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Is Ben Arfa ready to start against Wigan?

Posted on 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.

Ben Arfa’s injury resulted in him missing the remainder of pre-season, but he eventually made his comeback for United, in our 3-1 home victory against Blackburn Rovers. He made his first start this season for Newcastle, in our 4-3 League Cup Victory at Nottingham Forest. Since then, he has been subjected to only cameo roles, coming on as a sub in the latter stages of games, most recently he appeared as a 70th minute substitute against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. So with Ben Arfa’s injuries (hopefully) behind him, should Pardew start to include him in his match day starting elevens?

This weekend sees Wigan Athletic visit St James’ Park, and in my opinion, I see this as a good game to include Ben Arfa from the start. The trouble with his inclusion would be disrupting a winning team and formation, but I have a slight feeling, that Pardew may use this next match to give some playing time to Ben Arfa.

Recently Pardew has stated:

“Shola hit a great goal, but Ben Arfa does things that no one else can do, and he showed that when he came on. He looked sharp and lively.

“It showed he’s near his best, and he’s threatening to burst into the team. On that showing, he’s got a good chance.”

Ben Arfa’s inclusion in the team, would likely result in a change of formation, most probably from a 4-4-2 to a 4-4-1-1, and obviously a change of personnel. With Demba Ba in terrific form, scoring five goals in his last three games, I’d imagine it would be Leon Best who would have to make way to accommodate him. Best has shown some good form so far this season, and it would be somewhat controversial to drop him, but if we are to look at the strongest possible eleven we could play, and bearing in mind Pardew prefers a flat four in defence and in midfield, it seems that dropping Best is the only option.

Pardew could however start Ben Arfa in our League Cup match versus Blackburn at Ewood Park, as a lot of managers, Pardew included, try to refrain from changing a winning formula in the Premier League. It could well be that we witness the same team and formation this weekend as the one that took the field on Sunday. Pardew could maybe try a 4-1-3-2, which would accommodate both Best and Ben Afra, but result in one of our four regular midfielders being dropped. In that instance, I would probably sacrifice Gabriel Obertan, as out of the regular four midfielders including Jonas, Tiote and Cabaye, I think he offers the least. As I’ve previously mentioned above though, it seems unlikely that we will alter our formation drastically, and if I was to expect a change, it would be to the 4-4-1-1.

So with Ben Arfa seemingly getting up to speed, would you like to see him included from the start this weekend, and if so, what would you change and how would you accommodate him?

Poll

NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob

Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.

Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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97 Responses

  1. Is Ben Arfa ready to start against Wigan? better ask the Clueless One ? Because he seems to have a major problem thinking outside the box when selecting his team.

    The case for the prsoecution. :)

    “Alan Pardew has talked about the wonderful form of Jonas Gutierrez this season, and laments that has meant that Dan Gosling and Sylvain, as just two examples, haven’t had much playing time this season.

    Here’s what Alan said about Gutierrez, who even seems to be improving this season:

    “Jonas is in some of the best form I’ve seen from him.” “Sometimes when players sign contracts, they just come off the pedal a little bit.

    “Jonas has gone the other way. I didn’t sign him, so maybe he’s got a little bit of belief that the manager here loves him and wants him to play well.”

    Pardew talked about Sylvain Marveaux and Dan Gosling today to the local Newcastle press:

    “I feel so sorry for Sylvain and Dan Gosling at the minute, and one or two others.” “They’ve worked really hard, and haven’t got a sniff.”

    “I want to keep winning games, but obviously I would love to play them at some point.” “Of the four midfield players, Jonas was the best.”

    So Obertan not one of the best then ?

    As for HBA getting a game I suppose we better wait until all four strikers have had a really shlte season then he might be in with a chance :(

  2. Though primarily a left winger, he can play on the right too like Gutierrez. Having written that, Pardew doesn’t seem to see him as a winger at all judging by recent comments.

    I’ve just been looking into more stuff on Ben Arfa. At the end of 2008, his estimated market value was around £11 million, but had plummeted to around £6 million a year later and has stayed quite stable since then. More investigation is required.

  3. Easy to criticise Pardew on this but it’s not FIFA, he has to reward players from a winning side with selection. Having said that, the last thing he wants is to start putting Marveaux and Arfa’s nose out of joint – could happen soon. Almost a shame he can’t use fitness, etc. as a reason to ‘rest’ someone..

    My gut feeling is Best and Obertan are the ones to rotate for this game. We didn’t beat spurs – so it’s not a winning side going into this weekend’s game, even if it felt a bit like one.

  4. It’s actually great to have so many midfield options for once! I imagine Guthrie and Smith will be released at the end of the season. So Gosling should start getting games soon, especially in Jan / Feb.

    Like to see Marveaux get a game soon though, probably start against Blackburn in the cup.

  5. boater says:
    October 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    “the last thing he wants is to start putting Marveaux and Arfa’s nose out of joint – could happen soon.”

    French revolution!

