Archive for category: Hatem Ben Arfa.

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace match preview

March 21st, 2014 | 137 Comments |

Crystal Palace Badge
Pardew takes on his former club.
Date: Saturday 22nd March 2014.
Time: 15:00.
Venue: St James’ Park.
Referee: Lee Probert.
UK TV: None.

Hot on the heels of defeat at Craven Cottage, we face lower table opposition again this week as we host Crystal Palace, which is of course where Alan Pardew played his football between 1987 and 1991.

Back in December we beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park thanks to goals from Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa (penalty) and Danny Gabbidon (own goal), so we’ll be looking to do the double over them on Saturday.

The league form for both teams from the last eight games looks like this:

P W D L F A Pts/Max Last 8
Newcastle 8 3 1 4 6 15 10/24 W|D|L|L|L|W|W|L
Crystal Palace 8 3 2 3 6 7 11/24 W|W|L|W|L|D|L|D

As the above table shows, Palace’s form in the last eight is similar to ours, although they’ve conceded far fewer goals. We can’t really argue that we’ve had tougher games either. In the last eight games we’ve faced three top half sides (Spurs, Chelsea and Villa) and so have Crystal Palace (Arsenal, Man Utd and Southampton).

(more…)


France vs Ukraine quality live stream / match video

November 19th, 2013 | 55 Comments |

With so many France internationals in the Newcastle United team nowadays, I just thought I’d post a live stream for this evening’s crucial World Cup Qualifier between France and the Ukraine so you can see how the likes of Cabaye, Remy and Sissoko get on. Alas, there will be no Ben Arfa as he is about as popular as Eichmann at a Bar Mitzvah with current France manager Didier Deschamps, who was Benny’s manager when he went on strike at Marseilles.

The kick-off will be at 8.00pm UK time and the show should start around 7.45pm. (more…)


Cisse gets a real winger to break his scoring duck at last

September 26th, 2013 | 71 Comments |

Papiss Cisse scoring against Leeds United in the League Cup.
Cisse – Back in the goals against Leeds.
My latest blog at metro.co.uk is now up!

Now entitled “Left-field selection Sammy Ameobi helps Papiss Cisse break his Newcastle scoring duck,” it orignally had the same title as this piece until a sub-editor got his or her hands on it. Thankfully though, they seem to have left the story intact this time, apart from taking my correct spelling of ‘Yoan Gouffran’ and changing it to ‘Yoann Gouffran’ like another French player, Yoann Gourcuff.

Enough of my petty griping though, the piece itself takes a look at the return of Papiss Cisse to the score sheet in Wednesday evening’s League Cup game against Leeds United. It also takes a look at the role of two of the best players in that particular game, Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran. In particular I look at how, for a change, Alan Pardew actually had a left footed player, Ameobi the younger, playing on the left hand side rather than a right footer who would constantly cut in. This resulted in a superb left footed cross by the big lad for Cisse’s goal, with Ameobi also playing a role in Gouffran’s spectacular second goal in what was an excellent performance overall on the wing from the youngster. (more…)


Ben Arfa vs Aston Villa and Fulham kick by kick (HD video).

September 15th, 2013 | 17 Comments |

Benny crucifying the Villans on 14th September 2013.

Two nine minute videos courtesy of “BenArfa10x.”. The one above shows every kick of Hatem Ben Arfa’s excellent performances against Aston Villa last Saturday. The second (below) highlights his similarly excellent performance aginst Fulham two weeks before. (more…)


Mike Williamson the star of Newcastle United’s “team of the season”

June 1st, 2013 | 130 Comments |

Model Newcastle United players.
Who made it? And who didn’t?
Below you can see two Newcastle United “teams of the season,” which I have assembled based on player statistics from whoscored.com, OPTA and transfermarkt.co.uk.

The first (and most important) is based on performances in the Premier League, with the second based on performances in the Europa League. The figures below the player’s names are their ratings from whoscored.com, which are based on a range of performance metrics based on OPTA stats. To put these into some kind of perspective, whoscored’s most highly rated Premier League goalkeeper last season was Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet with an average of 7.0. In defence it was Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen with 7.6 and in midfield the honours were shared between Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, both with 7.9. Finally, up front, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez narrowly pipped Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (7.8) with his 7.9 rating.

Getting back to Newcastle United though, although the goalkeepers, defenders and strikers were pretty straightforward overall, things became more complicated when it came to midfielders who had been played in several different positions during the season, gaining different ratings in different positions. However, after some work, I have finally managed to sort it out. (more…)


Newcastle United now fourth in Premier League recent form table

March 14th, 2013 | 11 Comments |

The Premier League's top six on recent form.
The Premier League’s top six on recent form.
All you Magpies fans out there out there may have noticed that their has been a distinct upswing in Newcastle United’s form since the end of January, with the club rising from 16th to 13th in the Premiership table.

