Monday links and the weekend that was

Hatem Ben Arfa is popular with many of the Toon Army, including David Ginola (with interview audio!  HBA talk begins around 4:25) while former captain Bob Moncur is tipping Yohan Cabaye for Toon glory.

Ian Holloway is blogging for The Mirror... I miss him and his Blackpool side in the Premiership.  He weighs in on Arsene WengerJoey Barton, and why he wouldn't even have Alex Ferguson as manager of England.  The Fergie piece is a little older, but the blogs are a lite version of what I love about Holloway.

Sir Alex Ferguson is the best manager in the world right now. But would I love to see him in charge of ­England? Would I hell.

Fergie might be No.1 when it comes to getting the best out of players, but he has also got Scottish blood coursing through his veins and I know for a fact that he loves his country.

And that’s why, when Fabio Capello came into focus on my TV screen on Tuesday night before England’s clash with Wales, I was tempted to switch channels.

The camera first panned across the faces of Gary Speed’s team and then to the visiting fans who had made the trip to Wembley. It was clear to see that they were proud ­Welshmen by the way they belted out Land Of My ­Fathers with all the gusto of a male-voice choir.

Yet when God Save The Queen was played, it seemed as if Capello didn’t even recognise the tune. And why should he? He’s as Italian as pasta and ­parmesan cheese.

International football should be about country v country – England against the rest of the world.

It should be about pride.

From a piece posted on the Chronicle's website, a quote about some stats for NUFC while on the road:

“We have had some stats from Saturday at Villa and they were the best they have been since I have been here.

The passing and possession stats away from home [emphasis added] have shown we have a different look about us.

“I said I wanted us to have more control over games. We did at Villa.

“One game doesn’t make a season but there were some good signs there.”

Cheik Tiote enjoys Yohan Cabaye.

We are not the only ones that are speculating on Steve Harper's status... but don't worry, he's not going out on loan.

So Alan Pardew has compared Hatem Ben Arfa to Heineken beer... which lead to this little bit of fun from talksport.

Speaking of Alan Pardew, apparently it is ok to have different expectations these days.

If you didn't know that Demba Ba scored a hat trick on the weekend, now you do.  Also, Pardew speculates as to Ba's slow start and makes note of Steve Kean's erroneous assertion that the game would have ended completely differently had Ba's 3rd been disallowed.

Mike Ashley's rational thinking of running Newcastle United as a normal business is refreshing and their performances on the pitch shows.

A short column from The National singing the praises of Ashley. . . We're 6 weeks in -- early returns are encouraging, but perhaps enshrining the business attitude at this point is a bit premature.  Question:  If Ashley does manage to set up a system of youth talent acquisition and selling high to reacquire more youth, would you feel pleased with the end result if they manage to keep strategic pieces of the puzzle and end up with top-6 every couple of years or so (somewhat like the Tampa Bay Rays of MLB)?

Nile Ranger got his car back.  I'm sure you were all concerned.  The quote below was something I hadn't run across to this point, and explains a lot if you ask me:

Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger, 20, had been clubbing with Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli, 21, shortly before he was stopped.

Phil Airey has returned not to return to Hibernian to continue his 6-month loan deal.  As a Hearts fan as well, I'll reserve comment.

Non NUFC- Bob Bradley is now the manager of Egypt.

And finally:

I've been trying to mix in a healthy dose of research-oriented searching into the history of the club just for fun, and so I thought I would pass on bits here and there as I come across good stuff.  Let me start with this one, about a sheet metal worker's son from Newcastle, the greatest #9 in the history of the Premier League.

A brief view of the weekend that was.  Onward to Wolves- HTL!

Late find: Check out this goal from the Norwegian league... pretty remarkable.

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