It’s expected that Ben Arfa will return to the line-up tonight for Newcastle at Craven Cottage, and it will be great to have the Frenchman back in the side, where his immense creativity has been sorely missed over the last few games.
Ben Arfa in action against Aston Villa this season
While Pardew is not saying for definite that the Frenchman is fit to play – he obviously knows that Ben Arfa is now a huge player for the side:
“If he is fit enough to play, it would be important because he’s a good player – a great player.” “If there was one defender to beat and I had to choose a player to take him on beat him, it would be Hatem. That’s his real strength.”
“I signed him after looking at the tape of the Everton game and the goal.” “The little history I did about him in France was enough to convince me that he had massive talent.”
“It was just a question of whether I could work with him and get into his head, and I felt I could do that with the experience I’d had of Yossi Benayoun, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, Teddy Sheringham, and fortunately it seems to have worked out.”
Ben Arfa was already on loan from Marseilles at Newcastle when Alan Pardew arrived two years ago, but after watching some tapes of the player, he persuaded Mike Ashley to sign him, even though the Frenchman had just sustained a horrific double fracture of the left leg in early October two years ago and was months from being fully fit.
And Alan Pardew has handled the Frenchman brilliantly over the last couple of years, and he has been no trouble at all on Tyneside, after he had arrived with a bad boy image.
And there’s such a great relationship between the 25 year-old and the fans, that the 13 times capped French International seems to just love it on Tyneside.
For the record, Ben Arfa has played 47 times for Newcastle with 9 goals and 10 assists, and we hope he makes his 48th appearance for the Magpies tonight in London.
He’s been a fantastic signing for Newcastle.
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