    To paraphrase Dr.David Banner, Divven’t get Ben Arfa angry, because you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

  6. ben arfa and marveaux would get the nod ahead of obertan and best, no disrespect to either player because they have done their jobs well so far this season but i think with the flair and speed of ben arfa and marveaux it would step our game up a gear.

    defenders hate players with place and these two lads have pace and skill so it would give them wigan defenders absolute nightmares.

    i certainly wouldn’t tell pards who to do his job because he’s doing a sterling job but if i had my way then they would be the 2 changes i would make for saturday.

  7. Jimbob says:
    October 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    “It’s actually great to have so many midfield options for once!”

    Jimbob, I don’t want to sound like a “gloom and doom merchant,” but just wait until they’re fed to the animals at Stoke, Ben Arfa meets De Jong again and the Black Death hits Benton. :-)

  8. Wigan is a great chance to give HBA & a few others a start. Seeing as how AP has stated one of the club goals is to win a League or FA Cup, he could save most of his undefeated side to work on Blackburn on Wednesday. And depending on the outcome of the 2 matches, plus how Stoke fairs in its cup tie, he can select for Stoke on what is needed and available.

  9. The point I was making above is that Pardwho feels sorry for Marv because Jonas is playing so well !!!

    So Marv cant play on the right then ?
    So Jonas, who originally came here as a wide right MF cant revert to that position ?

    Pardwho’s brain probably says : “Obertan has to stay because I spent £3m on him, if I drop him Fatman wont give me any more money “

  10. I’d really go for it against wigan, 3 at the back, colo and the 2 taylors, tiote an cabaye in front of them, jonas and obertan up an down the flanks, with ben arfa having a free role behind shola and ba

  11. stewpot says:

    “I’d really go for it against wigan, 3 at the back, colo and the 2 taylors, tiote an cabaye in front of them, jonas and obertan up an down the flanks, with ben arfa having a free role behind shola and ba”

    Feckin H Stewpot thats some radical thinking, been studying at Clairefontaine have you ? Nice idea but aint gonna happen in the court of the Clueless One I’m afraid to say :(

  12. not trying to change the subject but i’ve just spotted a flying sorcer with Del Piero in it landing in newcastle.

    am i seeing things or is the Del piero rumour a bit too good to be true.

    at 36 with no extension to his contract at juve would he be an addition to our squad? or would he be an expensive shefti cuqui

    would there be any benefit to having him here?
    apart from the bright lights of atraction to recruit young talent then surely this would be the only reason why Newcastle would be linked to such a player.
    having del piero on our books would only look good to the mid 20s player who have watch del piero and who would only dream to play for Juve, would stand a better chance moving to Newcastle.

    would this move attract some of the players we have been after at a cut price deal.

    having del piero on the books will only attract players surely, will make players who want to play with/admire del piero make quicker decisions and sign for us as a knee jerk rather than a calculated decision.

    would it make transfers like miaga, pieters etc easier and scrape a few quid off the transfer and tie up transfers and terms a lot quicker?

    surely having del piero in the squad can only boost tv revenue and sponsor ship and make sports direct look that little bit better to the european market he strive to attract.

  13. stewpot says:
    October 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    “I’d really go for it against wigan, 3 at the back, colo and the 2 taylors, tiote an cabaye in front of them, jonas and obertan up an down the flanks, with ben arfa having a free role behind shola and ba”

    Somewhat reminiscent of Maradona’s Argentina in the ‘eighties if I’m not mistaken. Strictly in the realms of theory and not as a serious suggestion, a three at the back system might favour Santon and Gutierrez as classic “wing-backs” with their style of play.

  14. I’ve been thinking for some time – the one area where we may lack a little is goals from midfield. We have played exceptionally well, but haven’t scored as many goals as you’d think, considering our dominance in several games. Only one game have we outscored the opposition, despite playing much better in several cases. Last time we flirted with the top 4 spots we had: speed, solano, dyer and robert – averaging 6 to 8 goals a season a piece.

    So far we’ve had 1 goal from midfield all season – despite the fact people have called it our strongest area, which it is, in terms of work rate and controlling games. When Pardew keeps this aspect of the midfield and also introduces more goals, we will start seeing our dominance in the scoreline.

    In other words, I would be experimenting by find a place for Arfa/Marveaux or both in deeper positions.

  15. I think there will be changes on Saturday… But can’t imagine there being two changes…

    I think Ben Arfa will start, and Santon will start the cup game. So I possibly it’ll be only Best who makes way this weekend.

    Maybe :-)

  16. Boater, in an ideal world… Marveaux for Obertan, HBA for Best in a 4-2-3-1 / 4-4-1-1.

    Cabaye should eventually chip in with a few. He’s playing very deep at the moment though, as we’re focusing on wing play.

  17. Andy mac, are you on tablets or perhaps a little to much to drink, any sane person who knows anything about football knows you simply dont chage a team that is doing well, if Alan Pardew was to make a few changes just for the sake of making changes, and Newcastle got beat, then you would never hear the end of it from so called football experts on this site, i rest my case.

  18. I would start
    Krul
    Taylor Taylor colo santon
    Oba cabaye gosling Gutierrez
    Best. Hba
    Against Wigan then for the cup would be
    Krul
    Simmo taylor colo santon
    Taylor tiote cabaye gut
    BA. Shola

  19. Eamon Mc Parland says:
    October 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    “Andy mac, are you on tablets or perhaps a little to much to drink”

    I think that accounts for most of the people on this blog Eamon.

