Benny pays tribute to the fans

Ben Arfa impressed by support
Hatem Ben Arfa has paid tribute to the fans after his goalscoring exploits at Bolton Wanderers yesterday.

It’s been a long road back to fitness for the Frenchman after nearly a year out of the game, but there are signs that the 24-year-old is starting to rediscover a level of form that will see him in the starting line up before long.

Ben Arfa impressed from the bench in the 3-2 reverse against West Brom last week and topped that off with another impressive showing and an equally impressive finish against Bolton yesterday. Using stats from the top of my head, that is now two assists and a goal he has grabbed in his last couple of games which perhaps indicates that the No10 role may be the place for the former Marseille man after all.

“I was very happy to be on the pitch and to score that goal. It feels great. I think I’m just coming near to 100 per cent after my injury. I feel sharp and I feel good,” Ben Arfa told nufc.co.uk.

He continued: “And I’m really happy because the fans are behind me and supporting me, which is important to me. I was very surprised when I came out of the tunnel to see that 4,000 fans were in Manchester to support us, but I think it’s a great thing.”



Manchester? Well he’s nearly right I guess so I’ll let him off!

Of course now the call will come for him to start at Anfield on Friday evening and being honest I can’t see a reason why he shouldn’t. We played much better when he came on so, logically thinking anyway, we should play better from the start with Ben Arfa in the side. The problem is that logic doesn’t always work…

However Ben Arfa is hopeful that he features more and after his admission that he is nearing 100% fitness after his annus horribilis he just wants the goals to start flowing as he targets three points against Liverpool.

“I just hope that the goals are going to come one after another now,” said Ben Arfa.

“It was important to get a win because the next game is going to be very hard and very important. It’s a good start. The atmosphere at Anfield is very special but the most important thing will not be the ground – it will be the three points.”

He seems happy enough, which is important. There have been a lot of calls to include Ben Arfa from a lot of people but I think Alan Pardew has done it the right way so far in keeping him back and making sure he is 100% before giving him a starting role. We’re not there yet, but his appearances from the bench seem to suggest that it’s only a matter of time before we see Hatem in the starting XI.

Whether it’s at Liverpool though remains to be seen…

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

66 thoughts on “Benny pays tribute to the fans

  1. TOONSY going back a few threads you said BA would split a new ass in cahill,well he did leave him on his ass,see sometimes you get it right πŸ˜€
    well on benny i think pardew will leave him on the bench again at l/pool i think it will be the same starting 11,they will need the height against judas and company πŸ˜‰

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  2. Agree Toonsy.

    Too many people have been demanding he starts every game yet it is clear he needs bringing on gradually.

    Hopefully he will be in top gear by the time Ba leaves for the ACoN.

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  3. I would play him vs Liverpool as they don’t have Lucas so they don’t have someone who will mark Benny when he finds the little pockets of space.

    Playing Ba and Best would play straight into Sktrel and Aggers hand.

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  4. Right decision to hold him back so far this season, no question. Now time to give him a chance from the starting line up. We looked a completely different team when he came on. πŸ™‚

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  5. Think AP has tough decision next game .. on one hand, think most likely he will start with same 11 to wear the bindippers down and then bring HBA on, hopefully at a time when we are still at least level, with 20-30mins to go …..however, dan4toon has a reasonable point – perhaps without lucas will be some space for HBA to exploit, but am quite sure dogleash (who i dislike more and more) will detail jonjo, or whatever his name is, to pick up that role and we do not want to be too cavalier away from home against top 6 sides … so on balance, same starting 11 with HBA to come on ……… TOON TOON

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  6. Shamrock agree we tend to hoof it when best is on but when HBA on straight on the floor. Shame marveux is out as him HBA, obertan, cabaye and ba could be some force

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  7. Just to recap: HBA has been out with a double break for a year. The lads got obvious talent and I can see why fans might want him to start every game but Pardew is doing exactly the right thing – he needs bringing up to speed gently and he’s doing that very nicely imho. Pardew seems to bring him on to change things a bit and he generally does just that, especially as our wing game starts to bog down – so I can see him doing belated starts for a while yet. Vuckic for Best against liverpool? Hmm.

