Will Ben Arfa make or break us?

Posted on September 22nd, 2011 | 34 Comments |

Hatem Ben Arfa: Will he change the team dynamic?
Hatem Ben Arfa: Will he change the team dynamic?
Now that the king has returned from injury so to speak, I began wondering (always dangerous for someone like me) how will Ben Arfa slot back into the Newcastle Team?

Let’s clear one thing up, NUFC are not the sort of team the can afford to leave Benny sat on the bench, it’s obvious we are going to use his talent in the first team wherever possible. However I do have concerns over how it changes the team dynamic.

The old sayings “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” rings true for me here, NUFC are quietly getting on with it, picking up points on our travels and generally looking solid. Will Ben Arfa’s return upset the apple cart?

Looking at most people’s team sheet’s with HBA in, they all seem to follow what I class as a football manager type approach:

Cabaye – Tiote
Jonas – HBA – Obertan

Now whilst on paper this seems a good approach; packing the midfield with steel and wide men to break with creativity, I have always classed NUFC as a 4-4-2 kind of team. This Footy Manager approach will not sit well against teams like Stoke for example who will just sit 10 men behind the ball.

Fair enough, we could keep HBA as an out an out winger but I don’t perceive him as that kind of player. We need him in the middle of the park threading balls through to a striker (This is where we needed a speedy striker bringing in) to run on to.

I don’t feel confident enough in our defence yet to play HBA in a straight 4-4-2 formation with either Cabaye or Tiote dropping to the bench. We currently still need 2 players prepared to get really stuck into the opposition in the middle of the park.

After typing this I feel like I honestly don’t have an opinion yet on how best to shape the squad around this one player. But as I’ve said in previous blogs; Pardew needs to keep the change at the club in general to a minimum in order to slowly build successful foundations.

NUFCBlog Author: Mick toons Mick toons is a proud nufc fan hailing from Durham. He now lives in Yorkshire with another group of hard done by fans... Leeds United Mick toons has written 13 articles on this blog.

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34 Responses

  1. When you have talent-you use it. Put him in the middle in the 4-2-3-1 and let him rip. Let the Stokes of the world try to cope with him, don’t bench your talent to match up with mediocrity.

  2. If our striker cannot keep the ball, 2 upfront will be waste of space ( especially Ameobi) I think with Ben Arfa come back 4-4-1-1 will be our best formation because Jonas and Obertan are natural winger not Attacking MF.

    Simp-Saylor-Colo-Raylor(Santon maybe)
    Ben Arfa

    will be our best line-up now.

    However with quality of our midfield now we can change into 4-2-3-1, 4-1-3-2 or even 4-3-3 without any problem but our English man like Guthrie,Gosling and youngster need to be practice for play in unfamiliar style of football.

  3. the lad will be a creative force for us,but it would wrong to heap too much pressure,on the lad.
    susan boyle?,canny singer,but your still an ugly c**t lol.

  4. a nice dilemma to have ;)

    i quite like the 2-3-1 lineup. a creative midfielder-come-forward can cause havoc from there.

    You’re right in saying that it can get congested against teams that sit behind the ball, but it can convert to a 442 quite easily. BHA can either push up and play off our “number 9” or Obertan can push up and use his pace with HBA sliding out a little wider to the flank and play as an inside forward, cutting back in to that new space or slipping Obertan off the shoulder if we play a little deeper.

    God i love footy manager ;)

  5. Pardew has already said how he sees BHBA being used: as a classic number 10. This would be behind the main striker, and in my opinion, this would give the lad the freedom that would suit him and us the best.

  6. BeeGuy says:
    September 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    “don’t bench your talent to match up with mediocrity.”

    Pardew benched Tevez and Mascherano at West Ham BeeGuy.

  7. i used to love mcCoy’s crisps,now for every six pack you buy,you get 10% off at sports direct.
    that’s it nee more for me,BOYCOUTT BOYCOUTT !!!!!!!!!.

  8. Get him playing in the team. My worry is the opposition will kick lumps out of him.

    Go Hatem and howay the lads. Canna wait for Sat.

  9. Based on what i have seen i would be playing marveux over jonas. I know he has only played cc really, but his work rate, pace, vision and the most important part…..delivery/shots….make him a current shoe in. jonas works hard and can offer a galloping run but his final ball/shot is awful. my team for blackburn includes ben arfa. if your best players are fit. play them.

    ben arfa

  10. “susan boyle?,canny singer,but your still an ugly c**t lol.”

    Bit harsh. However I agree with your other statement- we should try and not expect too much from HBA

  11. For one thing, from what I’ve seen there’s no way Obertan should be in the first team ahead of either Marveaux or Jonas. He’s a solid squad player but those two are the starters, imo.

  12. I remember when Joe Harvey packed his team with “bloody good players” as he described them, not to fit a particular system. Pardew has no doubt a good idea of who his best players are, and I suspect we do too. The teams that we are seeing look good and the only question to me is which 2 of the 3 wingers will he choose. They are all worthy of a starting place but I suspect it will be horses for courses. Gutti should play to protect the less dependable defending of Raylor but Marveaux or Obertan will create havoc as impact subs against a tiring defence. Ben Arfa, though, has to play when completely up to speed.

  13. The formation of the team should be based on the skill, ability and strength of the squad. At the moment it is not 4-4-2.

    Our weakness is our strikers, too few and not good enough. Our strength is our defence and midfield. The defence picks itself. Our riches are in our midfield.

