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Double Standards At Newcastle United When Carrying Overweight

6 years ago
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As the Hatem Ben Arfa war of words with Newcastle United worsened by the day, an accusation levelled at the player was that he had returned to the club overweight in pre-season and was subsequently fined for the excess weight.

Ben Arfa’s representatives said that the amount of weight in question was three pounds and that most of that was muscle.

Hatem’s people also said that if such rules were strictly applied to every player then Hatem wouldn’t be the only one landing a fine…

This morning quotes have appeared from Rob Elliot, with the [intlink id=”47097″ type=”post”]Newcastle reserve keeper saying that he will have to reconsider his future[/intlink] if he doesn’t get many games for United this season.

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However, now I have just read the following as well from Elliot;

“I have gone away and I have lost a lot of weight, just sort of said I am going to give myself the next ten years or so and have a proper go.

“I have really bought into my fitness, I thought to myself that the one thing I can control is how fit I can be.

“I had a good chat with the manager pre-season and he just said ‘get as fit as you can’, so that is what I have done.”

Now it doesn’t take a genius to work out that if Elliot is saying that he is now as fit as he can be and has ‘lost a lot of weight’, then before he did this he wasn’t fit and was carrying a significant amount of excess weight.

Certainly a lot of comments from supporters have been less than complimentary on Rob Elliot’s physique in his time at St.James’ Park.

Now before some of you start, yes I know goalkeepers aren’t expected to do the running that a winger/playmaker such as Hatem Ben Arfa should be doing.

However, for Rob Elliot to actually admit that he’s had to lose a lot of weight, tells me that for sure he wasn’t in the condition he should have been as a professional footballer with ambitions of playing in the Premier League.

It isn’t the days of the legendary William ‘Fatty’ Foulke who started playing in the 1890s and is claimed to have weighed up to 24 stone at his peak, goalkeepers are surely expected to be at the peak of their fitness just like any outfield player. Even a small difference in fitness will slow reflexes and the ability that all modern goalkeepers have of needing to be a sweeper behind their defence.

While Ben Arfa was an outcast that Pardew and Ashley were desperate to get out of the club, Rob Elliot always says the right things about his manager and the club hierarchy.

If Elliot does get his chance again this season I look forward to seeing the difference being fit will make to his game.

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