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  8. Leon Best is nowhere near as bad as some people make him out.
    I agree that in some games he struggles to get to grips but if you watch him closely he does a lot more than people think.
    He gets into some great positions and plays off the last defender a lot which half the time he’s caught offside but a lot of the time he actually times it right. Unfortunately, he times it too correctly and makes the linesmans mind up for him to flag him because he’s only an inch onside.
    He does a lot of unselfish work as well but I do admit he hasn’t been firing on all cylinders the last few games.

    The point is though, if we intend to keep him, then he has to be a part of the team and not put out to grass because this lad can score goals and will score goals .

    People say he’s not prem standard but howay, look at the standard that’s in the prem and you’ll see that he is prem standard. He’s just not world class standard as some fans think he should be, as if we are Barcelona or something lol

    As far as Ben Arfa goes, I think Pardew has called it correct with the lad and bringing him to games as he is will sharpen him up and build up his fitness and then we will see the quality he has as his strength, confidence and fitness are up to scratch.
    Once he gets to that level, he will be a starter all the time as long as he produces the level of performances we all know he’s capable of.

    I just regard him as a new signing before the window open to be honest, same as Santon because the pair of them have only played a handful of games between them.

    Who would have believed this so called threadbare squad would be 7th at Christmas eh.
    Apart from minor cover, we aren’t as threadbare as it seems but will remedy that in January. πŸ˜€

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  9. Best was offside for each and every occasion that he got pulled up for by the Ref yesterday. Great that he is putting pressure on opposing defence by trying to break the line, but heis failing all the time at the minute which means all the team’s good work getting to that point is destroyed by his poor timing.

    At the beginning of the season he was getting stuck in everywhere. He was a real handful and was scoring goals. In recent games however he has looked lethargic. Nowhere near the same work rate, not scoring (or even looking like getting anywhere close to scoring) and consistently breaking down our own attacks by making poorly timed runs.

    He should not be kept in the team simply to keep him happy. He has to earn that right Woolfie. At the moment his place must surely be questioned.

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  10. SHAMROCK, I agree he hasn’t looked top dollar the last few games but then again he has been injured.
    I’m sure if Pardew thinks he has a better option, he will play that option but Best can still produce when up to speed.

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  11. I actually dont think Best is a bad player – its just that him and Ba arent very well matched in playing or positional style. Cant remember where I read it but i agree with whoever said Best may well come to the fore while Ba is off to the ACN. I dont expect Pardew to put him in the cupboard under the stairs any time soon.

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  12. Wolfie – Best has no talent for anything and is thick as mince. He can’t even recognise when he’s three yards offside looking back at play. Your waffle won’t disguise his failings. Name one club who would want him if he was free.

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  13. Best was poor yesterday, I don’t thinmk he’s the greatest but as Wolfie says he isn’t half as bad as some say. We may see more from him when Ba is away in Jan and he’s the main striker(assuming he is).

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  14. Wolfie-Agreed, Leon Best isn’t a bad player, he’s just had a couple of bad games. He’s also lost some of his effectiveness as last season he was, for a while, the focal point of our attack whereas this year he’s being moulded into supplying chances for Demba Ba. He’s not really a link up player or a target man so I don’t blame him for looking average or not creating chances, especially with the lack of creativity from our wings….apart from last week πŸ˜›

    As for HBA starting…its probably true he shouldn’t have been starting matches but sometimes the choice of not subbing him on or not allowing him much time was very frustrating ( i.e swansea) when he already started matches at old trafford…. Anyway seems alright now. I hope he gets a good 45 minutes at anfield and I’d be tempted to start with Vuckic in midfield so that we can actually get a grip, but I’d put money on the same 4-4-2.

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  15. GEORGIO, be honest here. Were you saying that when he was scoring for us until he got injured or did you still think he was shit then ?

