Pardew – “Hatem, Did Fantastic Things”
I bet there are a fair few fans that haven’t seen the action at Craven Cottage, who will look at the scoreline and automatically be thinking ‘…bound to happen, likes of Ben Arfa not tracking back blah blah blah’.
The reality of course was somewhat different with Hatem Ben Arfa actually arguably Newcastle’s top performer on the day. He worked back when needed and at times his ability to go past players is breathtaking, while of course he added another brilliant goal to his growing collection – something that as per usual looked most unlikely for Best and Shola to get close to. Obviously you can argue they add something else to the team but forwards who don’t score goals are always going to create extra stresses for a team.
In addition yesterday, when the pressure was turned it was mainly down the middle of the pitch where Newcastle crumbled and gifted Fulham the win, totally at odds with a recent record of three clean sheets in the last four league games.
With each match Ben Arfa’s confidence is clearly growing and maybe the biggest problem at Fulham was his team mates not getting the ball to him often enough.
After the match Alan Pardew didn’t have too far to look for a positive to take from the match; “Hatem, I thought, did some fantastic things, his discipline in the team is improving and I thought he was a good thing for us. He scored a good goal”.
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