Pardew – Ben Arfa Still Short Of Sharpness – Needs To Improve

Alan Pardew has been inundated with questions since  Saturday,  about why Ben Arfa wasn’t used in the second half against Swansea.

>Ben Arfa – still doesn’t have his sharpness back

And in fact the French International hasn’t played at all in the last two games.

The Newcastle manager has again tried to answer that question, and it seems he couldn’t use Ben Arfa at Norwich because Newcastle were just not strong enough overall, especially at the back.

And Alan believes Newcastle  have to be at full tilt to have Ben Arfa playing in the side, and he didn’t think conditions were quite right against Swansea.

This is how Pardew explained the situation this time around:

“I know there have been suggestions, rumours, that he isn’t happy here, but it’s just not true.”  “He’s fine, I think he knows he’s not at his best yet and the stats in the game he has played, I would expect better from him because of what a good player he is.”

“He just needs to come up a level.” “It’s not about his relationship with the other players, you’re looking too deeply into this, he’s just a player who needs more time.”

“I think he will find his best form before the end of the season but how quickly that is I don’t know. I’ll use him as I see fit, I didn’t use him on Saturday because I didn’t think the situation was right. It’s as simple as that.”

“He’s an individual character in terms of his personality on the pitch, but in terms of that we still have situations where we need to be at full tilt to put him in the team, and we’re not quite there at the moment.”

“We were a lot better Saturday and the chances of him being involved on Wednesday against West Brom are a lot higher because of how strong we looked defensively against Swansea. We looked like our old selves.”

“Of course, it didn’t help we had defensive injuries, because that has affected Hatem as well.” “To lose your three first choice centre-halves for the Norwich game hurts, because Hatem is the type of player you need a strong base to bring out the best in him and to protect ourselves.

“Saturday was the first time since Manchester United that we looked like a solid team.” “He is just lacking that bit of sharpness. I don’t think it is a case of accommodating him.”

“We look different when he is in the side and it needs to turn into a positive for us which I think it can do.” “Fingers crossed for Hatem that happens for him and us because if we can get him back to his very best we have an exceptional player.”

We don’t want to make too much of this of course,  and it does take some time for players to regain their top fitness and form, after a serious injury like Ben Arfa suffered over a year ago.

The same thing is happening to young Dan Gosling, who is also finding it difficult to get his sharpness and form back, following his very serious ACL knee injury.

But we do expect Ben Arfa to play on Wednesday night against WBA, and we also expect him to put in a  good display.

Maybe he can score his second goal for Newcastle against West Brom,  and show he is on his way back.

We have full confidence that  it’s just a matter  time with the 24 year-old,  but we have to be patient, which of  course is never easy for a Newcastle fan. 😀

Comments welcome.

19 comments so far

  • JoNUFC

    Dec 19, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #1

    Evening Lads, haven’t commented in a while so a few questions. 1) I work Saturdays so don’t get a chance to watch most games so how is Santon doing?
    2) And please a general review of the team 🙂

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #2

    People need to stop talking about Ben area playing on the wing! One of the biggest reasons Benny signed for us was that he’d play centrally! He had many bust ups in France with coaches playing him on the wings as he felt playing out of position hampered his developement, performances and international prospects!

  • jayphoto

    Dec 19, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Comment #3

    Ben area? Ben arfa!! Damn auto correct

  • Brutooon

    Dec 19, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #4

    Ben Arfa will be our key player when Demba Ba is out for ACON. He will be the free role behind Leon Best.

    Give Ben Arfa time, when he is on his best – he is unstoppable. Ben Arfa won the french league several times – he knew the secret to success go guys BE PATIENT !

    Howay Da Lads

  • soundoid

    Dec 19, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #5

    Great words from Alan,

    If anyone has broken a leg you know how much time it takes for the muscles to return back to strength and how much you try and protect it just in the street never mind on a football pitch.

