Shouldn’t Newcastle Embrace A Player Who Is Desperate To Stay?
I’ve kept quiet at the start of this season.
I vowed I would give the team three Premier League games before I commented on the new look squad, or the HBA situation. Those games have now been and gone so it’s time to break my silence.
Within 30 seconds of the Palace match kicking off it appeared this article wouldn’t be very complimentary at all.
The creative spark still isn’t there. Despite scoring three goals, they were all scrappy. There was no elegant flowing football culminating in a clean strike. Don’t get me wrong, I was jubilant to see us getting goals but I don’t think Pardew can claim we’ve solved the creativity crisis.
Newcastle remind me a bit of a toothless rattlesnake at the moment. They look threatening coming forward, and people sense their threat, but when they strike there’s no venom.
A lot of people have been calling for another striker to be signed, me included. If we don’t get one in though I do think there’s enough around to keep us going. Riviere looks strong and controlled, given a bit of confidence I think he’ll grab a few goals. With Perez and Ferreyra it’s hard to tell at this early stage. Ideally I’d like to see Armstrong getting a few more chances. Especially after his recent performances for England youth.
Defensively, we are still extremely suspect. All three goals coming from poor defending but the chances of any cover coming in the next few days is highly unlikely.
In terms of creativity, I hope and believe that Cabella will come good. He does seem to try too hard sometimes; stepping over the ball when defenders are nowhere near him, pulling off unnecessary tricks that cause more issues than anything else. The chance he missed against Villa was as good as any he’ll get this season.
And what happens if Cabella get injured? What’s Alan’s plan then? He has spoken repeatedly of Cabella’s creativity and goal threat. What happens if that’s not available? Aarons had a great pre-season and a massive impact today. We all hope he can really break through and develop but we don’t want to put pressure on him to provide all our creativity if Cabella is injured.
So then we come back to Hatem Ben Arfa. The prodigal son. The man that divides opinion.
HBA isn’t head butting people or biting them. Why this ongoing exclusion? What dreadful crime has he committed that means he doesn’t even make the bench these days? So many players have done inexcusable things at other clubs as well as our own and worked their way back into reckoning.
Joey Barton went to jail for Heaven’s sake. He came back to become a crucial part of our team before criticising our transfer policy and getting the very same treatment Hatem is experiencing now. HBA is cast adrift, with potential loan moves to Birmingham or France being mooted as a solution to get him out of the club. Ben Arfa in the Championship? What a travesty.
Players like Carroll, Remy and Ba have willingly turned their back on us in the very recent past. HBA wants to stay, remarkable for a player in today’s game. We’ve drawn away to Villa and home to Palace, both games that HBA-inspired moments gave us victories in last season.
It’s time for Pardew and Hatem to shake hands and work towards a solution, because this supposed easy run of games (post Man City) hasn’t yielded any wins yet.
Whilst players like de Jong and Cabella search for their spark we need Ben Arfa lighting up the pitch.
You can follow Billy on Twitter @billymerlin
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]