Hatem strikes again! Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa

Hatem gets a hug for his effort against Villa
Hatem Ben Arfa’s superb strike spared Newcastle’s blushes yesterday afternoon, but the overall viewing wasn’t pretty.

The good news is that we managed to avoid defeat, but that was one positive on an afternoon of negatives as far as I saw things.

An injury to Danny Simpson, hot on the heels of the midweek injury to Ryan Taylor, highlighted further the weakness in our squad, as did the abject performances of our striking duo Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba. Neither of them are exactly on fire at the moment, but with little competition for places there is little scope to change things round as things stand.

Paul Lambert’s side came into the game having lost their first two league fixtures, and in the opening exchanges it looked like Newcastle may pile on more misery as they started off brightly without really testing Brad Guzan, replacing former Magpie Shay Given, in the Villa goal.

Indeed it was the visitors who had the first attempt at goal with 19 minutes on the clock, Tim Krul having to turn away an effort from Darren Bent. However it wasn’t long before Villa took their chance through Ciaran Clark who headed Barry Bannan’s pinpoint cross into the back of the Gallowgate net with very little sign of any Newcastle defender offering a challenge.

This seemed to wake the hosts up a little bit and eventually they ground into life. Chances for Steven Taylor, Papiss Cisse, Vurnon Anota and Demba Ba followed but none of them were converted and the visitors took their lead into the half-time interval.

Fresh from a rollicking from Alan Pardew the home side started off the second half brightly, or at least I thought that is what would happen, but it didn’t. In fact it wasn’t until the hour mark when Hatem Ben Arfa unleashed an unstoppable shot from 25 yards out that left Brad Guzan with no chance that things started to go our way. It was going to take something magical to level the scores and once again our mercurial Frenchman provided it.

However both sides had chances to win the match. Andy Weimann tested Tim Krul with a shot on the turn before Demba Ba headed a Gael Bigirimana cross onto the roof of the net. Stephen Ireland skewed a shot miles wide when it looked easier to score and Bigirimana was on hand to deny Darren Bent with a last ditch block before Yohan Cabaye forced a fine save from Guzan in the Villa goal with a fine free-kick right at the death.

In the end neither side could find the winner and the score remained 1-1.

There were both negatives and positives to take from the game yesterday. On the positive side I thought Davide Santon was excellent, Gael Bigirimana was great when he came on, and Vurnon Anita played well at right-back after the injury to Danny Simpson.

However there were also negatives. We started off slowly again and too many players were below par. For me Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba and Jonas Gutierrez just weren’t good enough yesterday and the rest of the side isn’t good enough to carry that amount of players. This 4-4-2 doesn’t work either, or at least it doesn’t seem to work with the strikers we have. Ba and Cisse have real problems playing together seemingly and they just don’t bring the best out of each other when playing as a front pair. I sincerely hope this shift in formation isn’t to accommodate Demba Ba and to stop him having a little huff again?

Now we have a two week international break to contend with so hopefully a few of these issues can be resolved. There is no transfer window to worry about now, so I suggest those players who have, in Pardew’s words, “had their heads turned” quickly shape up if they are harbouring desires of moving away. If they keep playing like that then the clubs they wish to move to will be unlikely to come calling anyway!

Howay the lads!

Newcastle: Time Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon, Hatem Ben Arfa, Vurnon Anita, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba

Subs: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson, Dan Gosling, Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Romain Amalfitano, Gabriel Obertan

Aston Villa: Brad Guzan, Matt Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Eric Lichaj, Brett Holman, Karim El Ahmadi, Stephen Ireland, Barry Bannan, Andreas Weimann, Darren Bent

Subs: Shay Given, Nathan Baker, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles N’Zogbia, Graham Burke, Jordan Bowery, Derrick Williams

Attendance: 48,245

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.

49 thoughts on “Hatem strikes again! Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa

  1. Good and bad points from the game although there was too much of the bad which is a bad point in itself!
    Colo- below par, made some decent challenges but switched off a couple of times for crosses coming in.
    Taylor- ok, I’ve seen him play better but he’s only just come back so I know he’ll get there. Great to see him motivating others with his lungs
    Santon – great! Could use some practice with left foot though!
    Anita- brilliant, stood out for me yesterday. Himself and Ben arfa are the only players who can cross and we looked more secure at rb with him there. (blessing in disguise?)
    Cabaye- not good, worked really hard but his accuracy in long passes was pathetic saying as this is supposed to be his strength. Can he take a corner? I’d say no!
    Tiote’s twin-shaky but a hot prospect, his long free kicks need to be better


  2. Nobby – I agree with most of your thoughts other than Anita. He stood out to me too, as being light weight and unadventurous. He wasn’t brilliant by any stretch of the imagination. I agree he looked better at rb than midfield.


