Ben Arfa has essentially been out of the side since he suffered a hamstring strain on Thursday, November 22nd, when we could only draw 1-1 with CS Maritimo, and although he came back for the game at Fulham on 10th December and even scored that great goal, he’s been out ever since, after making his hamstring a lot worse in that game.
Ben Arfa – after scoring penalty against Spurts in August
So that’s almost a full three calendar months out for the French International winger, and he’s likely to be in the match day squad of 18 at Swansea on Saturday, although he’ll probably start the game on the bench.
And earlier this week Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said the French wizard still isn’t back to being as sharp as he needs to be in the Premier League.
This is what Alan said:
“He’s getting better – but he isn’t there yet. He might get a bit of time at Swansea.”
In fact it wasn’t until about 13 months ago that Ben Arfa became a regular in the Newcastle first team, after he changed his game a bit and started to track back and do a lot more work in defense and in general – than he had been used to when he played at Lyon and Marseilles.
The Frenchman will again need to fight for his place with players like Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran settling in very quickly in the new Newcastle line-up, and playing very well from day one.
And with the European games against FC Anzhi Makhachkala coming up we should see Ben Arfa even start those two games.
But we hope to see Ben Arfa come on in the second half against Swansea on Saturday in South Wales, depending on the situation – and maybe he can score the winning goal.
That would be just great!
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org