    Pardew obviously likes the lad and is taking his time.. i trust him on this one.

    I think Pards is just protecting him to use when Ba goes to the ACON like Brutoon said.

  • BigKirky

    Dec 19, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #6

    Really hope Benny starts on Wed and puts on a good performance. Goals keep players of any position in teams. Hope he gets one and sparkles in the process.

    Expect him to lose the ball on occasions, but that comes with the territory of taking on players, however good you are, Messi included. It’s those times when they do get past a player which can lead to goals, because it forces an additional opposition defender to cover for their beaten teammate, therefore freeing up our player he was initially marking.

  • yorkshire_mag

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #7

    sorry jay, have to disagree, think he’s far more affective with more space to play with and run into, creating 1 on 1 situations from the wing. It seems too congested for him to really shine in the centre.

  • messi_is_king

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Comment #8

    ppl shudnt get on obertans back

    he played quite well 1st half n hes tryin hes still pretty inexperienced at prem league football remember

    also wingers from abroad rnt just tought to run down the line n stick it in the box all the time. do we wana be kick n rush??

  • AP's Black & White Army

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Comment #9

    Bollocks, hasn’t been half as bad as some would have you think.

  • london_mag

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #10


    he need to get sharper??? yeah bring on sammi ameobi then!!!!

    either something is going on behind the scenes that they wont talk about or Pardew is a terrible manager and has had a lucky run

  • messi_is_king

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #11

    pardew does have faith in ben arfa i belive that

    we just gotta keep showin love for hatem n not be frustrated if he gets on pitch n trys things n loses the ball

    he will shine thru in the end. long term he can be a great player for us.

    i think he wil be best as no10 but also pardew shudnt be afraid to bring him on in wide if he wants to keep to strikers n we wanna win the game

  • Malaytoon

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #12

    i wish pardew will start HBA this wednesday! he should replace obertan with HBA…i like obertan because he is a toon player but HBA is more skillful and his skillful can be useful then obertan..besides that with cabaye out i will like to se abeid or vuckic start for us…both young and talented!

  • mattyNUFC

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #13

    any logic Pardew muttered was clearly disproved when he brought on young Sammi. The kid is not ready, and how he gets a run out before arfa when we’re 0-0 and in cruise control but still needing someone with that extra spark is beyond me. Yes, he talks sense here, but he rebukes himself by his substitutions. Not calling for his head but we’re going to lose HBA if Pardew doesnt figure out SOON how to PROPERLY incorporate him into the team, it’s as simple as that

  • Sinner

    Dec 20, 2011 at 5:14 AM

    Comment #14

    Pardew needs to get in his ****ing brain that Ben Arfa had his best game in b&w shirt when he was playing as winger!
    This is getting frustrating seeing Obertan getting a start ahead of him! 👿

  • Lew Davies

    Dec 20, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    Comment #15

    It doesn’t help that the arrogant french twat wont play a few matches for the ressies, which would help to improve his sharpness.
    Pardew is right not to play him until he is ready.

  • TooNArMy0

    Dec 20, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #16

    @Lew Davies

    zip ur mouth and f*** off to ur scumland u racist drunk MF..

  • Nick 69

    Dec 20, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #17

    Yes Alan the best way to get Ben Arfa’s sharpness back is definitely by not playing him at all isnt it!! numpty! Granted his best position and favoured position may be in the centre, however I guarantee he’d rather be on the winge than the bench, and I guarantee he’d do a 10 times beter job on the wing than obertan.

  • jayjay

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #18

    What a lame excuse, if benny doesnt play he wont get his sharpness back. Swansea was the perfect game for him, Pardew is weak and doesnt know how to deal with ben arfa, how to use it, i m french (yeah, sorry) and i know how good hba is, he s a genius, but he needs to feel that the coach likes him and has faith in him.

  • jayjay

    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #19

    I totally agree with nick69, Obertan is pooh, Benny , even when his leg was broken , is ten times better


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