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Ben Arfa Could Get Start At Bolton

Most of the games for Newcastle have been tough ones these last few weeks.

Ben Arfa — could get start at Bolton this afternoon

And Bolton away this afternoon will be no different, and the good news is that Newcastle should be close to their strongest side with Mike Williamson likely to finally return to the fray, to partner Coloccini  in central defense.

Mike was  injured way back in August at Scunthorpe, and his ankle has not healed quickly at all, and he was only declared physically fit a couple of weeks ago.

Mike is 6’4″ tall and whereas you don’t need to be tall to be a good header of the ball, the extra height always helps.

And Stoke-on-Trent born Mike has proved himself to be a solid performer for  Newcastle,  since arriving almost two years ago from Portsmouth.

He has been in full training for two weeks now, and has been on the bench for the last two games, so he will have become more accustomed  to the match day climate, although he cannot be match fit, by any means.

Yohan Cabaye also returns after serving his one match ban,  so Alan Pardew can field a strong side this afternoon.

Bolton beat Blackburn 2-1 at Ewood Park last time out, to get themselves off the bottom of the league, and will be full of confidence and trying to improve their home league record this afternoon.

That record is not very good, in fact it’s abysmal at 7 defeats and only one win in their 8  home games.

Danny Simpson has talked about the game at Bolton this afternoon:

“Bolton away – we’ve been there before and it was tough,”  “They’ll take confidence from coming off bottom by beating Blackburn, their local rivals, so we know it’s going to be tough going there.”

“But we’ll have Yohan back, who was a big loss on Wednesday night in my personal opinion, even though Haris (Vuckic) did great.”

“We’ll have probably more of a full-strength team, so we’ll move on from West Brom and look to win.”

We’re not sure what the team will be,  but Pardew could elect to start Ben Arfa as the withdrawn striker to up front number 19 Demba Ba.

The Frenchman looked good when he came on last Wednesday night against West Brom, and beautifully  set up Ba’s second goal and the Newcastle equalizer after 81 minutes.

But of course West Brom went on to score their third goal four minutes later, and Newcastle lost their second home game of the  season.

It was great to see the reception Ben Arfa got from the Newcastle fans,  as they are wishing and hoping him back to his best form,  after the terrible injury he sustained at Manchester City last year.

Ben Arfa could do wonders against the Bolton defense today, and may be preferred to Leon Best,  who has looked a little off form recently and certainly out of the goals.

This may well be a game made to measure for the 8 times capped French International midfielder, and we certainly need some Newcastle players to stand up and be counted today, as we try to end the winless streak,  which stretches to 6 games now.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

55 comments so far

  • solano

    Dec 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #41

    Boater @30….the extension of the anti-Pardew comments is that come January, when we most probably won’t be investing in real terms, the real “neggars” will be saying they wouldn’t trust Pardew to spend money anyway – thus, spectacularly missing the reality of the situation once again!
    Bills-son’s points on Ben Arfa earlier do hold some validity. It is indicative of our flawed overall strategy that so many fans are so desperate to elevate, unjustifiably, one single player to almost Messiah-like proportions in order to make up for the paucity of quality players in our squad. This is where dear old Bills and I depart in our views, because any relevant points he makes are negated by his underlying support for the very man who is responsible for creating this situation in the fist place!
    Anyway….I’m going for a 2-2 draw today….not bad odds and judging by our Boxing day record over the years, would stand as a decent result! HWTL.

  • level7wonder

    Dec 26, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #42

    easy win 3-1
    i think we need to drop the wingers, get the ball on the ground and play passing into feet, little 1-2s in triangles, because we can, we don’t need to hoof it up, we have good enough players, we are just too impatient!

  • alex84

    Dec 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #43

    Luuk de jong is being linked again…any good??

  • GoalsBringSmiles

    Dec 26, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #44


    I thought the same as I read the last thread-there’s a point when Rotanda claims that nobody is answering his questions when as far as I can see it is he who skirts the issue. I find it strange that anyone can criticise Pardew for a lack of depth in the squad (let us not forget that Pardew himself was clearly p1ssed off with Del Boy and Fatso following the sparcities of the summer transfer dealings) and I agree with Solano’s point that when fans do so it can only be to deny the true perpetrators of our current demise.

