Hatem Ben Arfa delighted with first Toon goal

By Lee Ryder on Sep 19, 10 11:38 AM

The day belonged to Hatem Ben Arfa at Goodison Park after a memorable strike we could well be talking about for years.

If there was one big fear going into the new season for Newcastle fans it was that the current side lacked the type of player who can turn a game on its head.

Well in the 23-year-old, they seem to have found one.

He may well have a reputation and baggage to go with it, but ever since he's unpacked his case in Newcastle, he's a player that seems focused and determined to do well for the black and whites.

I don't normally get any pleasure talking about Eric Cantona but if there are shades of a man who would be king at Old Trafford then I will quite happily clutch to them.

Cantona stuck two fingers up to French football when he arrived in England looking to rebuild his career.

It would appear Ben Arfa has done something similar.

Cantona was trouble at Leeds and he was trouble at Man U.

Ask any Leeds fan was he worth it, when they won the league?

Then ask any Man U fan was he worth the trouble at Old Trafford that once resulted in a nine month ban?

An emphatic yes on both counts me thinks.

You can house a trouble causer at a football club but it's about how you manage them.

That's the test for Chris Hughton and looking at Sir Alex Ferguson and Cantona, isn't a bad guide book.

After the game Ben Arfa swaggered through to the mixed zone without a care in the world.

The 23-year-old was "delighted" to net his first goal in front of the Toon Army and re-iterated his vows to repay the Geordie supporters.

As cool as you like he then queried how to get to the "autobus" and with that the master had left the arena.

What a day, what a goal, what a guy.

More please from HBA!


Comely Wench said:

Great goal; good performance. Still not much service to Carroll. Ben Arfa drifts in and it seems fairly obvious that he would be better through the middle behind Carroll.

Terry Tibbs said:

Quality first game from the lad & what a strike! Thought Tiote was outstanding as well, a proper holding midfielder rather than someone who's re-invented themselves. He's good on the ball as well as being very mobile, a bit like Essien at CFC.
I said a week or so ago that it would be entertaining Mr Ben Arfa at SJP however long he's here for & I stand by that.
Also though both Nolan & Perch had decent games which will disapoint the "anti both" mob out there!

Peter Harper said:

Hatem Ben Arfa's goal was magnificent but once again it passed by Lee Ryder that Tiote is going to be a huge premiership star this season.He didn't see Tiote as he didn't see Enrique 3 years ago when it was obvious to anyone who knew anything about football that Enrique was a real footballer. Journalists reporting football? What a joke !!!

Ryder's reply: Maybe the fact that this isn't the match report has passed you by, as Tiote gets a big shout in the correct section, this is simply an epilogue of the match report that was produced after the main body was done and dusted.
As for Enrique? Even he admits he was far from his best when he first arrived three years ago, he showed decent potential here and there but rediscovered his confidence in the Championship and has built on it from there.

Nath said:

I hope the option to buy in his contract is water tight. If he keeps playing like that, we have first choice on him, and the agreed fee is only £5m or £6m like rumoured then he will be a steal. Ghosts past players and will surely only improve? Just hope he doesn't get too big for his boots and want too much too soon. Most exciting transfer saga we've had in ages and he is living up to the hype so far.

relton said:

Great goal - great win - just what we needed after the Blackpool fiasco.
Lets not get too hot about HBA - I seem to remember Pancrate scored the greatest debut goal ever at SJP only to fade in to insignificance fairly quickly.
THe wheels are back on - but we simply _HAVE_ to do stoke at home next week. then I reckon Septembers objectives would have been reached.

Geordie Lee said:

Great goal by Ben Arfa - hope it's a sign of things to come! Tiote had a good debut too, but for me, Barton and Williamson should be singled out for praise. Everton were poor without Cahill, and in Beckford they have my nomination for worst signing of the season (and I'm not just saying that cos me and a couple of other lads on here said in January that he'd be be wayyyyy out of his depth in the Premier League!).

manfromutopia said:

Wonderful goal but have to hold back on the praise as he'd been ineffective up to that point.Can't get the similarity with N'Zogbia out of my head,wonderful one minute,falling over the next. Hopefully time will give him more consistency and we might have a find in Tiote that can cover for that inconsistency. Another great game for Enrique with Barton & Williamson to be given credit. The right hand side is still weak,Routledge(although better than in the last couple of games)will struggle in the PL and it could be a blessing that Perch is suspended,no way is he a PL defender (how many attacks came down that right side). Best part of the day was to see the whingiest fans in the PL get nothing from their constant bleating to the ref but no doubt something will be in the papers that police are investigating a complaint from an Everton fan about something trivial (for the hundredth game running).Final note is the shame that Sky should feel putting that idiot Barry Horne as a co-commentator on our match.I've never heard so much biased drivel,and how many times did the replays make his original comments look ridiculous.It was like listening to a scouse Waddle

DormAnt said:

I enjoyed the starter, I hope the main course and sweet are up to the same standard, if they are, I will personally pay the bill for this seasons fare.

Elvis said:

Yep, good player and it's up to him and Chris Hughton to see if he works out in the long run. I am just enjoying the prem again and seeing our lads playing at the level they are capable of.

We should all enjoy it as long as it lasts.


Al Young said:

Interesting to note that this morning's Grauniad highlighted Tiote's role as an accurate passer of the ball as a key reason behind our dominance


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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