The weekend saw Newcastle lose in the league for the first time this season and suffer a defeat to title chasers Manchester City.
It also saw them fall down the pecking order in the table to 4th due to Tottenham Hotspur beating Aston Villa 2-0 on Monday evening.
The club battled hard against a sturdy City defence and unfortunately lost their best defensive record in the league at the expense of Manchester City’s amazing strike force. The Toon Army also showed tremendous fight and spirit and despite losing the game the support for the team was, as always, amazing.
One of the stand out performances for me during the match was Hatem Ben Arfa, but I still can’t quite decide whether he had a good game or not. The team had enough chances to win the game in attack and despite having the better of the chances failed to hurt City. Ben Arfa was involved in all that was good in attack and everything bad in defence. Is he good enough to start and play regularly?
Returning from a broken leg, we all saw his attacking ability come to the forefront, as he latched onto a loose ball, running at the City defence his shot unluckily came back off the post having beaten Joe Hart all ends up. His pace and quick feet worry defences and his eye for goal, still make him an ideal winger for the Magpies.
However, is this enough? On the flip side I would argue he ultimately cost Newcastle the three ,or at the very least a stab at a draw. It a team game, we know, but his rush of blood to the head moment in bringing down Micah Richards for a stone wall penalty saw Newcastle’s chance of a comeback disappear. He tracked back well to be fair, more than I have seen him do before, but his sloppiness and half hearted approach to certain games has to addressed.
Is he too much of risk to play all the time in the big games? With Sylvain Marveaux, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Dan Gosling and Sammy Ameobi all fighting for places, does Ben Arfa warrant his?
Thanks to John Mason for sending this in for us to debate.