It’s Common Sense – Get Ben Arfa Back Into First Team Squad


Ben Arfa played for the Newcastle Reserve side this afternoon, and he was in sparkling form and will have given some food for thought to watching manager Alan Pardew and also Managing Director Lee Charnley as the Frenchman scored a great individual goal and had two assists.

ben rfa in action at whitley park

Ben Arfa in action this afternoon at Whitley Park

Ben Arfa showed his undoubted class this afternoon, and linked up well with both Adam Armstrong and Sammy Ameobi as the Reserve side beat Reading 5-2, after going behind 2-0.

It was 2-0 until three minutes before the break when 17 year-old Adam Armstrong scored a good goal from the inside right position and then just before the break Ben Arfa put over a fine corner and Sammy Ameobi headed the ball into the back of the net to make it all square at the break.

In the second half it was Adam Armstrong again who burst through, and had the ball in the back of the net to put Newcastle ahead for the first time.

Newcastle were coming forward all the time and then the mercurial one went down the right wing and beat one, two – make that three defenders before hitting the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 4-2.

Just what we needed somebody to do on Saturday at Villa Park.

ben arfa reserves

Ben Arfa ready to take a corner

And then as if to make a point, Ben Arfa set up another goal, when he put the impressive Armstrong through, and the Chapel House youngster scored his hat-trick.

Ben Arfa can play when he’s of the right mind, and we just hope that both Ben Arfa and Alan Pardew will bury the hatchet and/or kiss and make up – whichever is the best way for them to end their feud.

Ben Arfa should be allowed to train again with the first team.

But Hatem Ben Arfa will need to work hard in training, and follow the manager’s instructions on the field, which he hasn’t always done in the past.

That doesn’t seem a very hard thing to do – and after all it’s for the good of Newcastle United – and there’s still time to make it work – and all it really takes is some common sense and some discipline.

Newcastle U21: Jak Alnwick; Greg Olley, Lubo Satka (c), Callum Williams, Macaulay Gillesphey; Gael Bigirimana, Dan Barlaser; Hatem Ben Arfa, Haris Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi; Adam Armstrong

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Note: Kieron Hubbuck will be participating in the Great North Run this year for the MNDA, the Motor Neurone Disease Association or ALS – which is an incurable disease. Kieron’s Aunt was diagnosed with MNDA some months back, and that’s one reason Kieran is attempting to raise funds.

You can contribute to MNDA on Kieron’s Just Giving page. Thanks.

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306 comments so far

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #1

    I reckon 70% of NUFC fans would like to see:

    —HBA——–De Jong——–Cabella—

    As our 3 behind the striker .

    HBA gets slated for his inconsistency, whereas Gouffran & Sissoko get a free pass despite both of them being poor of late . I would even have Aarons out wide than those two .

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  • spitfire_

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #2

    And since when pardew have a common sense?

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #3

    Repost;
    Optimistic,
    If he is here when the window closes than it could make it difficult. I imagine the club could stick to their guns. They were willing to leave Alan Smith sidelined and not in the squad at all while paying ridiculous wages, so why not again? (*That is a financial comparison, not ability btw)

    I think it makes it very difficult for Pardew to bring him back in the fold because he forced him to train with the reserves. I guess he will see it as undermining his own decision if he brought him back in. If he had just been on the sidelines, and not played much for the first team rather than this public spectacle it would be far easier to get past this.

    On the other hand, todays game could have been a pre organised olive branch. The club let Hatem play, he makes sure he puts in a shift and plays well, Pardew says that his attitude has improved and nobody loses too much face.

    One final thing worth considering is that if it is indeed the contract issue, and the club want him sold. Is the decision on him not playing and being with the kids Pardew’s decision or has it come from higher up, with Pardew being told to put a spin on it?

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Comment #4

    Ben Arfa’s the best player by a mile. He’s one of the best in the league.

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  • beautifulmind

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #5

    Crystal palace would be ideal game for hba . My line up would be
    Jan taylor coll haidara
    sissoko tiote colbeck
    benarfa dejong cabella
    Riviere or goofy
    3 grafters in middle to provide platform to push up pitch and attack
    imo

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  • Marty-Toon

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #6

    BPC
    The difference with Ben Arfa and Sissoko/Gouffran is that those lads even on a bad day work there skins off for the team up and down the field,not trying to beat four players on their own and losing the ball and not bothering trying to win it again.
    We all want the Ben Arfa that scored against Bolton Everton etc to play every game but he only shows up five times a season.
    Love the skills but too often doesn’t look bothered,possibly being played in a wrong position by the foolish one but he just gives the ball away too much

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  • jayphoto

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #7

    I’m one of HBA’s biggest criticisers but I think in a team of Colback and Tiote/sissoko in midfield, a front pairing of Hba (right) De Jong (centre) Cabella (left) at home, against the right team would be very effective! In games where we’ll come up against teams that will sit like West Ham, Palace etc that line up would be perfect!
    Problem with Pardew is he sticks with teams and formations and prepares his teams to match the oppositions strengths rather than destroy their weaknesses!
    We definitely do not have so strong a team that a fit Ben Arfa even off the bench wouldn’t improve our matchday squad!

