Not to over react too much on the positive side, but it’s good news to hear that new Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes Joey Barton and Hatem Ben Arfa are key players in Newcastle’s future.
Hatem Ben Arfa – Alan will try to resolve his situation with Llambias
It was never clear what the departure of Chris Hughton would mean to the pending potential transfer of Ben Arfa to Newcastle United, since it was apparent the 23 year-old was a huge admirer of Chris.
And it was the same with Joey Barton, who has often come out and said Chris Hughton was a top class manager and Joey though he was hugely under-rated.
With Chris now gone, it was an open question as to what the futures of these two players would be on Tyneside, especially with West Ham having bid already for Barton, and a number of other clubs also being interested.
French International Ben Arfa is working hard to get back to fitness from a broken leg he picked up against Manchester City in early October, but the good news recently was that he could be back as early as late next month, which was good to hear.
Alan Pardew was asked, by the local Evening Chronicle, if he wanted Barton to stay at Newcastle:
“Yes. I think he has been a good player for Newcastle this season from my observations.” “I’ve watched a few DVDs now.”
“I think he is important – this season in particular – and he’s very much part of my plans.” “When he’s fit and starting, it’s a big bonus.”
It’s good to know that Alan has been able to watch a few videos of the previous games this season, so he can quickly get up to date on the players he has inherited.
Alan has admitted he is already a fan of Hatem Ben Arfa, and the boy is adored on Tyneside for his silky skills and the fact he seems to love the Newcastle club, and it seems that Newcastle fans would be delighted if the club can sign this boy full time.
This is what Alan said about the Frenchman:
“He’s in my thinking – strongly.” “I am going to speak to Derek (Llambias) about that and see if we can resolve it some way.”
“I’ve had a brief meeting about potential targets and positions with Graham Carr.” “I still need to assess the group here. It would be unfair not to.”
“But the window is an opportunity and you have to keep an eye on it.” “Hopefully it will be good news.”
Hopefully, resolve it in some way is French for – sign the lad up. 😀
Graham Carr has a hugely important and difficult role job to play for the club, as the Chief Scout he must pick up some good players, who can be acquired cheaply, or on free transfers.
And Pardew has already said that’s an important area for the club in the future, as hopefully Newcastle can push on from where Chris left off.
Alan seems to have said all the right things so far, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating of course, and let’s hope the good Newcastle turn up this afternoon against an improving Liverpool side.
It will be a test of the players’ characters as much as anything in this afternoon’s game, and if we can get anything at all out of it, that would be positive, given the traumatic week that has just passed.