Ben Arfa To Be Held Back For Swansea?

Ben Arfa will need to wait for the Swansea match on March 2nd at the Liberty Stadium in South Wales,  after almost three months out with a hamstring injury – and that’s according to the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

Hatem Ben Arfa gets a hug from his Newcastle United team-mate

Hatem Ben Arfa – set to return against Swansea

But then Alan goes on to to say that the Frenchman has only been back from France for a couple of days,  after he did all his rehabilitation at the French Clairfontaine Academy just east of Paris – but that Ben Arfa is in great shape.

This is what Alan Pardew told the Daily Mirror today, when asked why Ben Arfa was not on the plane to the Ukraine:

“It was a no-brainer. He has only been with us two days after being at Clairefontaine during his rehabilitation. ” “They have handed him over in fantastic condition. I thank them for that. We have a relationship with them to let any of our French players recover there.

“He looks match-fitness short, but we hope we can get him up to speed for the next round. Sunday is too early. But against Swansea on March 2 he could have a cameo role on the bench.”

Maybe it’s just us – but if he’s in fantastic condition why wouldn’t he start against Southampton on Sunday – after all he wasn’t exactly match fit when he made his return against Fulham in early December, and it turns out he wasn’t physically fit either, and did his hamstring further damage in that game.

We’ll have to wait and see,  but we have lots of players available like Gutierrez, Gouffran, Obertan and Marveaux, who can do a decent job on the wings against Southampton.

But then there’s Ben Arfa – a class above.

What do you think?

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26 comments so far

  • t00ntime

    Feb 21, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Comment #1

    Damn it! I want my ben arfa back!! *flips table*

    but seriously i hope he is on the bench for the saints. If we dont need him dont play him. If it isnt looking good throw him on for 30mins. Match fitness comes through playing matches not sitting at SJP watching

  • toonLYF

    Feb 21, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #2

    as a fan from the stands, i’d rather see him play for 25-30 minutes even if it meant him making some mistakes due to lack of match fitness, than not playing him at all. As we saw against Fulham he doesn’t need to be match fit to produce spectacular left-footed strikes; possibly one of the best left foots in the european game at the moment.

  • nick_9

    Feb 21, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #3

    Come on Benny lad show him who is boss in training. I cannot wait to see sissoko, Benny and gouffran play together. I wish Benny was fit, the lad is unreal and I love players who can beat a man let alone two or three. Any news on gouffran lads?

    I reckon tiote will play tonight, that new hair cut would strike fear in anyone, he looks like one of the gremlins. I think we can beat Metalist and take full advantage of the away goal rule so we don’t have to complain about being robbed at sjp. Would like to see Anita and marveaux play a part if they aren’t in the starting eleven for Sunday.

  • jayphoto

    Feb 21, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Comment #4

    Heard that before from pards when we played spurs first game of the season! He said benny had no match fitness then and still played him for 80 minutes! Worst thing about nufc these days is they really dont give anything away in any area!

  • manxpie

    Feb 21, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Comment #5

    i reckon he’ll at least be on the bench if he’s in full training he should be at least ready to play from the bench i can’t wait to see this full line-up of arfa sissko gouf and cisse wit cabeye spraying the passes and tiote breakin the play! canny wait lyk!
    and if any1 wants to watch the chelsea highlights again it’s a laugh just for the commentry
    enjoy 🙂

  • chris_g

    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    Comment #6

    22 Nov
    Benny suffers hamstring injury in game v Maritimo. Misses the next four games

    9 Dec
    Good news – he could be back in the team to play against Fulham the next day. Pards quoted as saying “If he is fit enough to play, it would be important because he’s a good player – a great player”

    10 Dec
    Deemed fit enough to play, although not match fit. Comes off after 40mins with a recurrence of the hamstring injury. Out for over two months

    20 Feb
    Pards quoted as saying “he has only been with us two days after being at Clairefontaine during his rehabilitation……he looks match-fitness short……Sunday is too early”

    But, in spite of all that, there are still people on here who believe that Pards would be stupid enough to risk playing Benny in a high-tempo PL game so soon after coming back from injury, and when not fully match fit. Do they think he’s forgotten what happened the last time?

  • IITianToon

    Feb 21, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    Comment #7

    Pardew doing his best to prolong Jonas’ run in the team!!
    But if indeed its a smokescreen ala Spurs, I dont think Pochettino is falling for it. He would prepare Shaw any case to deal with Ben10.

  • mindshaft

    Feb 21, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    Comment #8

    Well hba isn’t in squad for tomoz so def not playing -?

  • 89Norcal

    Feb 21, 2013 at 6:04 AM

    Comment #9

    I thought Benny had been fit for a week now, and he only missed our last 2 games because he got ill.

    Surely Pardew could use him as a sub on Sunday. Is Gouffran cup tied? because without him AND benny we are noticeably more wasteful and blunted in our attack.

  • Assam Toon

    Feb 21, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Comment #10

    we should be playing simmo and haidara, with perch covering the latter. So we will have debuchy, santon and one CB fresh for Sunday.
    A lot depends on our approach…if pardew play sissoko, cabs and marvs I think one of them can nick one in. with cisse not firing, one can hope one of them fancying a shot and cisse pouncing on the rebound. but obertan, jonas are hardly an attacking threat, pardew unfortunately is likely to play jonas, who is a better option if we are defending.

  • Assam Toon

    Feb 21, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Comment #11

    Metalist 1.91, Newcastle 4.5, Draw 3.6
    apparently people think metalist is more likely to win… because of our away form, overall form, our habit of not turning up and shooting ourselves in the foot and also because we are unlikely to field a strong team. although a goal scoring draw is what I would expect. 2-2 draw with shola scoring a 90 min winner to excite us and prolong his stay

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 21, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    Comment #12


    The odds are like that as Metalist are a very good team. Just because we don’t hear much about Ukrainian football don’t assume they aren’t a top side.

