Wonderful Ben Arfa! WBA 1-3 Newcastle United

Cisse, again!
Yesterday proved to be another “Super Sunday” for Newcastle as it saw us beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 at the Hawthorns, a ground that’s not been fruitful for us in the last few seasons.

The game was an outstanding away performance, something which many didn’t expect. Jamie Redknapp even went as to say it was “one of the best away first half performances” at half time, and his father manages the mighty Spurs.

The first half began with Newcastle on top, and we were in the lead by the 6th minute, when from a corner the ball broke to Jonas Gutierrez, who played an inch perfect pass to Hatem Ben Arfa in the left hand side of the box. Ben Arfa slid the ball across the box right into the path of Papiss Cisse who fired the ball first time into Ben Foster’s net.

Shortly after Newcastle broke away with a flowing move seeing Ben Arfa pass the ball into Yohan Cabaye who returned it to his French compatriot, despite pressure from Liam Ridgewell the ball broke to Papiss Cisse who returned it to Ben Arfa, the Frenchman then dispatched the ball into the bottom right corner of Ben Foster’s net with a rasping strike.

West Brom had a couple of efforts in the first half with Marc-Antoine Fortune squandering a couple of headed chances. They then had a goal rightly called offside, despite Sky trying to say that it should have counted. I felt that was a bit weird.

We punished West Brom for their missed chances and added a third before half time. Hatem Ben Arfa picked up the ball and ran from right to left before passing the ball to Demba Ba. Hatem carried on his run around the back and a sublime back heel by Ba was played right into his path, Ben Arfa pulled the ball back for Cisse to knock in his second and Newcastle’s third.

In the dying moments of the first half Fabricio Coloccini got injured. It seemed as if he pulled his hamstring and it was later confirmed by Alan Pardew that he could miss the next two or three games. That meant for the second half James Perch was moved to centre back alongside Mike Williamson and Davide Santon was brought on to play at left back.

The hosts started the second half brightly but we had the first chance of the second half when Papiss Cisse was sent through, but Ben Foster made a good save to deny the centre forward his first hat trick in English football.

West Brom got one back through Shane Long due to poor communication from Mike Williamson and Tim Krul. Williamson headed the ball straight to Shane Long before being cleaned out by the advancing Krul, Long put the ball into an empty net and we once again showed how much we need Fabricio Coloccini.

Hatem Ben Arfa was pulling the strings and his jinking runs were wreaking havoc in the West Brom defence and he had another chance when he beat three or four men and struck the ball to Foster’s left, which he palmed away from any onrushing Newcastle players.

West Brom threatened for the rest of the game but they lacked any clear cut chances, Odemwingie had a shot which stung the palms of Tim Krul and Mulumbu had a couple of attempts blocked by our defenders.

The game got scrappy and injuries started to take their toll, Papiss Cisse went off with around 10 minutes to go due cramp in both calves. Then James Morrison of WBA went off injured which left them with 10 men on the pitch for the remainder of the game, which really stopped them posing a major threat.

Our new formation of the three in the middle really worked today, the front three were absolutely devastating and it really gave Hatem Ben Arfa the opportunity to get involved in the game. Ba worked very hard and linked the play up extremely well, and Papiss Cisse finished the game with two goals and one assist, Hatem Ben Arfa got two assists and one goal, that shows how well they linked together.

Other notable mentions for James Perch who was excellent at both left back and centre back, doing the basics right and even getting involved going forward. Yohan Cabaye also seemed like he was improving and he was influencing the play a lot more than he has been over the last few games, which was good to see. Jonas also played the centre midfield role excellently and didn’t stop running for the whole game.

We’re picking up a decent bit of form at the right time, we virtually took a point away at a very good Arsenal side, and have won our last two games so we’re going in the right direction for the run in.

We’ve now got an 8 point lead on Liverpool and we’re level on points with Chelsea in 5th. That’s an impressive achievement and we’ve just got to finish the job off now. Liverpool next Sunday will be a massive indicator on whether we can challenge for fifth or not, but personally, I’d be chuffed with sixth.