    I see only 4 key midfield players – Tiote, Cabaye, Marveaux and Ben Arfa. These four can become the creative heartbeat of the team.

    Tiote is the defensive element sitting between the defence and the midfield.

    Cabaye is the forward playmaker who sprays the passes around and supports the attack by getting in the box a la Lampard. Cabaye is also a very good tackler. From what I have seen so far he reminds me of Scoles but without the rash mistimed tackles.

    Marveaux is on the left but can come in field to operate alongside Cabaye and Ben Arfa. Marveaux has a lot more vision and skill than either Jonas and Obertan. Also, I have a feeling that Santon, who can look after himself, is going to be getting forward quite a bit to support the attack.

    Ben Arfa plays in the hole but has a licence to roam using his natural ability to get past opponents, creating space and opportunities for himself and others.

    My team would be:

    -Ben Arfa-

  14. FAO TROJAN69:

    Still purchase yer favourite crisps and then collect all the empty packets and at the end of the season post them to ST James Park FAO Ashley.

  15. Kamar:

    agree with your points. I think Jonas is ahead of Obertan because of his energy and the fact we don’t need Obertan’s pace as much with Ben Arfa in the team.

    What I like is that we can vary the tactics. We can play on the ground but also have a focal point for set pieces in Ba and/or Best + bringing up Taylor and Coloccini from the back.

    If we play one up front then HBA is replacing Nolan. It will be easier on the eye, but will he replace Nolan’s goals and will he even have to with Cabaye and Marveaux in the team who have decent scoring records?

  16. nah not a**ed really,i was just wondering whether any fans would give it the mackem treatment, a la boycotting rice crispies and northen rock etc…

  17. GS says:
    September 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    “and will he even have to with Cabaye and Marveaux in the team who have decent scoring records?”

    They’re not really huge goalscorers so far GS, and many of Cabaye’s have come from penalties and perhaps a few free kicks.

  18. Don’t forget that Trojan now sells vibrators to keep the little ladies in heaven.

    Worky: Tevez is again being benched. Go figure.

  19. BeeGuy says:
    September 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    “Worky: Tevez is again being benched. Go figure.”

    The current Manchester City squad is a little different to Pardew’s old West Ham side BeeGuy.

    When Alan Curbishley came in after Pardew and stuck them on, they saved the Hammers from relegaton. Tevez is one of the best players in the world without a shadow of a doubt, he seems to be a bit of an idiot off the pitch though.

  20. ha,ha,ha, over on footymad,they are saying shola amoebi is a doubt for the blackburn game.
    never seen a set of posters happier,you would have thought we’d won the cup.


    beeguy, give ower, i dont think i can add any more lol.

    September 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I’m just listening to Trojan’s “Rebel Music” compilation ATM Trojan. Gregory Isaacs is on now.

    “Don’t ever leave me for another, ’cause you are the sunshine of my life…”


    worky i love reggae especially desmond dekker,symarip,tommy mccook,pluto shervington,prince buster,ken boothe,earnie smith,rudy mills and loads of others.
    you get some good deals on amazon,for the compilation albums.
    right goodnight to everyone as i’m off for a few sherbets.

  24. What about “The mighty Sparrow” and “Screaming Lord Such”
    now that we have become a music blog, bit before reggae, but great stuff.
    Getting back to where to play Ben Arfa?
    How about in the midfield ?
    Kind of a difficult one, one thing i disagree on is to have him as a no. 2# striker, he has no real record as a scorer (Pardews Idea apparently)then we are all aware he(Pardew) once had two of the best players produced by Argentina sitting on the bench(at W/Ham) while the team was under threat of relegation.
    Well think our best lineup would be a 4-1-3-2
    Dont line Cabaye alongside Tiote, he can clean up in front of the back four perfectly well on his own and only confuses matters.
    Ben Arfa on the right, Marveaux on the left, with Cabaye in the middle directing traffic.
    If our forwards Ba and Best don’t get great service from that trio and the trio themselves don’t get a few goals then what can i say ?

  25. Still think we shouldda gone for Long during the window, at six and a half mill. it was a deal we will regret not making.
    Hey! was watching Jr. Huilet play on the weekend, was on the clubs radar during the window, he had some game, with pace, tricky and playing out the last year of his contract, could be got at a decent price, though we are heavy in midfielders.
    Guess we could always dump a couple.
    Hope our football experts Ashley and Sancho Panza are aware we are short of bodies at the back and use the time to scout who to bring in by the next window, and please no more of the Brinksmanship bull***t, just get in a couple of decent defenders, thank you !

  26. west ham stayed up by cheating iirc.

    Cos a player doesn’t have a massive goal scoring record, especially one that has pushed for a No. 10 position but rarely been given it, & is only 24, come to play in a new country, doesn’t mean he can’t score goals in a no. 10 shirt.

    Things change, players change, they get new positions, new opportunities.
    Think T. Henry before he came to arse, playing(wasted) on the wing at Juve.

    Change is usually a good thing(it’s at least as good as a rest), not to be feared

  27. Sixtytwo and three in the Islands, was a great time for steel bands, calypso, rum and coca cola to wash down a good hot roti, or some jerky with rice and peas.
    Actually still like to play a little calypso now and then, definately for the most part great tounge in cheek, lyrics.
    Suppose most of the artist of the time are long gone ?
    Ah well !