  20. Look the word was, “he aint fit”, well he aint ever gonna be fit(match fit)sitting on the bench, give him some playing time.
    If he tires then sub him, aint brain surgery and what better time than against a bottom three side.
    Look the guys probably going through a difficult time, a bit of self doubt, fear of another injury, etc.
    I mean he tried so hard to impress on Sun. hell build his confidence, by giving him a start.

    On another matter,
    Looks as if we are bound and determined to bring in a top striker during the next window.
    Appears flavor of the week is De Jong (no not Bonecrusher De Jong) the twenty one year old Dutch striker, with Miaga a close second and both Cisse and Sow given mention.
    Actually i rate Sow as the best of the bunch, but he would be more pricey, in which case….
    Perhaps, De Jong would be better in the sense, another African striker could leave us without our two top forwards during the African tournament
    Too bad they could’nt schedule it at the same time as the European playoffs.
    Oh by the way if we sign De Jong, how about completing the puzzle by bringing in Peter’s is it ? the young Dutch LB.
    This would give us a very tasty young side, that could compete with most sides in the PL, get the tude we had during the KK and SBR years, aint afraid of anyone.

    Was wondering about Enrique(who is not exactly setting Anfield on fire) and Carroll, who is for the most part playing a substitute role, what they make of events.

  21. Jimbob…excellent article mate. Pity that the first comment gets the debate off seriously on the wrong foot, like a stuck record….

    I fancy the only changes for the weekend will be Santon for Simpson. HBA will get a run out as second half sub…

    Never change a winning team….good for the lads in the team, not so good for the lads on the bench…but their time will come…

  22. According to the Liverpool blogs Enrique is well liked and really performing well. The majority of the bin dipper fans are really happy to have signed him.

  23. chuck says:
    October 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    “Was wondering about Enrique(who is not exactly setting Anfield on fire) and Carroll, who is for the most part playing a substitute role, what they make of events.”

    Carroll perhaps Chuck, but I think Enrique’s doing quite well at Liverpool now he’s settled in.

  24. Andy Mac:
    October 19th, 2011 at 7:27 pm
    stewpot says:
    “I’d really go for it against wigan, 3 at the back, colo and the 2 taylors, tiote an cabaye in front of them, jonas and obertan up an down the flanks, with ben arfa having a free role behind shola and ba”
    Feckin H Stewpot thats some radical thinking, been studying at Clairefontaine have you ? Nice idea but aint gonna happen in the court of the Clueless One I’m afraid to say

    Yeah its abit optimistic to say the least but its my first game back after a 3 year ban and would’ve really appreciated mr pardew putting on a show!! Realistically tho, if its not broke then dont fix it, just give hatem a good half an hour to show what he can do.

  25. Enrique is a class act, and can make things happen himself due to his power and athleticism….we all know that unfortunately…

  26. Eamon says:

    “Andy mac, are you on tablets or perhaps a little to much to drink”

    Not to mention a little weed, MDMA, mushrooms, LSD, methamphetamine, heroin, crack/cocaine, mesculine, morphine, dextromethorphan, PCP, Chocolate (Chocolate contains theobromine, which is an effective cough suppressant, possibly more effective than cough syrup) oh and caffeine :)

  27. Andy Mac says:
    October 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    “Chocolate (Chocolate contains theobromine, which is an effective cough suppressant,”

    Andy, Heroin was was originally marketed by it’s inventors, Bayer, as a cough supressant, mostly for children. There must have been some really whingy bairns back in those days when the ‘cold turkey’ set in.

  28. AndyMac@27…that’s some serious shit……you should cut back on the caffeine though maybe…stains the teeth… :lol: :lol:

  29. Munich thanks,

    I know what you’re saying on both threads.

    My intention is to get a debate going about the football, but sometimes there are attacks for no reason.

    Thanks for showing appreciation towards this article.

  30. I would deter from the heroin AndyMac, the rest sounds like a good night.

    Best be tea you’re talking about, coffee’s disgusting…

  31. Hmm ! this is for the guys who don’t want to change the side.
    Do you think it a good idea to play the same side against the likes of Stoke & Arsenal, two diametrically opposed sides as far as style is concerned, or would you make adjustments ?
    And because we are an as yet unbeaten side, do you put that down more to not changing or credit a certain amount to luck, or poor judgement by officials.
    If in the near future we get beat, would you the feel free to change the side ?

    Stewpot
    are you serious or what ?

    Stephen C
    Same question ?

    Eamon Mc ph.
    Bit harsh dont you think ?
    Some of us find it difficult to function, without mothers little helpers.

  32. Jimbob…when I read the articles on this blog I don’t need to get to the bottom before I know who has written the article. Excellent stuff, you most definitely create debate. I just feel sorry for blokes like yourself who invest there time writing a great article and someone just shoots it down with some sort of nonsensical comment which has no context to the article just cos they have an agenda……bizarre really…

  33. Stewpot says:

    “Yeah its abit optimistic to say the least but its my first game back after a 3 year ban and would’ve really appreciated mr pardew putting on a show!!”