Howay the lads!

34 thoughts on “Wonderful Ben Arfa! WBA 1-3 Newcastle United

  1. excellent result apart from Williamsons lapse of concentration.

    And to think some wanted rid of Barfa, including Troy 😯


  2. Benny was truly very much ON FIRE! 😈 Great to see the lad yesterday. I really hope we can push on now despite Colos injury. HWTL


  3. Aye and whether we finish in the champions league places or in the Europa league will the journos give us the credit or will it be down to the “bad luck” of lthe Bindippers or down to the “upheaval of management” at chelski


  4. I think that I felt that we needed to find a way to get the best out of Ben Arfa as the formation we were using was not. If we could not find a way to incorporate him into the team then perhaps.

    Yesterday showed that the front three we have are capable of working together, and it’s mouthwatering thinking that as a team those three can only get better.

    Yesterday also showed what I have wanted to see for a long time and that is Jonas working defensively in a more central role. I think that he, Tiote & Cabaye will make a superb 3 man midfield.

    The defence proved themselves over the 1st 11 games, and is identified as the area to strengthen. Happy days.

    As to this season. 1st beat Liverpool to ensure at least 6th. Personally I don’t think either Chelsea or us will catch Arsenal or Spurs. , both of whom should break the 70 points barrier. However, I can see our race with Chelseas being settled at the Bridge.

    AS to qualifying for europe? Spurs should beat Bolton so that 3 of the 4 semi-finalists won’t affect us.


  5. Its been brilliant what we’ve done this season…

    It think if it weren’t for the injuries to Colo and Taylor and the ACN, we would be challenging for 3rd/4th which is absolutely incredible.


  6. Brilliant performance, Ben Arfa was awesome, first half was as good as i have seen us play for a while, second half we gave the ball away too much and hopefully Tiote will return on Sunday and shore the centre of midfield up.
    Perch was again immaculate as were Ameobi , Santon and Ferguson when they came on, we still make daft mistakes and cause ourselves no end of problems fannying about with the ball at the back, but there is a great enthusiasm throughout the team.
    A fantastic result which is made all the more incredible when you look at the league table and measure that against the games the chasing pack have to play, like mackems away to Citeh next week.


  7. Whats exciting is that if we had 2 decent defenders in place of williamson and simpson ie just that extra level; we could be some team next year.


  8. We played the formation we have been begging for for ages now…

    ————————-BACK FOUR——————————


    —————Ben Arfa—-Cisse——Ba————————-

    And we finally played some great football…
    Good thing too is that if Cisse gets injured Ba goes to the middle with say Marveaux/Vuckic on the left.
    The key man is Ben Arfa, who is playing superbly now…

    Cabaye filled in for Cheik superbly, Guthrie and Jonas were excellent in their roles — I think that position is perfect for Jonas, because he doesn’t have to cross, he has a decent through ball.

    With more depth in defense, I can see us being very very dangerous with this formation.


  9. Robert, quite right…

    I’ve always hated Shola as a player, but maybe it was just his stamina because he has done very well the last few games.
    Perch has been magnificant for me, because he give 110% and he gets played in a every positition which isn’t easy.

    Williamson need to wake the #%% up… I don’t know what has happened to him, he was never this poor.


  10. @JJ

    aren’t I correct in believing you wanted Barfa sold in the summer.???? 😯 😯 😯 😳 😛


  11. Shola and Perch have both grafted away and got the fans back onside with their performances of late, now its time for a couple of others to stop moping about on the pitch and get their fingers out, if they do we have the chance of having an unbelievable finish to the season.


  12. HBA is our beardsley at the moment great skill; how many teams have players who can do what he can?

    Ameobi ive always thought is best suited as an impact player and he does well at it


  13. Surprising statistic ?

    Bindippers last 7 games when Carroll didn’t start ; 0 wins , 2 draws , 5 lost

    Last 7 games that Carroll started; 6 wins , 1 win , 0 lost 😯

    Hope he does not start against us next Sunday !!