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #8

    Kets,
    I’m not arguing that point (although I would contest it), why do you think there have been so few suitors for him? I’m not a big fan, but even I am surprised by the lack of interest in the player!

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #9

    Beautiful mind,
    I assume you are making up for HBA’s lack of work rate by fielding 12 players!

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  • jayphoto

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #10

    @kets – ben Arfa isn’t even the top 50 in the league mate! In terms of skill maybe but in terms of proficiency in his position, hes not even in the top 5 at newcastle! Id rate Coloccini, Krul, Tiote, Sissoko and De Jong as more accomplished and effective in their positions than HBA and if colback and janmaat keep the level theyve started at they will both prove twice as valuable as HBA though itl take more than 2 games to judge them

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  • optimistic prime

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #11

    Lg

    Good point
    I thought Benny playing and Pardew there was a bit strange, thought he’d be preparing for the Gills or travelling down.

    Maybe it is from above and they don’t want him playing unless he signs a new contract, Ashley doesn’t like to lose money.

    I just dislike the whole situation neither the player or the club looks professional at all and from outside it looks personal which is even worse.

    Am I being to optimistic if I beleive the Olive branch scenario and imagine a happy ending to this un needed drama?

    Haha just saw Ellis Shaw doing ice bucket, Alain Pardu
    Hahaha

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  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #12

    @ marty

    I agree on Gouffran tracking back, but Sissoko I disagree with .

    I know for a fact I (and most NUFC fans) would rather see HBA scream one in the top corner rather than Gouffran basically play as a secondary left back all game .

    Other than badly missing a shot, he was the invisible man against Villa and did nothing . Whereas someone like Benny or Aarons would get crosses in or at least threaten the goal .

    HBA against Villa away last year:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIS-xsl3rFs

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  • Marty-Toon

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #13

    Every game is an ideal one for Ben Arfa as he could beat the best of players and defences but question is,WHY DOESN’T HE?

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #14

    Beatiful Mind,
    Although I see no keeper. Bold move mate! 🙂

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  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #15

    I still think Pardew doesn’t want to put Benny back in the team because his Ego will take a massive hit if Hatem suddenly comes back and starts scoring and creating goals .

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  • Marty-Toon

    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #16

    Agree totally with JAYPHITO

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  • toonLYF

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #17

    does anybody know how regularly Pardew attends these games?

    If it’s very infrequently, we could perhaps assume (hope) that Ben Arfa may be given another chance – or Pardew could of course have just been watching Satka, Arma and perhaps Bigi as they seem to be the u21 players that are on the fringes of the first team squad.

    However, if Pardew frequents these fixtures it probably means very little. What a turn around it would be though if Ben Arfa is to fight his way back into the team and perform – it would be some story and would gain Hatem even more admiration from our support and would only add to his legacy.

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  • Marty-Toon

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #18

    BPC – I agree that Aarons shows the quality of getting to the byline,putting in crosses and going straight at defences but Ben Arfa although has more quality than his younger teammate he doesn’t use it

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  • Marty-Toon

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Comment #19

    If Ben Arfa had been a top performer in the team on a constant basis then he’d be in the team.
    One thing is he doesn’t defend well but that wouldn’t be such an issue if he was hurting teams often enough at the other end.

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  • kevymartins

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #20

    I say fair F***ing play to the lad it’s clear Ashley was trying his crap with him and trying to force him out like how he did with Milner. But Benny just say back and said I won’t leave i’ll run my contract down and if you’s don’t offer me a new one i’ll walk. Let’s be honest if he is going on a free there will be tons of clubs lining up for him premier league ones too.

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  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #21

    I just don’t see what we have to lose giving HBA a run in the side .

    Hell, we might just score a goal .

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  • optimistic prime

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #22

    The one big point everyone’s missing on Bennys performance etc

    Is the other players not passing the ball!

    And complaining about him etc

    I bet everyone on here has saw Benny in acres of space asking for the ball but not getting it.

    No wonder he looks disinterested, if your work mates wouldn’t help you out would you help them?

    Cabaye was a tart, he refused to play etc but moaned about Benny
    if you were Benny what would you think?
    I’d be knarked

    Not making excuses but there’s a lot more going on than we know so all things should be considered.

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  • smudgerwth

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #23

    I’d love to seee ben arfa shines again but his number was changed to 26 which show he is no longer needed by pardrew 🙁

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #24

    Optimistic,
    Is Ashley still around Newcastle? There is of course a possibility there was a scout or some other club officials there and they wanted to see him match fit before concluding a deal?

    I think a happy ending now is one where all involved get out without losing too much face. It has been an unnecessary circus that has surrounded most of our pre season. I agree, to anyone looking in it doesn’t make for good copy.