    To repeat Chucks comment “Are you serious” ? and if you are what were you banned for if its not too painful to discuss ?

  34. Cheers mate, that’s kind of why I went a bit sarcastic towards the latter stages of the comments on the previous article, because it was getting bashed, but not constructively.

    Maybe as you said, it wasn’t the article itself, merely the “agenda” you suggest, or how the debate was going. I actually didn’t want it to be portrayed as anti anything! Just was asking a question about the silence from Ashley. I think a few maybe just don’t read them, study the comments, and comment about the comments (if that makes sense!)

    :-)

  35. Munchen

    Ermm ! NO !

    Well i might if you in turn will apologize to everyone on the blog for being such a bore.

  36. You can’t play 3 at the back in this league, especially when the Taylors and Colo all lack pace. We’d get ripped apart, yes quite possibly even by Wigan.

    A 5-man midfield with HBA behind the striker is the way forward. The gap between midfield and forwards was yawning throughout the first half and much of the second last weekend. We could go with 2 forwards if we had one like (*swallows pride*) Bellamy who constantly runs and digs the ball out of midfield. With Ba and Best, that’s never going to work well. We created just as many chances in 19 minutes after we went to that formation against Spurs as we did in the 71 minutes before. I’d drop Best- just because someone played really well at some point earlier in the season doesn’t mean you get selected to start until you f*** up royally. Put it this way, if AP were at Manchester United he would have missed out on Chicharito and Wellbeck’s good form this season because he’d have to go with last season’s leading scorer. (I’m guessing even if AP goes with 4-4-2 this weekend he’ll probably drop Best for Shola.)

    I’d definitely drop Obertan (how exactly has he been successful?) for Marveaux. The former gives the ball away more than any of our other starting midfielders and the latter seems to be well suited to impact sub duty.

  37. chuck @ 32

    http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/del-piero-linked-with-newcastle-switch

    also on the changes

    personally i think we should wait until the Blackburn game to make any changes. there is plenty of opportunity to make changes against Blackburn in the cup, the game after the Wigan game.
    tinkering with a squad on a decent run might imbalance the side, tinker with it on Wednesday against Blackburn.

    the talk shouldn’t be about the Wigan game it should be about what changes will be made at the Wigan game.

    in reality do you think Pardew will keep the same team for the Blackburn game? i don’t.
    i think he will use this Wednesday night away game as an opportunity to play Ben Arfa and santon.
    santon for Simpson and arfa for best.

    personally i think we should give Simpson some compassionate leave, like we did for Ben Arfa.

    Ben Arfa was allowed to leave training for a month to to visit a sick relative in Tunisia when he was fully fit which prolonged his return to Newcastle united.

    Dany Simpson has just had a little baby girl who was born premature so i think we should give him some time to take care of his family and give Santon the opportunity to stand in for at least 3 or 4 games until Simpson gets his mind in the right direction.

    i’m not a parent myself but i would love to be, i know some of your hardened Newcastle fans might disagree but if my first child was sick, i know where i would be sat.
    personally i don’t think i could watch Simpson and not feel guilty knowing he has ha sick child at home needing all the love and help she can get from both her parents.

    some times its better to look at the bigger picture.

    personally i would only play Simpson at home games until the health of his child improves.

  38. Well off to enjoy one of those famous Teutonic beers,
    Amstel.
    Oh! can we consider the Dutch Teutonic or are they a Celtic race, i remember Ceaser lumped them in with the Gauls in the day.
    Perish the thought i may be considered racist in any way.
    Later.

  39. Avatar workyticket says:

    “Andy, Heroin was was originally marketed by it’s inventors, Bayer, as a cough supressant, mostly for children. There must have been some really whingy bairns back in those days when the ‘cold turkey’ set in”

    Just saw that WT. Brings mental images of children telling their poor beleagured parents that they’re still sick even five years later. Complete opposite to the “Life of Brian” elderly patients…..

  40. Andy Mac says:
    October 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    :lol:

    Wasn’t that the Holy Grail Andy?

    Aye, Heroin was 1910 I think, and unsurprisingly was a huge “hit” that helped to make the company, and also it’s football team, Bayer Leverkusen, what they are today.

    As I’ve mentioned before on here, soldiers in the first part of the first world war were all like the Rolling Stones in 1970, then they started to clamp down on the old Persian rugs in general.

  41. Stephen C
    My point concerning changes,is not a change for change’s sake, but if you read these comments, for the most part the fans do not believe Obertan is doing a good job and would prefer Marveaux, also in HBA we have a very talented player, who needs playing time.
    Plus the fact that the pairing of Best and Ba is not exactly clicking.
    Now against a team like Stoke i would certainly use Best rather than HBA, horses for courses.
    Look at Fergusons use of his players, he utilizes most of the squad, seldom fielding an unchanged side, he both keeps people happy and picks his side according to the opposition, not necessarily who’s playing best.
    That’s the kind of management that wins silverware, not one who is afraid to change an unbeaten side, because of the possible consequences, but after a defeat then decides changes are needed.
    Gotta go !

  42. Chucky…are you really comparing someone being “a bore” with racial abuse ? You have obviously no idea what you’re talking about. I really doubt you have a clue what you are on about when it comes to football, but of course you are entitled to spout your anti toon drivel, that’s what a blog is all about I suppose.