  14. I think Willo must be very aware the fans don’t rate him, me included .But maybe the time has come to get off his back as it can’t be doing the lads confidence any good really. Now that we have lost one of his babysitters in Colo , he will have to concentrate more than ever as we looked very jittery after we lost Colo. Maybe some more work in training on his problems with keeping his hands to himself and positional play will pay off. You never know ,the fact that he won’t have Colo mopping up after him might bring out the best in him ,i really hope so. He and Krul also need to work on their communication skills too as the goal yesterday was a mess . Apart from the obvious probs it was a well earned win yesterday.


  15. I get really sick of people giving Simpson a hard time, he’s played really well for us all season and puts in a shift match after match !!!!


  16. Troy – What’s your feelings on Fat Man now then? I’ve resigned to getting off his case for now as I can see his plan coming together. Don’t think I’ll ever be happy with the naming rights saga but everything else has worked out magically well.

    Blind luck or genuine business acumen?


  17. @Evil Franky

    The team have exceeded everyone’s dreams and predictions. Nothing will change regarding Jabba’s disgraceful decisions but I’ve always maintained that if he continues to learn from past mistakes and keep developing the club then I will get behind him.

    Everything is rosy in the garden today but a garden needs maintaining which includes investment. Let’s wait and see.


  18. Apart from a couple of brain-farts (spurs a and arse a) he’s been excellent for us defensively

    He is awful on the ball though….


  19. Jobey good read mate, we were pure class in that 1st half, 2nd half was a different affair and I honestly believe when they scored we would have been there for the taking if we had of sat back and let them attack us. But they didn’t have time to get at us because we continued to attack them, as Pards said after the game he told them at half time he wanted another goal.


  20. Franky, some of what Ashley has done has been crap and some has been good.
    Winning yesterday was more to do with it finally dawning on Pardew what most sensible folk have been saying on here for a couple of months – we needed to change to a 3 man midfield and either play the striker and left and right forwards like yesterday, or two up front with Ben Arfa in a free role off the front two.

    Ashley should have sanctioned the purchase or loan of a decent defender in January. Losing Coloccini could yet be a massive blow to our ambitions just as Pardew seems to have stumbled upon the changes require to get our midfield and forwards playing again.


  21. Great read this, I am so chuffed to see this team perform like they did yesterday, and we are seeing players like Perch coming through aswell – its fantastic, but the absolute crown piece is Ben Arfa! What skill he possesses, we are looking increasingly dangerous. One thing though, Dont know why everyone is only giving Willo slag for the goal, as Krul was equally culpaple as he wasnt shouting to Willo.


  22. Shout or not Willo didn’t have to try to nod it round Krul.
    Krul has been one of our most assured players this season.
    Williamson has been one of the weakest.


  23. APP the thing for me is if Willo didn’t get the shout he should have booted it out, if in doubt boot it out. And yeah Krul needs to take some blame .
    Pootle as I said lastnight everyone will be on a high after the win but if Colo is out for a while we could really struggle, which would be a disgrace.


  24. Big dave – Good shout mate! But just thought he is under enough fire already as it is 😆 so wanted to stand up for him.

    As for Colo being out – we defo need Tiote back and have him and Jonas protect the back four or something because Colo will be missed!


  25. Concerned about players like Suarez against our back line. Particularly Mike. We just have to add at least 2 defenders in the summer


  26. Troy @11

    If you read the article I wrote, I said, if we weren’t going to play a 4-3-3 system he wasn’t going to work in the team…
    And he needed to put more work in, if he didn’t, and Pardew was going to persist with 4-4-2 yes, I would have wanted to sell him…


  27. M
    “Apart from a couple of brain-farts (spurs a and arse a) he’s been excellent for us defensively

    He is awful on the ball though….”

    Exactly my thoughts on Simpson… Great defensively, shit on the ball, but he was decent yesterday.


  28. people are slating willo because as a defender you are told if in doubt,get rid, as i am sure we will in the summer,hes a championship player.just how many points we drop til the end of the season is anyones guess,not bringing a centre back in in jan could cost us dearly.as for liverpool lets get at them early and keep them on the back foot.then we can enjoy europe


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