Is There A Hatem Ben Arfa In The House?
The Yohan Cabaye chapter at Newcastle looks to be finally coming to an altogether inevitable end.
By now we all have accepted that sooner or later a ‘bigger’ (replace bigger with richer!) club is going to come along and meet the target price set by the muppets upstairs for our best performing players. After all, every player has his price, right!?
Approaching the transfer of Cabaye to PSG with the understanding that today’s Newcastle ownership has little or no ambition other than premiership survival, it’s tough to argue with the deal.
Bringing in around £20 million for a 28 year old who cost us only £4.3 million and has continuously stated his desire to move on to bigger and better things, has to be seen as a good deal. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved him to stay – particularly on current form, but that was never going to happen.
I believe that Cabaye’s value is never going to be higher than this week, despite the upcoming World Cup. We sold Andy Carroll at his peak value and I believe the same is true of Cabaye this week.
So, what now? Talk of summer moves for Cabella, Grenier and Gomis etc. is encouraging, with the unlikely long term signature of Remy a seemingly fading possibility. The former two players would be exciting additions to our midfield and Grenier looks like he’s got a peach of a left peg.
Thanks to the inept Joe Kinnear I don’t anticipate any permanent additions to the squad this week, which presents an enormous opportunity for Hatem Ben Arfa. I have always been in favour of moving Sissoko into central midfield, playingin front of Tiote and Anita, and bringing in HBA on the right side where he performed so well at the beginning of the season. Alternately, I’d give Hatem a run out in the #10 role, linking the midfield to Remy.
The biggest question for me is how does Pardew respond to losing Cabaye?
He has to motivate and organize the side to deal with the loss of our talisman. Please, please don’t respond by starting Shola and resorting to humping the ball forward in his general direction.
Unfortunately, I do not believe that he has the tactical nous or coaching intelligence to get the best consistently out of Ben Arfa, who for me is the most talented player at the club.
I’d like to see us bring in at least one forward, although I’m not sure the out of form, 5th choice De Jong is the answer. He does however fit the club’s bargain option.
I’d have Ba back in a heartbeat to give some much needed goals, strength and power to our forward line.
Sitting in 8th place on 36 points without the ‘distraction’ of the FA Cup should set us up for a comfortable end of season position.
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