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  16. I agree with u wolfman – Best is certainly not useless.

    In fact, he played well enough against Swansea and WBA… albeit without any kind of goal threat. Last night however he was tres poor and may have lost his spot in the starting line-up

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  17. Wolfie – it was two tap ins and a shanked shot. Good as it gets with him. He’s rubbish and yes I’ve been saying it since he came to the club. What is it, 9 goals in 2 years?

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  18. Oh..he’s also looking desparate to score goals, which is showing at how he’s snatching at chances and probably lacking in confidence, but at least it shows he’s trying and in a good way feeling the pressure of Demba ba. Least he’s not lovenkrands wondering around in the stands when we make an attack eh… πŸ˜›

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  19. Naturally a manager has to be able to put out a team based on merit but he also has to take those players aside who aren’t quite firing and instill into them that he can only be patient for so long and it’s up to the player to prove himself and make it hard to be dropped.

    One thing is most cases with Best is, he tries but as NEWKIE has pointed out, Best is now second fiddle to Ba and does a lot of the unseen stuff, or should I say the stuff that gets overlooked.

    In the right game and with the right service plus the rub of the green, Best could easily hit an hat trick and silence any doubts about his ability.

    As I’ve said, he’s not world class by any means but he plays for us and tries for us, it just hasn’t quite came off for him yet this season.

    Is Fernando Torres really as shit as his goal ratio suggests? Of course he isn’t and it shows that when you aren’t the main man, you tend to do a lot of unselfish work that goes unnoticed because as a striker, fans judge you on your goals ratio and forget anything else.

    If Coloccini had 3 bad games on the trot, some fans would be saying his heart isn’t in it or he wants to leave, or he’s getting exposed for what he is.
    You can guarantee some fickle fans would say that as well.

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  20. GEORGIO, what are you talking about 2 tap ins and a shanked shot?
    Are you talking about his hat trick against West Ham?

    If you are, take another look at how he scored those goals and remember which is his stronger foot eh. πŸ˜‰

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  21. Anyway, why are people slagging off our players, shouldn’t we leave that to rival fans.
    Have some fans came to expect far too much of this team at this time or should all our players be Man City class, plus the quality their second string have?
    Fine if you think a player is off the boil but why call a player shit just for the sake of it, when he clearly doesn’t deserve it.
    I wonder about some fans.

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  22. I think his overall contribution to the cause is usually highlighted by the majority of fans as a real plus point to his game – i.e workrate and off the ball movement. However he has not been producing anything for a while now – either in terms of workrate, assists or goals. He can only be given so much time before he has to be dropped. Especially if somebody else is banging hard on the door.

    I dont think he is a bad player, but he is not in form at the moment and we should not be carrying anybody. They have to earn their shirt and on current form, Best is not doing so.

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  23. @29 – This is a blog on our team. We have the right to discuss team weaknesses. Best is not being slagged off here, his recent poor form is being discussed and rightly so.

    We would be deluded if we praised every member of our squad all of the time regardless of whether or not they were playing well, not pulling their weight or simply not being good enough…

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  24. SHAMROCK, correct it is a blog to discuss and that’s what we are doing, only I don’t agree with you and I don;t agree with fans slagging off players who DON’T deserve it, so I’ll say so.
    Is that alright with you. πŸ˜‰

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  25. I think 1 comment here slagged him off out of 30. The rest were questioning his place in the side based on 3 starts during which he has contributed little compared to what we know he is capable of, especially when somebody else is banging hard on the door of the starting 11. If you think persisting with players that are out of form to the detriment of the team is a good thing then fair enough, but I would have to say that I think you are very wrong and your reasoning is bizarre. He is not injured, was not out long anyway and is underperforming. πŸ˜‰

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  26. Wolfie best wasn’t good enough for us when we got him, he wasn’t good enough when he was scoring a few goals, and imo he still isn’t good enough.
    A few goals seem to hide the real player in fans eyes, imo apart from his few goals he gives nowt to the team, he is so lazy that half the time he couldn’t be bothered to move into an onside position. There was a few on here at the time couldn’t understand why Trapatoni wouldn’t pick him for ROI, because he was knocking a few goals for us.