    HBA has maintained a pretty dignified silence, although his agent could have kept his gob shut and the club should have given us some reliable information rather than murky comments like ‘lacks professionalism’. I seem to remember Carroll breaking Taylor’s jaw, then just weeks later gets a new deal.

    It needs to be resolved one way or the other, at this point I think everyone wins if HBA gets a decent move abroad, so the club and his agent should be working to help him do that, not squabbling.

    It is probably not helping new players settle either, so is damaging in numerous ways.

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  • murvar

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #25

    No! No! No! Stop stoking these fires. The man is a waste of space, he’s a disruptive and divisive influence and the manager has the owner’s backing to leave him out. Idiots at Villa near me on Saturday were chanting his name when he wasn’t even on the bench! How does that help the ones who ARE playing?! He has become a totem pole around which the Pardew haters do their crazy dancing. And it has to stop for the good of the club. His 5 minutes of magic per season are just not worth it.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #26

    Optimistic,
    On players not giving him the ball, that for me adds credence to the rumours that the other players don’t like him in the team, and don’t want him around. If that is the case then it is far easier to move out 1 player then a team.

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  • kevymartins

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #27

    @Bpc The thing that get on the nerves the most is having Obertan sitting on the bench if Ben Arfa had 1 eye and 1 leg he would still be a better player than Obertan.

    Striping away his number was just wrong like I don’t give a sh*t what De Jong has done or how good he is they just shouldn’t have done that.

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  • optimistic prime

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #28

    BPC

    People keep talking about goals!
    What are they?

    I’ve heard wins mentioned to!
    Any ideas?

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  • Pizzicato The Arizona Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #29

    Let’s see what Pardew would say against Benny during the Gillingham match.

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  • mattyNUFC

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #30

    to all the HBA naysayers, answer me this:

    Everyone harps on how inconsistent HBA is, so, dredge up the numbers for me: What is the longest run of starts HBA has bad in the premier league?

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  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #31

    We have the spine of a great team, and with a couple more quality additions we would be able to challenge for Europe . :

    —————————–Krul—————————–

    –Janmaat——-New Cb——-M’biwa——-Haidara–

    ———–Sissoko————————-Tiote————

    —HBA——————De Jong————–Cabella—

    ————————–New Striker———————–

    Add a new manager and I would give my left nut. So close, yet so far away 🙁 .

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  • milburn990

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #32

    I think we need to see hba in a few more reserve games before we burden him with being the new messiah. If he could only play like this consistently…

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  • kevymartins

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #33

    Murvar who would you rather have on the Bench Obertan or Ben Arfa in all fairness?

    Were not stoking any fires. WE as fans wan’t the best for the team and it just sucks seeing that ***** Pardew and whatever problems he has interfere with the team selection.

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  • Toon1978

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #34

    I would drop Sissoko. Bring in HBA.

    …………………….Krul………………….

    Janmaat…..Willo……Collo….Hiadara

    ………………Anita……Colback………….

    HBA……………….SDJ…………Cabella

    ………………..Rivierie/Cisse

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #35

    Can’t see Grenier signing for us in this window

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #36

    Optimistic,
    I’d also argue that there was more to Cabaye not playing then him going on strike.

    Pardew said that Tiote could be back by the opening game and was at a similar stage to SDJ. Then all of a sudden rumours of Tiote leaving increase and we are told he won’t be fit until possibly the Palace match, maybe after.

    To me there is a good chance that Tiote isn’t playing because they don’t want him aggravating the injury in case a bid comes in, which I personally think was why Cabaye didn’t play, not that he refused.

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  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #37

    If HBA is so disruptive and to blame for his actions then why did the club effectively cancel his meet and greet with fans ? .

    If they had nothing to hide then why not let him give his side of the story ? .

    Then you have Pardew asked in an interview on Saturday about Benny and he completely dodges the question and gives a politicians answer .

    Even the biggest Pardew hater must think there is something fishy going on .

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  • tequilamag

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #38

    Benny is not the messiah he is a very naughty boy.
    Who were we playing again? Reading reserves.

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  • kevymartins

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #39

    A proper top manager will always pick what’s best for the team.

    Mourinho is the perfect example with Courtious he basically came out and said Cech time is up it’s now time for Courtious.

    Alan Pardew is letting whatever happend cloud his judgment in selecting the team. There is no f****ng way Obertan should be in before Ben Arfa. A change in manager is what is needed 100% … Any money on it that if a new manager came in Obertan would be out and Benny would be in.

    I think that might be what Benny is going for. Didn’t his agent come out and say something like who knows Pardew could be gone before Ben Arfa.

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  • optimistic prime

    Aug 25, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Comment #40

    Lg

    According to the groundsman he was there yesterday late afternoon and Pardew was there early evening so it maybe a possibility he’s on his way.

    About the players, I’d heard it was colo and Cabaye, ones gone the other one should be ASAP.

    If there more bad feeling with other players ye he should go.

    I think we’ve got another week of this debate as we won’t sign anyone else and if we don’t get a result in next two games the HBA argument will get louder and louder.

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