Ben Arfa has declined the request from Nigel de Jong, that he would come over and meet with the Frenchman before tomorrow’s game at Newcastle’s hotel.
Nigel de Jong – in action against former skipper Kevin Nolan
But Alan Pardew has stepped in and said it’s okay meeting with the Dutchman, but only after the game, not before, so that presumably is now what will happen.
This is what Alan had to say about the offer from de Jong:
“I agreed with it but it wasn’t under instruction from me. De Jong actually said ‘I will come to the hotel or see you before the game’, but Hatem said, ‘No, I will see you after’.”
“I don’t think you should before the game. We’re going into battle and also I think after the game is probably a good time for those kind of things.”
“You can carry some demons after an injury like that and I have had a chat with him and he has assured me he has no problems going back there.”
“He has no problems with the particular player. That player has contacted him, which I appreciate. He has said he wants to see Hatem and we’ve said after the game, not before. Hopefully that will then come to rest.”
“I wasn’t the manager at the time but I thought it was a bad tackle and unfortunately Hatem suffered a severe injury. More than a year down the line, and it has taken a long time.”
” I think Hatem is getting back to his best which is good news for us.”
It’s a good gesture by the Dutchman, but it’s just a pity he couldn’t have done this a lot sooner, but certainly better late than never.
And we have seen in some reports that journalists are referring to the Newcastle ground as the Sports Direct Arena – how strange.
This is what Newcastle boss had to say about Ashley’s decision to sell the naming rights to the highest bidder:
“For the traditionalists amongst our fans, I think it’s something they are upset at,”
“But it is still in the same place and it’s still the Gallowgate End and we still have your tradition of walking to the stadium from the center of town.”
“On the other side of the coin, of course, commercially, it will attract a big sponsor, we hope, and give us extra revenue to go forward.”
Mike has said he doesn’t mind at all if the fans keep calling it St. James’ Park, and the only one who will suffer will be the sponsor of course.
Mike doesn’t care, just as long as he can up to £10M a year from a brand that wants to have their name associated with Newcastle’s stadium.
We will not call the Newcastle ground anything other than St. James’ Park – that’s what it’s always been to us, and will remain so.