    Near on all fans on this blog seem to agree that it is through injury that our form has dipped-key players have been out and the confidence and momentum ceased. But we only had injuries to three of our players…this should hardly be a crisis for a PL team. What other big Premier League club would enter the season without appropriate and adequate back up in the squad?

  • fgb224lbs

    Dec 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #45

    De jong is touted as a good player with the potential to be world class. Looks to be a good all around striker. Like an in form Andy Carroll (in terms of abilities not necessarily playing style) only a bit nippier and can use both feet. Just what I’ve read and heard though

  • Troleibusiukas_LTU

    Dec 26, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #46

    What about this formation (i konw it’s not going to happen, but anyway):
    Our wingers do not produce, pardew like 4-4-2, i have a solution! 😀



    ———–Ben Arfa—————-Vukcic——-


    Best is imnase in the air, he wins very high percentage of air battles.
    Ben Afra is geting sharper every time, and in this formation he would have more space to dribble (Right flank, as he tends to do..) and cross the ball to the box, or fire a long shot, so could do Haris. And if Benny is tracinkg right Cabaye takes the center with Tiote behind. Also in Defence Demba Ba could track back, meaning we have 5 midfielders in the centre of the park.

    But if AP wants to play two wingers i would like to see this formation (assuming Santon is fit):




    ————-Ben Arfa—-Cabaye——————


  • Jonny

    Dec 26, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #47

    Is Cabaye Available?

  • bills-son

    Dec 26, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #48

    solano – you make me laigh.

    Are you talking about the ‘flawed policy’ that saw us sell Carroll for £35M and get Ba on a free? Or end up with a midfield two of Tiote and Cabaye for an outlay of just £8M? Or sign Santon, Obertan, Abeid and Marveaux for the same £8M?

    Who do you want in charge instead of MA – the likes of the Venky’s? Or the likes of the past it trophy signing owners at QPR? Or a Daglish/Spendthrift combo paying out £75M for AC, Henderson, Downing and Adam?

    Any fan who thinks getting rid of MA will be a definite certain great move for the club is naive in the extreme.

    Prejudice blinds you solano – not me.

  • PapaToon

    Dec 26, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #49

    I think best will start for two reasons. HBA seams to make an impact off the bench as he is not 100% yet. Also with Ba going to african cup of nations Pardew will try to play Best into form by giving him game time. As when Ba will be gone he is the only one who can hold the ball and do the flick ons. Ameobi is not good enough regardless of what ppl say, he will be a bench player. He is too clumsy and a wus at the same time 🙂 gives away too many free kicks and goes to ground too easy (without winning free kicks)

  • danishmag

    Dec 26, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #50

    My dream of today…

    Ben Arfa————–Vuckic——–Sa.Ameobi
    Demba Ba

    Obertan and Jonas looks tired, and probably could need a rest/wake up call..
    Both Ben Arfa and Sa.Ameobi could do the job on the flanks.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 26, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #51


    It’s not just me who sees the bigger picture, but as Bills son says why let facts get in the way of blind prejudice and bigotry.
    Have you actually studied the club’s audited accounts. No didn’t think so.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 26, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #52

    level 7 wonder

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 26, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #53


    What issues pray tell have I skirted.

  • solano

    Dec 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #54

    Bills@48…..you are right, there are no guarantees that if the Fat Controller goes then we will get anyone better or out fortunes will improve. However, I still can’t see why you have such unwavering support for Ashley when he has NO intention whatsoever of having a go and realising the untapped potential in NUFC for FOOTBALLING success. Surely it’s better to try to achieve and possibly fail than to do nothing but feed others???
    His transfer record is about profits and the written statements of intent reek of mediocrity. You constantly harp on about the Carroll deal, but it is a monument to the lies that Ashleys spins….we haven’t spent any of the windfall, so could quite conceivably have kept Carroll and still had Ba – now that would be worth paying for!
    As for Rotonda’s following comment….he proves my main bugbear…..he is another amateur accountant who has replaced what used to be football fans.

  • solano

    Dec 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #55

    Bills…as we are from the polar opposites of the debate, it’s surprising that we can agree on anything, but sometimes we do. You have picked up on the anti-Pardew and Ben Arfa “love in” and it’s something that wrankles with me as well. However your definition of “outlay” is very different to mine.


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