Our last six Premiership games since that time, starting with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at St James’ Park on 29th January has seen a return of 12 points from four victories and two defeats. As you can see from the images above and below, this now places Newcastle United at fourth in the Premier League’s club form table, measured on Premier League clubs’ performances over their last six games.

To put this into context, the side’s previous six games before that resulted in only one single victory with a draw and four defeats, bringing in a total of only four points. Hence, we have been exactly three times as good in our last six Premiership games as we were in the six games before that! (more…)


Bring On The Purples: Newcastle United’s Transfer Policy Explained

February 11th, 2013 | 126 Comments |

Haidara, Gouffran and Yanga-M'Biiwa at NUFC.
The French Revolution – giving Newcastle some Va Va Voom!
It seems a lifetime since signings like Michael Owen and Mark Viduka wore the black and white. Declining, injury prone and nearly always overpriced; these marquee players from the Shepherd era were one of the main reasons we were relegated  at the beginning of Ashley’s reign.

On massive wages and having already achieved something notable in their careers, they didn’t seem like they were hungry enough to care about the current club’s situation enough to save us from the drop. Going down to the championship a few years ago turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the club in years as we found out who was there for the team and who was just there for the money and prestige.

The new policy of signing hungry players with lower reputations and wage demands started with the signings of players such as Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez, who were the first of many similar players to come through the door with similar ambitions and experience. These were followed in subsequent seasons by the likes of Cheick Tiote, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, plus the five recent additions to the squad last month, making this transfer policy clearly the most important reason for our fledgling success in the last three / four seasons. (more…)


NUFC have taken one step forward then two steps back under Pardew

December 12th, 2012 | 78 Comments |

Alan Pardew with Newcastle United shirt.
A bright new dawn for NUFC?
Many thanks to “ToonBano” from the Toon blog www.toonbano.com for his second guest blog here – wt.

Today is the two year anniversary of Alan Pardew’s very first game as NUFC manager, when we defeated Liverpool 3-1 thanks to goals from Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Andy Carroll. Just looking at the goal scorers that evening and the impressive overall performance, compared to who we have in our team now after another defeat at the hands of Fulham Monday Night, it’s safe to say things have changed a lot over that period of time.

Most people were confused and concerned as to why Alan Pardew was even in the dugout that night two years ago as Chris Hughton was doing a sterling job in our first season back in the Premier League after the ultimate humiliation of relegation. Which of course was thanks to him for rescuing this club from certain doom by getting us promoted at the first time of asking, even though he had no previous managerial experience at that point of his life. Most fans thought he was unfairly sacked and I was one of them. (more…)


Craven for a win! Fulham vs Newcastle United in depth match preview

December 10th, 2012 | 179 Comments |

Mohamed al Fayed with Michael Jackson sculpture.
Shamone! Eeeh heh!
Venue: Craven Cottage, London.
Date: 10th December 2012.
Kick off: 8:00pm.
Referee: Lee Mason.
UK TV: None.

After an much needed win and a much needed change in tactics in our last Premiership game against Wigan, we now find ourselves facing Fulham away, a team who despite a recent lack of form can be very tricky customers on their own turf.

History and recent form.

Fulham’s season has been a bit like our own, hence we find ourselves only separated by goal difference in the Premiership. It couldn’t have started better for Martin Jol with a 5-0 victory over his ex assistant Chris Hughton’s new Norwich side. Fast forwarding to today though, Fulham fans have had to endure seven Premiership games without a win now, the last one coming on 20th October against Aston Villa. Meanwhile, a 3-0 victory over 10 man Wigan helped to lift Newcastle United’s spirits last week, though that was the first victory in six Premiership games for the Magpies. (more…)


Are Pardew’s long balls getting even longer?

December 3rd, 2012 | 25 Comments |

Alan Pardew shouting.
Hoof the ******!
“Alan Pardew will tell you that he tries to play good football – That’s rubbish, he plays long ball football. It’s very direct, there is no creativity in midfield, he just wants to play route one football. Every time I’ve seen his teams play, they play that way but he’ll say in the Press ‘we play good football.’ At times he can be a conman.” – ex player and pundit Stewart Robson when Pardew was appointed as Newcastle United’s manager.

In my previous story on Alan Pardew’s long balls, “Pardew’s long balls – An in depth probe,” I revealed that thanks to our Silver Supremo’s love of “route one” football, Newcastle United are now the biggest long ball team in the Premiership. Indeed, they are eclipsing even the high priests of long balls, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce, as well as Pardew’s own long ball protege, Brian “long balls” McDermott at Reading, who Pardew beat into second place by some distance. This piece is intended as some kind of follow up to that.

But first however, here’s a truncated version of the table I presented in that piece, which covered our first eleven Premiership games (up to and including West Ham). (more…)