    But racially abusing someone because they have a different opinion is just the lowest of the low, and obviously you’re becoming well known for that..

  43. Munich Mag says:
    October 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    “Chucky…are you really comparing someone being “a bore” with racial abuse ?”

    Munich change the record FFS.

  44. Chucky@42…..blather whatever you like if it makes you feel better with your racist views, I know what you said, and in fact quite a few other blokes picked up on it too, the blogmaster not though strangely enough.

    ffs…you cannot even go for a “famous Teutonic Amstel beer”, whatever the flock Amstel pish is, without spouting pseudo racist drivel.

  45. Worky, why don’t you reprimand chucky for his racist attack on me you coward, instead of having a go at me ?

  46. Stephen C says:

    “personally i think we should wait until the Blackburn game to make any changes. there is plenty of opportunity to make changes against Blackburn in the cup, the game after the Wigan game. tinkering with a squad on a decent run might imbalance the side, tinker with it on Wednesday against Blackburn”

    Stephen I wrote, before this thread, Pardwho has been changing his team in almost every game since the beginning of the season, thats what subs are for of course. However if he feels the need to change his team, for example against Spuds, then surely its OK to change it from the outset rather than wait until 70 minutes ?

    As tunyc said earlier we need to spread the goals around especially from midfield and HBA plus Marveaux and even Sammy have that certain something (remembering Marveaux’s fabulous first touch against Forest which lead to the penalty) to create enough unease in defences to create goal scoring opoortunities. Plus I’m beginning to think that Cabaye is either more of a holding MF or a deep lying “prompter”. He looked a little out of sorts on Sunday and in the France game he was eventually replaced by Marvin Martin who has a greater talent for creativity IMO.

    So back four plus Tiote and Cabaye and leave the front four free to create havoc :)

  47. you british are an embarrassing lot for squabbling over things like that. just laughing my head off! pathetic people, national team

  48. Munich Mag says:
    October 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    “Worky, why don’t you reprimand chucky for his racist attack on me you coward, instead of having a go at me ?”

    Munich, I call my German friends Krauts, Sausagemunchers etc and they just call me “Island Monkey” back. Your prating is an insult to everyone who has suffered from genuine “racist attacks”, so just give it a rest please!

    Are you even German?

  49. workyman…give ower you fool. I’m from the toon city centre and live in Munich man.

    Your henchman chucky had a racist shot at me. end of story, then he disappeared up his own sphincter when I quizzed him about whether he had ever been to the toon…

    I’m absolutley CERTAIN that you don’t call your German friends Krauts, cos they don’t like it…end of story….

  50. chuck at 46

    to be honest i like obertan, i was at the game on sunday against spurs and he did have certain players on the ropes.

    if you watched the game from the stands instead of the TV, which you may well have done, you would be able to see players like obertan and gutierez had three players on them like a shot.

    not playing well and not being able to play well are two different things.

    its all good and well being able to storm down the wing but you also need your strikers to be able to keep pace.

    have you ever thought what effect constantly running down the wing for 90 minutes would do to the rest of the players keeping up?

    yes going back to ruel fox and keith gilespy running each wing like a 100 meter sprint was good and worked, but didn’t it also leave gaps where teams could quite easily counter act and score, and more often than enough did exactly that.

    yes it was great to watch, but can we at least learn from our mistakes and improve on them.

    our love for that style of football didn’t bring us anything apart from the nick name “entertainers” and is that the best we should expect?

    simpson and obertan had the wing covered, not much went down the wing, so having orbertan further up the field with players scattered can only be bad.

    id rather see obertan play the ball like he did against spurs and not get too ahead of the rest of the team and there for make it easy for him to track back and defend , which on Saturday he did very well.

    yes he is a winger, but this wing back style we have adopted has produced the best defensive record in the league up to now, it works both way. he might not be what we expect but if we watch him defending he does just as good.

    are you saying an attacking player should not defend? instead use all his energry on attacking only?
    obertan has come in and done a job and remember that. he has consistently created breaks and consistently helped with defense. he is just as much of a cog in the wheel as jonas.

    i watch marvaux against forrest and one big fault i found he didn’t track back quick enough and didn’t seek comfortable mucking in defense. instead standing waiting for the ball, conceding a goal in the process when the ball didn’t come.

    its all good saying we need to make changes to keep people happy but i remember people saying the same about jonas. “he couldn’t cross a ball” “had know end product” “was useless as a winger so Maddona played him in defense” now he is having the games of his life.

    obertan is not different. give him the time he needs.