    As for Benny as he says himsel he is not 100% fit yet so that could explain why Pards hasn’t been playing him that much, rather than because he doesn’t get on with him or fell out with him, Or that Pards is thick and not playing his best team

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  27. SHAMROCK , yes one person on here slagged him off but I’m saying it in general with other forums as well, basically fans that do.

    I understand fans talking about weaknesses and players out of form and such and I have no problem with that.
    I just don’t like seeing people call players shit when clearly they are not.

    You haven’t slagged him off so clearly my comments aren’t aimed at you or anyone else that hasn’t said it. πŸ˜€

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  28. Anyhow, moving on! Was a breath of fresh air to halfWillo back in the side yesterday… Colo looked back to his usual self and I’ve never seen such a difference in 1 player over two halves – Obertan was abysmal is the first 40 minutes. 2nd half he was shooting on target, crossing and actually looking confident! 😯

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  29. DAVE best is shite but all we got at the mo,maybe try vuckic up with ba,cannot be any worse i know hes a m/f,but when needs must.

    how did the little fellows xmas go?

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  30. Barfa is going to be the closest thing to Beardo since he retired.
    Beardo has never been replaced but this could be the fella to fill his boots.

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  31. knew all along benny would come good , its obvious it would take a while to get into things after a horrific injury !! it made me so angry when some fans were saying he will be off in january or hes a shite player!! absolutely clueless fans imo!! i watched benny at marseille before he came to us a few times and hes a real talent!! if we can get the lad into full swing then i think he will defo be 1 of our main players !! benny imo stil isnt 100% fit but i would chosse him any day over a fully fit leon best!! leon is far to slow and his goal tally of 3 is simply not good enough at this level when you have demba on 14 goals!! buzzing about yesterdays results and would be more than happy with a point at anfield!! i hope who ever slated benny for any reason feels daft now πŸ˜†

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  32. BIG DAVE. If I said Best was the future of this club I’d be lying but we have him here NOW and until we can replace him with a striker of better quality then he is part of the team.

    I’m not spinning a yarn on him being prolific or potentially prolific, I’m saying he will score goals , he is not shit like some say he is and he’s certainly not lazy.
    I admit he’s off the boil a bit but all players do that.
    We are still a club in transition and until we are in a position to fill the roles of Best and others with better quality, then we work as a team and if Best is deemed part of that team, then clearly Pardew sees something in him, that some fans don’t.

    In my opinion, some fans are way way over expectant of the team, thinking we can produce the goods week after week with the players we have.

    When we are in a position to do that, we will win the league but until then we go with the players we have, the very same players that have all helped to get us into 7th place as it stands now.

    You don’t get into these positions by luck or by carrying shit players, you do it because all the players , play as a unit but ultimately some lose a bit of form or confidence at times.

    If you fall off your bike once, you get back on, if you fall off again, you get back on until you gain the momentum to stay on.
    If you fall off and refuse to get back on, you probably won’t ride a bike for a long time because if your’e weak minded, your confidence will be dented.

    Leon Best wants to get back onto his bike, so let’s see if Pardew allows him to.

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  33. Ice he loved it mate i’ll send you a couple of pics later πŸ˜‰

    I have always thought that he was a decent championship player, but we are not and imo never have been a championship team.

    Troy I think your right he could turn out to be a Pedro type πŸ˜‰

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  34. Wolfie, your defence of Best as a supporter is admirable but why should we say he is mint when he is clearly playing poorly and has been for some time, his first touch is poor and he is contributing little to the team.
    I have always been a great believer in the first team being a reward for players and the ressies being a place to develop and improve, Pardew is loyal but its at the detriment of the team, first with Perch and now with Best and we cant afford to carry passengers.