    Our advantage is their lack of competitive football. We can get a result, personally I would be surprised at us winning, but think we should have more than enough in the tank for a score draw.

    My biggest worry is going to extra time. I don’t often consider the 2 games in 3 days as a factor, but the extra 30 mins, in very cold conditions could prove costly as legs tire.

    I think Mapou right back again with Haidara, and keep Tayls and Colo centre back. After that, pick the strongest available line out, hit them hard early on and take control of the match.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 21, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    Comment #13


    My understanding was that Benny would have been fit 2 weeks ago, but the illness interrupted his rehab setting him back a little bit.

    I can’t see Pardew not at least having him on the bench against Southampton. It is too big a game to go in without the option of him if fit. I hate Spurs, but am not too upset at losing their as beating the teams around us is much more important to our survival and moving up the table.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Feb 21, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #14


    Not that I’m excited about it.

    It isn’t normal, but I wake up today and agree with chris_g. If Benny isn’t match fit do not play him until he is ready. After the Fulham game I would have thought that everyone, manager, player and fans would be on the same page. Yes these upcoming games are important, but I’d rather he missed another two games than another two months.

  • jimmysmith

    Feb 21, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    Comment #15

    No, no, no. Lets play Benny from the get go. I mean why wait, life’s too short.

    I’m suddenly having flashbacks to when I was a little kid and alone in a strange room when a charming young lady came in and gave me a biscuit and told me if I didn’t eat it until she came back, she’d give me another.

    I promptly scarfed it before she could even get out of the room and then when her back was turned, I scarfed the rest of the packet.

    I haven’t amounted to much in life, but if there’s one thing i’m damned sure of it’s we should play Benny from the off against those mentalists.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Feb 21, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #16

    jimmy… 🙂

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Feb 21, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #17

    Wow it’s busy on here this morning, can barely keep up.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 21, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #18


    I agree rest him till he is fully fit, but I still suspect he will be on the bench on Sunday, as a Pardew insurance plan if things aren’t going our way. We don’t have the attacking options not to have that sort of quality.

    Remember Tino’s debut at Boro when he was nowhere near match fit, had a glass of wine for lunch before the match,, and came off the bench to turn the game around. That is something that HBA is well capable of if, and only if, it is required.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Feb 21, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Comment #19

    Lilongwe….Good old Tino. Never heard the bit about the glass of wine, perhaps a few shots of vodka are in order before the game tonight and I’m not just talking about for the fans?

    As an insurance plan maybe, but I’d really rather not see him this weekend…unless we absolutely have to. I would think we have enough without him, but that all depends on which Newcastle turn up.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 21, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #20

    We should have enough without him, but the same could be said for a number of games we have dropped points in! To be honest, I don’t see Pardew using him unless it is entirely necessary, although a lot could rest on whether Goofy is fit to start as well.

    I’d like to see Anita play on Sunday instead of Perch/Tiote, Southampton aren’t hugely physical in midfield, so Anita’s mobility would be a positive rather than Tiote’s strength.

    As for the Vodka, they might need it just to keep the chill off. -7 forecast through the night there. I’m struggling to remember how cold that is, 15 degrees here seems cold to me nowadays!

  • Ian Toon

    Feb 21, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #21

    Lilongwe – A stevie Watson header what a magic moment that was.
    Like the season opening day keegan debut goal that beat QPR 1-0. George Caulkin was telling my brother that it looks like Simpson will be at RB with Yanga on the left. Pardew’s thinking is that aside from Yanga it’s a back four that have played together.
    Ibiza- Good morning. Love your enthusiasm I always wake on match day with eager anticipation. Hoping for some magic moments that we can all recall in years to come. Catch you !!

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Feb 21, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #22

    Lilongwe…He certainly can and has provided the difference to the team. Gouffran has done a great job at providing another option of late, as you say.

    Agree on Anita, against the saints he’s a perfect choice for me.

    Ian…Good morning. I don’t know why anyone would be a supporter and not be enthusiastic, i’m sure I remember something being said about “it’s the taking part that counts, not the winning”….on second thought, not sure that’s a phrase I want to go with today.

    Some European magic moments are certainly due…hoping for a few of them tonight. Until next time

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Feb 21, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #23

    I don’t really have an issue with Simpson starting. He can still be a decent squad player for the next 6 months, and has always given his all even if his all doesn’t match up to everyone’s standards. Having said that, I would rather play Haidara as he is part of our clubs future and it would be good to bed him in. Haidara also offers us a more offensive option on the left, particularly if, as expected Jonas plays.

  • TorqToon

    Feb 21, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #24

    Match day!!!!! Boom!!! Come on lads!! Time to do the business!

    Also…for anybody who wants a laugh…

    Personal highlights;

    Carroll’s transfer fee magically dropped to £33mil
    Ben Arfa swap link
    Newcastle willing to accept “fair prices” for their players ie AC deal

    Those scousers are simply deluded!!! Haha

  • toontillidie

    Feb 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #25

    @ nick

    News is that Goofy will be in the squad to face the saints on sunday but as for Europe he is ineligible due to Bordeaux still being in the comp 🙂

  • toonluvva

    Feb 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #26

    Just wondering if Pardew is simply putting off the day when he has to sort out his strongest side.

    When Ben Arfa is back in the squad, providing we don’t pick injuries to the likes of Goofy, Sissoko, Anita et al, Pardew will no longer have the luxury of blaming a depleted team should results not be good.

    Most managers would be rubbing their hands with glee if they had a fully fit squad to pick from.


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