    “Ba and Best aren’t hitting it off” they seem to be working well together, the last game they didn’t do there usual 3 goals but is that the case? one of them has to score 3 goals to make people happy?
    what are you people expecting? shearer couldn’t score a hat trick every week so why expect none prolific goal scorers to be able to?

    do you not think you are expecting too much? be realistic not pessimistic, optimistic not deluded with hope.

    yes 4th is good to be and lets hope it stick around for a while longer but how many people are say now believing in their tiny minds that they will be off to spain next season to watch nufc v real madrid?

    keep an open mind, don’t rule it out, but don’t build your whole life around it.

    some people teams need to build bridges to cross gulfs and borders and we are one of those teams.

    comparing ferguson changing his team after winning what he has to pardew sticking to a winning formula is dilluded to boot.

    pardew doesn’t have fergusons reputation, if ferguson does it no one batters and eye lid. Why???? because he has proven players to replace the ones he drops. he wouldn’t put a half decent player on in place of burbatov, rooney or hernandez without a valid loan time at a decent premier league side. sunderland had one last season. and you can guarantee he would not play him if he hadn’t spent the whole season at sunderland.

    if marvaux goes out on loan and proves he can compete then great, but don’t expect managers not to trial their players before pushing them into the deep end.

    yes furguson changes his side but he has players who are or who have been on top of the world, when we have a bench like his then we can argue, but until that day we shouldn’t speculate over players like marvaux, abeid, santon, ranger, samiobi, vuckic and ferguson until they have earned their stripes and up to now they haven’t earned anything. yes they are good yes they have future but dont compare them to the players that replace those at Man u because changing household names with household names is one thing but changing Tescos with aldis is complete different and shows that pardew is thinking sensible with his approach.

    there is plenty of time to fix a team in the 90 minutes.
    if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it but if its not working well give it some oil.

    Pardew wants fortess newcastle so don’t expect players like obertan to stray far enough not to be able to trackback quick enough.

    sorry lads but i think you are expecting to much if you expect him to fly up the wing for 90 minutes and get back to defend. the whole team is functioning on a whole with each player doing great offensively as well as defensively. changing that will only be disastrous.

    sorry but keep things the way they are. if we lose three games in a row against teams outside the top 6 then i will hear your cries but until then keep things comfortable and keep them tight. and I’m my opinion that exactly what they are.

  51. Jimbob – it’s questions like this that sort out the good managers from the also rans.
    We think we know him, we’ve seen a little of him months ago, we were greatly impressed and were desperate to get him back – well, now he’s fit and we think we have a problem!
    Some problem!
    Play him – no arguements !
    Don’t want to change a winning team? Last time I checked we hadn’t won – we drew – get him on! What are we waiting for – he is special – unleash him now – blow Wigan away!

    HWTL

  52. Chuck @21:

    If they could coordinate it then playing the ACN when there is a break for the European games would make sense.

    What I don’t get is why they play in January. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Africa in the Southern Hemisphere and January would therefore be the height of their summer.

  53. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 12:35 am

    “Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Africa in the Southern Hemisphere”

    I divven’t rate your Geography teacher very highly GS ;-)

    Africa is huge and straddles both hemispheres. To make things awkward, this one is in Equitorial Guinea and also Gabon. With a name like “Equitorial Guinea”, it’s easy to guess that it’s bang on the equator. This means that there is little variation in temperature throughout the year, however there is a rainy season from spring to autumn, so between November to March would be the best time to have it there I suppose, notwithstanding the chaos it causes with club football overseas of course.

  54. MM:

    I doubt that Chuck meant anything and I don’t get why you are so upset. Every silver lining has a cloud according to Chuck, so just accept that is the way he is.

    Also, what does it really matter? He is on an NUFC website saying possibly bad things about Germans. I doubt it will make News at 10!

    Why would Worky ban him? Chuck adds to the discussion even if I don’t agree with him most of the time.

    Take the high road. There are a lot of the stereotypes about Krauts still out there from people who have never been to Germany.

    Isn’t calling a German a Kraut a bit like calling a Scot a Jock? i.e. not that bad, but on the other hand liable to get you into a fight with a Jock.

    See what I did there – stereotyped Jocks as violent, and I didn’t even mention that they are tight arrsed, whiskey soused wife beaters.

  55. Worky, I meant in general, not necessarily this ACN. They play every 2 years as you know, in fact, another in 2013 and then 2015 and I don’t know where they are.

    You would think that our summer/their winter would make more sense but then it would clash with the Euros and World Cup.

    Playing it every 2 years is a bit much though.

  56. Worky,

    I think we should make a rule that only our cr*p players like Amdy Faye should be allowed to go to the ACN.

    On that subject, is he the worst player to ever play for Newcastle? How was he even a “professional” footballer? That Willy McKay must be good – Aye Freddy, he can’t pass, can’t shoot, can’t tackle, can’t run, canna heed – that’ll be 20 thoosand poond a week and a villa in Marbella.

  57. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 12:58 am

    “Isn’t calling a German a Kraut a bit like calling a Scot a Jock? i.e. not that bad, but on the other hand liable to get you into a fight with a Jock.”

    GS, I quite like Germans generally, especially the women!

    As I mentioned earlier, they call us “Island Monkeys”, which I can see to be honest. They come over to this island and see a load of drunken idiots beating their chests, whooping and fighting with each other :lol:

    Contrary to the negative stereotypes, many of them do have a sense of humour, and a sense of irony too. They know that we call them “Krauts” and many other things too, but as to how “offensive” it is, it depends on the context it’s used I suppose.

    Contrary to what we believe, they see their great footballing rivals as the Dutch, not the English, and theres a really niggly relationship between the two in general.

