Archive for tag: Hatem Ben Arfa.

Cisse pips Benny and Taylor to MOTD’s “Goal of the Season” award

May 14th, 2012 | 9 Comments |

Cisse celebrates Chelsea wondergoal.
Cisse's big banana beat Benny's Bolton dribble.
Well, it’s been a week for Newcastle United picking up awards with manager, Alan Pardew, recently being awarded the Barclay’s (bloody awful bank by the way – I know!) “Manager of the Season” award.

Well on BBC’s “Match of the Day” on yesterday evening, there were no less than three Newcastle United contenders (out of ten) for the show’s coveted “Goal of the Season” award. The first was Ryan Taylor’s mag-nificent strike against Everton from November of last year, the second, Hatem Ben Arfa’s mag-nificent strike against Bolton in April of this year, and finally, Papiss Cisse’s, er, mag-nificent strike against Chelsea at the beginning of this month. Of those, both Ben Arfa’s and Cisse’s efforts were regarded as being amongst the best three by sofa pundits, the two Alans (Dull and Duller), with Peter Crouch’s amazing volley for Stoke against Manchester City being the other one. (more…)

How do you solve a problem like Ben Arfa?

November 15th, 2011 | 38 Comments |

Hatem Ben Arfa: Not a winger says Pardew, but is he a singer?
Ben Arfa: Not a winger says Pardew, but is he a singer?
Of course, Newcastle United are still riding high, still undefeated in the Premier League so far with Alan Pardew seemingly sticking steadfastly to an “if it ain’t broke, dont fix it!” philosophy in our Premiership campaign.

Obviously, when a team which should be nestling somewhere the middle of the table is actually third it’s hard to argue. As Napoleon Bonaparte once said (or wrote, I’m not sure), “Success is the most convincing talker in the world”. This is certainly true, at least for the moment, in Pardew’s case; though as we already know, he could blather for England anyway! However, even in the midst of success, there are always problems to be solved, and one of Pardew’s is how does he solve a problem like Hatem Ben Arfa?

He is undoubtedly one of the most talented players we have, on the ball he is almost certainly THE most talented. However, since finally returning from his double injury nightmare with his appearence against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, he has only made four fleeting substitute appearences in the Premiership (out of six games). (more…)

Is Ben Arfa ready to start against Wigan?

October 19th, 2011 | 97 Comments |

Hatem Ben Arfa: Ready for a starting place?
Ben Arfa: Ready for a starting place?
Hatem Ben Arfa has had a somewhat unfortunate time on Tyneside thus far, but with his injuries now hopefully behind him, will we see him make his first Premier League start this weekend against Wigan Athletic?

You may remember the 3rd of October 2010, when a psychopathic Nigel De Jong decided to attempt a ‘tackle’ on our French-Tunisian play-maker, resulting in Ben Arfa sustaining two breaks in his right leg (tibia and fibula). The road to recovery was long, and despite Alan Pardew’s hope of Ben Arfa returning before the seasons end. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see him in action again that season.

Pre-season began prior to the 2011 – 2012 season, and Ben Arfa played in our first friendly, a 2-0 victory at Doncaster. Ben Arfa lined up as one of a midfield five, playing just behind loan striker Leon Best in a 4-3-2-1 formation. As United began their tour of the U.S.A, many of us must have thought it would be the perfect opportunity for Hatem to settle back down into the first eleven. Unfortunately again, he was victim of another injury, this time damaging his ankle in a match versus Sporting Kansas. (more…)

John Carver reveals more on Newcastle United’s scouting techniques.

October 8th, 2011 | 55 Comments |

John Carver: Spilling the beans on talent quest.
John Carver: Spilling the beans on talent quest.
In a break from the usual reflections by our silver supremo, Alan Pardew, his assistant, John Carver has given an interesting and fairly extensive glimpse into Newcastle United’s quest for more talent during the current international break.

Whilst awaiting a call from agent Pardew on where his next scouting mission will take him (apparently), Carver spilled the beans on the kind of things the club will be looking at in it’s current current talent quest for players who may have the NUFC ‘X-Factor’.

He revealed:

“We’ve made a decision on the players we grade highly, we will put together the data on them,” said Carver. “We’ve got a couple of analysts beneath the backroom team who put that together.

“If he’s a centre-forward we’ll look at his movement, his scoring, his fitness stats. Then we’ll look at his value in the current market depending on age. We’re quite thorough and we compare them to players in the Premier League. (more…)

Will Ben Arfa make or break us?

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: (more…)