  3. Sorry… iPhone published before I finished

    Jonas- worked hard as usual but positionaly was awful. Didn’t take anyone on either which was strange
    Ben arfa – fuc*in raker goal, worked hard for majority of game but went missing for parts. More time on the ball please!
    Ba – another hard worker but not sure why he just didn’t click yesterday,

    Cisse- I’m sorry to say our poorest player on the day. Didn’t turn up at all.

    I will say that Aston villas work rate was fantastic a reminiscent of ourselves last season. I hate villa but Paul lambert will be good for them.

    Pardew seemed pissed off all through the game yesterday (I sit just behind him)

    5/10…. Should do A LOT better!


  4. B&b regarding Anita, I was only taking into account his rb role as I couldn’t remember anything significant in midfield. He did look good going up the right wing and he can put a ball in. Some good and bad.

    I should comment on obertan. He looked string when he came on. A lot more fight in him this season but I think he needs to spend a month on the training ground doing nothing but putting crosses in


  5. *strong

    Does anyone know if you can change seats from where your season ticket is? I’m sat next to a right ****. Fucking miserable **** who doesn’t shut the **** up. Constantly slates all of our plays (not constructively) it beggars belief why these people spend Β£700-odd quid on a season ticket to sit and complain. He completely ruined my experience and I can’t bear to be sat next to the ****er all season. He’s got ‘small man’ syndrome as well, he almost started on some kid for having a different opinion to him. πŸ‘Ώ


  6. I think Pardew described yesterday’s performance as ‘funny’ …. I’m not sure many fans found it all that funny like.
    I posted yesterday ‘if you can’t win, don’t loose’ and that has to be the case in our home games this season, especially in the league and Europa.
    I also suggested that this formation Pardew is playing with Ba playing off Cisse does not play to our strengths IMO. They seem to cancel each other out at the mo, I know it’s early in the season and they will be weaker than normal due to Ramadan, but that makes even less sense playing them together. Why not give them a half each or something like that.
    The starting 11 didn’t play well enough though, regardless of formation, but also of note was the lack of variation on the bench. I think Vukic and Campbell need to be there to offer a different acting option for me as well.
    There is alot to work on IMO, and loosing players to international call ups isn’t ideal.


  7. Off topic – I see Lpool are grabbing all the headlines on SSN today and the owner has written to the fans apologising for not getting a striker and explaining the change to their transfer policy.
    I get the impression the Lpool fans didn’t want Carroll to go – but they let him. Also get the impression there aren’t too many Lpool fans want to see Owen back …

    I also notice that Ivan Klasnic is a free agent. Wonder if he’d be worth a years contract as cover. I know he’s 32 and may be a Sol Campbell type signing but we looked pretty toothless yesterday.


  8. Villa really worked hard to close us down & they wanted the game more than us, I really thought we would get three points today against a Villa Team with no real quality. We need to go 433 and change:


  9. I see people are still slating Cisse. I agree he was poor, but I thought Ba was the worse of the two. Just too selfish.
    I though Ben Arfa was far better when he moved to a more central role and I thought Anita was far better when he played at fullback.

    Bigi and Santon were the only two who impressed me. Santon our MOTM.

    Sick of seeing us lumping 40 yard set pieces into the box. It does work. We are **** at corners and set pieces.

    Thought Villas goal was very soft.

    Cabaye’s workrate was good first half, but when he began to sulk like a little girl in the second half I would have taken him off.

    Jonas has lost pace and is looking heavy. He is no longer effective offensively in the final third and he should either be used as a full back or outlet from defensive midfield.

    We missed Tiote.

    Finally, Pardew was poor, should have made the Marveaux and Obertan substitutions at least 10 minutes before he did.


  10. For me,




    Obertan______________Ben Arfa_____________Marveaux


    Subs: Harps, Perch, Jonas, Vuckic, Bigi, Ba/Cisse, Amalfitano


  11. People say the fans no nothing but I remember Keegan stuck with 4-4-2 and had a shocking run… When he listened to us fans and went an attacking 4-3-3 we were far better.

