What Newcastle need in the team at the moment is a player who has loads of skill and can open up opposing defenses, and can also score one or two goals himself.
Ben Arfa in action on Monday for the U21 side
In our first three games Newcastle have labored to score goals – very much like we did in the second half of last season – and we have scored just one goal in our first three games – and it was an own goal at that last night when we beat Gillingham 1-0.
And that description of a type of player Newcastle can do with right now, is actually already on the books, and Hatem Ben Arfa showed his skills in the Newcastle Reserves 5-2 win against Reading on Monday, when he scored one terrific goal and set up two more.
Alan Pardew has fallen out with the player, who he says is simply not professional enough to be in the first team squad at the moment at Newcastle.
Certainly there is evidence from Ben Arfa’s past that could be true, but it’s silly to keep Ben Arfa on the sidelines, when we need his mercurial skills on the field.
The measure of a manager or coach is how he can get the very best out of each of the players under his control, and Alan Pardew has hardly done a good job recently with Ben Arfa, who we know can often be a difficult player to manage.
We want to see both men meet and talk things through and bury the hatchet – as we mentioned a couple of days ago.
And news again in the Chronicle that isn’t too surprising, that Ben Arfa wants to stay at Newcastle and fight for his place in the team over the last year of his contract, and he has no intention of leaving the club by next Tuesday.
We know it’s not easy for managers these days, who have to deal with players who are earning more money than they are, but surely there is a solution to this problem – and it starts by the two men talking and trying to resolve their differences – for the sake of the club.
We cannot imagine Mike Ashley or Lee Charnley are very pleased with the current impasse between manager and player, but they will also not interfere and let Pardew do the job his way.
There’s nothing like some straight and truthful talking to get over many problems in this world – and we just hope that happens with Pardew and Ben Arfa – and sooner rather than later.
But we can also see both men digging in their heels for the season, which will probably mean Ben Arfa plays only in the Reserves, and as happened on Monday at Whitley Park, we’ll see the fans there to watch the 27 year-old play.
Surely Newcastle and Ben Arfa together can solve this problem, it’s not exactly about rocket science after all, but more about being stubborn.
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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