It’s hardly surprising that Ben Arfa now wants to play every game for Newcastle.
Ben Arfa – in action at the City Ground
Ben Arfa had a fine comeback on Tuesday night at Nottingham Forest, when Newcastle got through to the 4th round of the Carling Cup by a score of 4-3, after going ahead four times in the game, although they needed extra time to do it.
The eight times capped French International got a good 70 minutes run-out and looked good, as did his two French team-mates Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid, who played in midfeld.
Now Ben Arfa would love to play against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon, when he will no doubt get a fantastic reception from the Newcastle fans, because it will be the first time he’s played at St. James’ Park in almost a year.
After the Nottingham Forest game, Ben Arfa talked about his ambitions:
“I feel ready to play in every match now, in fact I’m dying to play.”
But it’s also clear that Alan Pardew will bring Ben Arfa back slowly, to ensure he’s fully recovered, and there are no break-downs.
With Newcastle doing very well and many players now pushing for positions in the starting line-up, Alan Pardew has lots of options, although we’d be surprised if Ben Arfa is not at least on the bench on Saturday, and he could even start the game.
Alan Pardew had this to say about the 24 year-old, and it’s clear he does not want to rush the player back:
“We all know that Hatem brings something special to the team.” “But we don’t have to rush him.”
We expect Ben Arfa will start on the bench and then be introduced sometime in the second half against Blackburn, but with his skill and flair, he could also be the difference between the two sides on Saturday.
A win will keep Newcastle in 4th place and maybe even get them up to 3rd position, depending on Chelsea’s result against Swansea at home.