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  35. @army

    I haven’t heard anyone slate Barfa .

    They’ve suggested he is gradually brought back and given time and patience but never doubted his ability.

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  36. Best is prem class, easily as good as most strikers in prem league barring adebayor, ba, Rooney and the obvious form
    He’s got more goals than Carroll or Torres, pavlychenko, kenwyne jones, Kevin davies, etc etc – we aren’t kin Barcelona, people need to get a grip – our choices are shola, loven or best, be surprised if we buy a striker in Jan as they’re usually very overpriced and the fat controller won’t allow the money train into central station

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  37. ROBERT, I’m not asking for anyone to say he’s mint.
    I’m pointing out that some fans are way wide of the mark by saying he’s shit.

    Now if Best is contributing little to the team, then I suggest that we have been playing 10 men against 11 when he’s been on, would that be right?

    I hear that Joan is playing garbage because he’s constantly covering Raylor.
    I hear Raylor is not prem standard and only has a free kick in him.
    I hear Obertan has pace but is total shit.
    I hear Simpson is ok but get rid.
    And back to Best.

    For such a shit set of players, we are really lucky to be in 7th aren’t we, surely we should be flirting down the bottom.

    You see my point is, the focus is on Tiote, Cabaye, Ba, Colo and the likes but the others get picked out as contributing little or too lazy or shit, yet this same unit produces results.

    Now if Best was scoring regular as fans think he should, then Ba must suffer, or they both score which means we win teams by scoring high on a regular basis.

    Football doesn’t work like that most of the time does it for teams like us who are finding our prem feet.

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  38. I was at the game yesterday first half was poor. Second half was much better, ben arfa made the difference. He doesnt have to much he finds little pockets of space between midfield and defence. Were a couple of times when obertan could have picked him out. On a different note williamson was brilliant never lost a header and kept it tight with colo. Still think we need a striker in jan.

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  39. Wolfie are you saying that Trapatoni is wrong for not playing him for the ROI team, because he says apart from goals he doesn’t work for the team, he went a roundabout way of not stating that he was lazy but that was the general point he was making.
    He was asked directly by a reporter was he saying Best was too lazy, he doesn’t work hard enough for the team.
    I have and always will agree with Trapatoni on that as I think he is lazy. πŸ˜‰

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  40. Best is in a dry patch as far as goals and he wasn’t great yesterday, but he contributes a lot even when he’s not scoring.

    Good choice to take him off yesterday for Ben Arfa, obviously, but maybe a little premature to drop him for Ben Arfa altogether at this stage. A few more sub appearances like yesterday’s, though, and Best may not be able to hold that spot for long.

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  41. Sorry to deviate from the convo but I read the other day that Fergie wants to ship Macheda out on loan for a bit and I wanted to know what peoples thoughts on the lad were? I think hes a solid player with good pace and scores goals (not freely i must admit, but goals nonetheless). Thoughts?

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  42. Nick tbh I would rather we got our own player, rather than give someones elses player time and experience.
    So im out on that one.
    Rod he does have a bit of a barrister speel about him

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  43. rod , i agree a very good barrister wolfie would make !
    Wolfie i said when Best was scoring that he was not premier league standard and now that same best with no goal return well nothing has changed , Best is simply not good enough to start in our team !
    He is not a clever footballer he can not beat a defender he floats offside all to often and most importantly he doesent score enough goals !!!
    To be fair i would take Trappatonis opinion over a footballers workrate and ability over Wolfie !

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  44. Got to admit, Keith and Dave, my personal opinion of Best is he’s nowt special. I always thought, when we signed him, he was a filler. Cheap cover for our then injury-stricken attack. It just so happens that he banged a few in and must’ve persuaded Fatty he’s good enough for the first team.

    I ain’t gona say he’s shit, but for my two penneth he’s decent enough for back-up, but I’d rather have someone else in. He’s a sub in my eyes.

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  45. Hands up I am no fan of Best but surely the point is he is so out of form he doesn’t deserve a start despite his good performances in August.

