We start our Newcastle United Moment Of The Decade Advent Calendar with Hatem Ben Arfa’s unbelievable individual goal against Blackburn in the 2012 FA Cup.
One of the greatest solo efforts ever seen at St James’ Park, his run and finish is one of those moments fans who were there still reminisce and enthuse about seven years later.
Already a goal behind, the French magician picked the ball up just inside the Blackburn half, before setting off on an incredible weaving run towards the Gallowgate End goal.
He jinked inside and out, beating five mesmerised Blackburn defenders who simply could not get near the ball, before cutting back to launch a thunderous strike from the edge of the six yard box, beyond visiting keeper Mark Bunn, and into the roof of the net.
It was one of the best goals I have seen live since I started watching Newcastle in 1979, and is one no fan can ever get tired of watching whenever it is shown. It was nominated for the 2012 FIFA Puskas Award, but it was eventually won by Miroslav Stoch.
That game also saw Jonas Gutierrez don his Spiderman mask
The game was also remembered for Jonas Gutierrez’s 95th minute injury time winner, which completed Newcastle’s come from behind win, and saw the Argentinian hero whip out his Spiderman mask in front of celebrating fans.
But that moment is largely forgotten in the shadow of Ben Arfa’s moment of glory.
With such talent in abundance, it is amazing to think the downward spiral his career took in the years that followed, and despite him being on the fringes of greatness, with a dream move to PSG the perfect platform for him to reach the very top, it never materialised.
Amazing too, to think that he is currently without a club for the third time in his career, having been released from his year long deal at Rennes, having previously suffered a similar fate after leaving Newcastle in 2015, and PSG in 2018.
But he is given cult-hero status on Tyneside, and mention his name, and that goal against Blackburn is usually the first thing that comes to mind.
Every day until Christmas, Geordie Boot Boys will bring you another incredible Newcastle moment as we countdown the 25 most iconic Toon moments of the decade.