    Despite the reunification over twenty years ago, there’s still a bit of a difference between the West Germans and the East Germans.

  58. Worky, I lived in Munich for about a year all told and envy Munich Mag that he lives there now. Great city and my Kraut friends didn’t even goose-step when we went out together.

    They have a sense of humour, it just isn’t the same as ours.

  59. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 1:20 am

    “Worky,

    I think we should make a rule that only our cr*p players like Amdy Faye should be allowed to go to the ACN.

    On that subject, is he the worst player to ever play for Newcastle?”

    Of course he isn’t GS. We had some players in the wilderness years who made Faye look like Beckenbauer! :lol:

  60. Worky said:

    “GS, I quite like Germans generally, especially the women”

    It is good that you have so many German women coming on your site then. Oh!

    You should change it to being about hand bags and shoes. I hope I didn’t offend the sexism police there.

  61. We had worse players than Amdy Faye? Name one.

    People hated Alan Gowling but he was better than Amdy Faye. Maybe Viduka because he was good but never turned up.

  62. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 1:39 am

    “It is good that you have so many German women coming on your site then. Oh!”

    I doubt it GS. I’ve done my bit to cement Anglo-German relations in the past though. They wereen’t into der Fußball at all though.

  63. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 1:44 am

    “We had worse players than Amdy Faye? Name one.”

    Paul Dalglish from the Kenny Dalglish blatant nepotism era, and that was when we were a big Premiership team, not in the “wilderness years” I mentioned above. Do you remember Marcelino for £5.8 million too?

    Would you like more? I’ll have to get a blog done soon before I finally go to bed though

  64. bragging! You are such a studmeister.

    German football seems pretty good at the moment and the fans are brilliant. The only credible threat to Spain in the Euros.

  65. Marcelino didn’t play. He had a broken finger. It was either 2 in a “v” or the middle one, I can’t remember.

    You know, maybe Ian Rush was worst because he took a place of someone (anyone) who wasn’t obviously past it and playing only because they were friends with the manager.

  66. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 1:55 am

    “bragging! You are such a studmeister.”

    Am I shite GS!

    I’ve always been curious about what the world has to offer though. :-)

  67. Here’s a complement Worky, for what it is worth.

    I quite like this website because there are differing views and there is not a clique of people always having in-jokes and conversations like on some others.

    Getting the links to internet feeds are good as well because I can never figure out how to save them.

    So, well done the BBC and the MCC and LSD, and three cheers for Worky.

  68. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 2:00 am

    “Marcelino didn’t play. He had a broken finger. It was either 2 in a “v” or the middle one, I can’t remember.

    You know, maybe Ian Rush was worst because he took a place of someone (anyone) who wasn’t obviously past it and playing only because they were friends with the manager.”

    I think he played about twenty games didn’t he? Great value for £6 million.

    It was quite sad to see the great Rushie and Barnesy trotting out like big fat labradors. It was like watching one of those “senior” games like the Entertainers one the other day, except it was the Premiership!

    Reet, I’d better get this blog polished off now!

  69. Rushie and Barnesy. Great, like, and well worth the “ie” and “y” on the end of their name. Shame Beardsley had the “y” on the end of his name to start with, otherwise we Liverpools could have called him “Beardo” (oh, we did anyway Macca), in reverence to “Shankley-o” and “its time for me tea-o”

  70. GS@60…I respect your opinion mate. I did not call for Chucky to be banned, I used the word “reprimanded” cos he had called me a kraut. But Worky took his side and asked me to lay off, which irritated me.

    People can make kraut and jock comments on the end of a key board, but the same blokes wouldn’t say the same to your face if you were standing in front of you.

    Anyway, worky calls his German friends krauts, so by default that allows chucky to do the same…easy innit…

  71. Pardew must rotate the midfield squad especially against teams like Wigan to give playing time to players like Marveaux,Benny & Gosling.

  72. MM@79:

    Have you been to the Allianz? I really want to go and see Shalke in their stadium.

    Anyway, for the first time in a long while I am turning on a Newcastle game expecting to win and I am watching our players give their all – I can’t believe people criticise Jonas! But that is what the internet is, opinions with no consequences.

    You or Chuck wouldn’t be on this blog if you didn’t care about NUFC so I hope you sort out your differences. I still disagree with almost everything Chuck says though.

  73. We should bare in mind along with the current team selection, we will be needing adequate back up for players who are injured, the way I see it thankfully our back ups are as good as the 1st team players. That includes benny, marveau, and santon. However I agree these players need a chance to play but have to be patient. We are luck to have such an abundance of talent, so lets not forget how many of use moaned about these guys when they arrived . the so called not good enough or unknown quantity. Now we want them playing, well its up to AP to pick the team and send subs out to change the game. I want BA to play but there are 10 other guys playing for us BA is a star but not our saviour on the pitch. Lets just hope his attitide is as good as his game.