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  46. rod , hitman , aye i would have him on the bench at best ( no pun intended ) i rate loverman more and that is saying something , shola is just as bad ie what im saying is hoy FATTY buy a forward you greedy fat bucket of puss …..

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  47. should have second best on his shirt,hes a championship player,poor first touch,no vision and always straying offside,nuf said

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  48. Best is prem class, easily as good as most strikers in prem league barring adebayor, ba, Rooney and the obvious form 😯 😯

    Best is a good squad player, a better CC player. Will fill a void when Ba is away but so will Shola.

    I’d prefer Shola and Benny tbh, but I’m not writing Best off, just not sucking him off either πŸ˜€

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  49. Wolfie, do you ever get the feeling people only really read one line of you’re posting and comment on that? people really seem to jump all over you’re opinions, which in my opinion, generally aren’t far off the mark.
    Firstly, Best was poor yesterday, his decision making was hopeless and Pardew was right to change it. But then Wolfie has said Best has been poor over the last few games.
    Speaking of Pardew, I think few of us would disagree that more often than not, he’s got it right this season… and would know his squad of players far better than us (injuries, form, attitude etc).
    Best isn’t picking himself week in week out, Pardew is!! if you want to have a go at anyone, surely it has to be Pardew?!
    The reality is that Pardew is picking him for one reason… as poor as Best has been over the last few games… Pardew still feels Best is his best option!
    Only Pardew can explain his selection, but Best shouldn’t be in the firing line as a result. Best does work hard for the team and Ba’s got as many goals this season that’s to alot of the work Best does. The truth is that most fans want to see flair not graft, and most would sooner see a front line of Ba and HBA. But for whatever reason, having had afew games to prove himself, HBA hasn’t produced the goods and Pardew has chose to leave him on the bench.
    Hopefully, after a goal and 2 assists in the last 2 games, Benny can start showing us his true worth.
    People have suggested we are carrying Best and Perch. Well yes, perhaps Perch, who would be 4th choice CB with positional sense. But due to injury.
    Like it or not, but Best is our 2nd choice forward at present in the eyes of Pardew, though I don’t think HBA is far off. Even then, he’d be 3rd choice and will likely still be in the team when Ba goes off to Africa.
    It comes as no great surprise then that CFs is an area that has been identified as needing strengthening, and maybe that is effecting Best, knowing that the club are looking to effectively replace him.
    Best is out of form, but is good enough for the prem and could easily better than the forwards of at least 10 other clubs in the league, on his day. But, if we are to challenge for a top 6 finish, we won’t get there with Best in every week.

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  50. Sharpy17 , I read all of wolfies post just don’t agree with most !
    Wolfie sharpy , if he is our 2nd or 3rd choice striker what do you think his goal tally will be this season ? And we can judge him against strikers from other clubs .
    Imo he is pants .

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  51. KEITH, if you look at the goals some top class strikers are on, you will see that Best doesn’t look bad compared, especially as he has also been injured, yet most of these players haven’t.

    Best 3
    Gervinho 3
    Bendtner 3
    Wellbeck 4
    Darren Bent 5
    Sane Long 5
    Suarez 5
    Clint Dempsey 6
    Hernandez 6
    Van Der Vaart 6

    I could put a good few more up but my point is, none of these are prolific at this stage, the same as best isn’t but we have one striker that is in Ba.

    Now normally in a team, one player tends to hog the goal scoring limelight and usually in a team like ours we tend to get called a one man team, or relying solely on one man to score our goals.

    Now it’s easy to say “yea but these will score more goals” but if so, so can Best.

    H’es not the dummy people think he is but it’s up to Pardew to decide if he will persevere with him or drop him or sell him, I don’t know the answer to that.

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  52. Three of those players are on double what Best has ! and most will finish on more than 10 goals imo Best wont .
    Goals win games , and not just his goals i dont think his alround game is up to it but as you say Pardew knows a lot more than me as does Trapatoni know more than you πŸ˜‰

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