.

    BUT he is the boss’s man and he’s doing ok, as long as Mike is holding the keys and wallet we’ll get no one better as other managers will either be worse tactically or will want to spend and spend or even worse – both.

  • 19 jon.c // Aug 12, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    We do not know the full extent of the HBA /AP we just read gossip but AP as manager cannot handle this situation he is not man enough but surely someone higher up the ladder should bang their heads together for the harmony of the team and get it sorted

  • 20 Sav // Aug 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Can we just get Benny back on the scales again after sweating a few pounds and stop this exclusion nonsense, or else call a spade a spade and say there’s been an irrevovcable breakdown in relations with the manager and move on. PR and HR at SJP are pants.

  • 21 JP...from The Rock // Aug 12, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    All this nonsense between AP and HBA is over the top. It’s like two children fighting in a playground over who’s first in line at the tuck-shop ffs!

  • 22 thepict // Aug 12, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    I am absolutely fed up of hearing about Pardew and HBA. In my opinion they both need need their heads banging together and Lee Charnley needs to tell them to sort it out. The pair of them are like spoiled adolescents




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