  74. Jimbob, Ashley is as Cockney as Dick van Dyke mate (proper Cockney). But I do still feel he was right not to pat people on the back who allowed us to drop 4 places, heard a rumour Pardew missed out on a £1m bonus as well.
    Anyway, one other point before the HBA debate, which is that there appears to be a number of numpty waiting to shoot down your every blog, ignore them, what your doing is playing devils advocate, and producing good articles, focus on the football replies, the rest will stop eventually.
    Now, HBA, it’s a good question and I think someone had already pointed out that this team is drawing rather than winning. My problem is that they are still playing well either way. I just worry what message it sends to someone like Best, who’s working hard and playing well if we drop him for HBA.
    Its a great headache for Pardew to have, personally I’d say sorry Leon but Bens in, I think we need 6-7 points from our next 3 games coz can’t see many from the 3 after that

  75. Germans are the same race as British – so it’s not technically racism anyway. Anyway, making generalisations about someone based on their nationality is pretty low and archaic – the Hungarians are the worst for this.

  76. definitly he should start
    can’t understand why one of your best player stay on the bench
    also, people say you can’t change a winning team, but the last result was a draw, no?
    if the long plan is to make ben arfa the play maker of newcastle, he has to start as soon as possible
    newcastle could reach higher regions this year, got to put the strongest team on the field ( including marveaux and santon)

  77. For me, HBA will play as a “supporting striker”, which means him replacing either Ba or Best – both of whom are playing very well at the minute.

    I’d prefer if we brought him back into the starting 11 a bit more gradually – dont want him getting crocked again rushing him back when we are already doing pretty well.

  78. GS…aye, I’ve been to the Allianz Arena in Munich, it’s a brilliant stadium with fantastic views from everywhere.
    Have also been to the Schalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen, and that was absolutely mental, they are real crazy, make a load of noise, absolutely mental. Try and get to see Schalke against Dortmund at the Schalke Arena, it’s the equivalent to the Toon Makkem derby and equally as frenetic. Dortmund is only 15K or so from Schalke…

    The city of Gelsenkirchen, which is the heart beat of Schalke, is actually twinned with Newcastle…funny like…

  79. GS…thanks for “sticking up for me” in my absence mate. No problems, I appreciate it, you aint gonna suffer from bad Karma on my behalf… I’m on here cos I love the toon, but disagree most of the time with some blokes cos I invarviably have another opinion, plus this constant negative stuff gets on my nerves..and I cannot keep my gob shut.

    Plus the blokes in question follow the blog company line so can get away with untoward racist comments which they wouldn’t say to your face. My best mate is a Scot, but I would NEVER refer to him as a jock, or a mick or a kraut, cos thats not the way I do things…I’ve seen to many blokes get chinned over that kind of stuff in my life…

  80. MM:

    I haven’t really been to the big cities in Germany except Munich and Berlin. I was in the Cologne train station 25 years ago and was surprised that they had a porn cinema in there. I imagined the commuters thinking, alright 20 minutes ’til the next train, time for a quick w*nk then home to the wife and kids.

    My ex-wife has a travel company so I have done the Romantic Road and Rhine trips. Touristy, but well worth it.

    When I was a kid I thought Newcastle was the centre of the Universe. I now think it breeds either genuine, funny people or utter tosspots and you see it on these types of blogs. They get drunk in Madrid town square and think they have seen the city.

  81. Sorry, I got off the subject of NUFC. I think Pardew has an ideal opportunity to start either Marveaux or Ben Arfa against Wigan. We should have some squad rotation and horses for courses, mix it up a bit so the mighty Wigan don’t know our tactics.

  82. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    “Sorry, I got off the subject of NUFC. I think Pardew has an ideal opportunity to start either Marveaux or Ben Arfa against Wigan.”

    GS, He reiterated in his interview for BBC Radio Newcastle that he’d only use him as a second striker, and said before that he doesn’t see him as a winger. That would involve something of a different approach and I’m not sure that Pardew will change the formula until we start losing. Guti was one of our best players the other day and from other stuff he was saying, he seems to want to persist with Obertan until he gets some more experience.

  83. worky,

    aye, he’s letting Obertan bed in for a while so as not to alienate him.
    It always looked like that way, it’s a good coaching strategy.
    As HBA & Marv haven’t played yet so won’t feel dropped.

  84. GS says:
    October 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    “When I was a kid I thought Newcastle was the centre of the Universe. I now think it breeds either genuine, funny people or utter tosspots and you see it on these types of blogs.”

    GS, I used to think that Newcastle was the big city too. Now I live in London it seems like a village. Aye, starting a ‘blog is surely the best way to find out how many “utter tosspots” there are out there amongst the genuine funny people. ;-)

  85. Obertan is a difficult one to call. I saw him score a great goal in Chicago in the summer, but Shola scored a great goal on Sunday so it might not mean anything.

    We have to work out whether he was only used as a sub by Ferguson because there were so many other good players at Man U or because Ferguson didn’t rate him. There aren’t that many that would get on the team sheet ahead of Nani though.

    Do you know that Nani has a life sized statue of himself in his living room?

  86. I am watching American women’s football at the moment and it looks a decent standard, they could certainly run rings around me. And I bet the showers are good after the game – arf, arf.

  87. GS says:
    October 21, 2011 at 12:14 am

    “I am watching American women’s football at the moment and it looks a decent standard, they could certainly run rings around me. And I bet the showers are good after the game – arf, arf.”

    GS, the German U20s women’s team is certainly of a very decent standard!