    I hope Pards listens too. πŸ˜‰ 😎


  12. We started off in the exact same fashion last season, if you remember Ba didn’t begin playing well till our 5th-6th game because of his religious committment so again we aren’t going to have any impact from both of those till mid-September. Last year we were lucky to have Best to deliver the options for us but this year it is Ben Arfa, a point is a point at the end of the day, yeah we deserved more because of being the better team but still be happy we could have lost and that would have made this convo worse.


  13. Toonsy good summing up.
    Nobby the little guy beside you isn’t a ginger called Jay is he πŸ˜€
    I still believe that having no one to push the players for thrir starting place helps create the problem of not giving their all


  14. Big Dave,

    I agree. In fact I would drop Cabaye for Bigi next match just to show him he can’t spit his dummy and sit on his arse because a decision doesn’t go his way.


  15. JJ – I agree, Jonas still has a role to in the starting 11 but it should be more of a defensive role rather than offensive because he simply isn’t effective. I’d like to see him either full back of defensive midfield and give Marv a crack on the left.
    I don’t think anyone is slating Cisse mate, just highlighting the fact that he didn’t play well – which he didnt. Don’t think anyone doubts that he will come good. I would have liked to have seen us go with this formation at home:


    Then like I say, rest Cisse and put Ba on at half time should Cisse look tired. As for subs:
    Harper, Tav, Williamson, Bigi, Amalfitano, Oba and Ba – with Campbell or Vukic ahead of Gosling every day of the week!!


  16. Nobby – I sit not far from Pards. I was going mental at Cabaye, when he couldn’t get off his arse. Did you not tell this John fella to wind his neck in and shut half his mooth? It has always worked for me.
    I reckon Ba and Cisse could play blindingly together. They just need to get their act together. The problem at the moment is a complete lack of form, not whom they are playing with.


  17. We have been concentrating on workrate and team work which is great. But you can always teach a creative player to work harder on the pitch. What you can’t teach is to get a workhorse to suddenly become visionary and creative.
    They simply don’t have the ability.

    We need to be playing our more creative players. For me when fit Marveaux is a must.


  18. B&b I’m not very confrontational (I’m as soft as clarts). If he’s the same in the Norwich game I’ll have to say something tho. I like to sit and watch the game without someone chuntering on beside me.


  19. As great a player as cabaye is he is very…… French.

    I mean he always has spat his dummy out on minor things. Everton away springs to mind


  20. Nobby – I share your pain.

    I sat next to a right negger **** in the Gallowgate yesterday (some big guy called Dave funnily enough) πŸ˜†

    Kept telling me how **** all all our players were – especially the new signings – Bigi and Anita (I honestly don’t think the daft **** could tell them apart).

    Then he started booing when we passed the ball back to Krul to switch the play from left to right. I honestly couldn’t believe it! 😯

    Half way through the second half I turned to him and said “these new lads might not be that good yet, but they’re not half a s **** as some of our fans.”

    Needless to say he didn’t talk to me for the rest of the match! πŸ˜†


  21. Dont forget the impact ramadam will have had two weeks down the line ba and cisse should be sharper


  22. Anyone else agree that maybe marveux should be getting the nod before Jonas?

    I also think Pardew should be encouraging Santon to shoot. The lad gets himself into some brilliant positions. Why not have a pop as long as your defensive position is covered by someone at the time!


  23. By The way, just realised next to my name at the top of the page it says ‘howdy nobby’

    Who (apart from cowboys) actually says howdy? πŸ˜†


  24. Liam, I don’t buy this ramad thing affecting them.

    There’s loads that follow Islam through the league and it doesn’t seem to effect them.


  25. Re: Ramadan, If it affects them that badly then Pards should not be playing them. Benny seems to be doing OK though? Likewise with Cabaye – Pards said a few days ago a couple of his players had their heads turned. Cabaye is obviously one of those – If he is not in the right fame of mind then why is he putting him in the starting line-up?

    He has done a very good job since taking over and I’m a fan – but I absolutely insist that yesterday’s result and performance was largely Pardew’s fault and I’m still not impressed with his ****y attitude in the pre-match interview.


  26. Have to agree with Shamrock.

    I’ve been impressed with Pards, but he made a lot of mistakes yesterday for me. Tactically, in the press and the timing of his substitions.




    It sounds like Bumbling Boris has just coughed sitting next to you. He knows you are too scared to say anything to him or he’ll tell you to shut half your mouth. πŸ˜†

    @Bumbling Boris

    I’ve replied to your dollop of ****e on the other page. πŸ˜‰
    A full ridicule will arrive on your doorstep tomorrow. πŸ˜‰


  28. Nobby, I only heard it either on 5live or TalkSport – but he went on about how sharp we are at the moment, how good we looked in the 2nd half against Chelsea – how we are gunning for Top 4 this season and going to have a real go at Europe, how Villa will be expecting a stern examination. I don’t recall him acknowledging Villa’s strengths even once – it was like he was all smug and we already had the 3 points in the bag.

    I know we were favourites, but as soon as I heard that interview I was concerned that we would not turn up – even commented on it before kick off. He got himself a reputation at WestHam as being a smug idiot. Our strength of late has been playing ourselves down and being modest. Hopefully he’ll realise his mistake.

    Last season he spoke about being too ****y earlier in his career and said it was a side of himself he has worked hard to change. I think the success has got to him a bit and he needs to check himself. The performance was not ‘funny’ and neither was his push on the 4th official.

    He’s a good gaffer, I just hope his smugness does not take over his rational – otherwise we will go downhill again…


  29. JJ – To pick up on your point on workrate. I don’t know if anyone else watched MOTD2 through to the end, but they put up a table of top tacklers so far this season – Wigan were top – we were bottom!!!
    So yeah, I think we need to be working harder without the ball – closing down and winning the ball back. I understand we’ve played Spurs and Chelsea so far but without the grit of Tiote in the team we don’t look as difficult to penatrate.

    Does anyone else think we should be ranking through the left over freebies, or should we just go with what we have? … I know it’s an irrelevant question coz it’s unlikely we will but just out of interest?


  30. Sharpy – I think we are fine with what we have until January, provided the right formations and attitudes are applied. We need to start blooding our young talents, otherwide they’ll never come through.


  31. πŸ‘Ώ !!esra ehtn i naip gnickuf a tahw…
    !!sdarwkcba tuo gnithyreve yepte m kngiam, wrroa ftel no kcut ssi yek worra rosruc gnikcuf ehT .dekcuf si draobyek ym dna thgin yadrutaS no potpal ymon erdic f oteltob gnikcufa dellspiI , yaw eht yB
    .ndocae set ga no gre ewthe yI tghuoht .emto edsi retteb eht ekil dekool alliV tub ,DtoM no sthgilhgih eht was ylno I, lleW


  32. Only saw bit of match of the day ( Mrs was fighting with me ) but from the sound of it was a poor performance. I thought we would sneak it as I knew villa be up for it due to them losing first 2 games. Once we get a bit of form I think we will get up the table , but argee with people here we need to show the right attitude. Hopefully we get a few back for everton. Great its on the box!


  33. !.wno ro feyb….

    .potpal ruoy toni redci ruop revNe
    .wohemos ti xif nac I yllufepoH .sseltniop si sTih
    .draobeyk htooteul ba no stih ngipyt m’I. draboyek potpal ym elabsid ot woh tuo krow dn ayrt ot deen I
    .dsrawbkca s it iof semo yhw s’that, tefl ggnio n ospeek yekorsrcu eth, kcomrahS


  34. Hello!
    I’ve just posted this on my mobile, to shed some light. I spilt a ****ing bottle of cider on my laptop on Saturday night, it took at least three glugs before I realised. The laptop still works, but the left arrow cursor key is stuck, making me type stuff backwards-ish. I’m hoping I can try to work out a way of disabling the laptop keyboard, and use my Bluetooth one.


  35. Shamrock – defo wanna see the young ones come through, it’s just the injuries are worrying me abit at the moment. With players like Nigel Reo Cocka still available – who I think could be used as DCM allowing Anita to help cover the FB injuries. Was looking a Klasnic as well who although is 32 has a decent score record to be honest, strong and would do better than Shola I think. Not crabbing Shola but I just really don’t see him providing substantion cover if needed and we only really have Campbell – unless he uses Vukic as a CF.


  36. 😑 😯 πŸ˜† !gnoid neeb evah I hcihW .sdrawkcab gnihtyreev epyt ylertaebiled I sselnU .liame ym esu t’anc I. hguoht esra eht ni niap thgir a s’tI .deedni, aahah


  37. For some reason pressing Num Lock on my laptop keyboard has fixed it!
    I’m guessing this has disabled the arrow keys. Yayyy! 😎


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