While we think that Ben Arfa may start today at the Hawthorns, Alan Pardew has for the second time in a week come out and essentially said that Ben Arfa has still work to do to become a starter again at Newcastle.
Ben Arfa in action on Sunday afternoon
This is what Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has said today about the 26 year-old mercurial French winger, before the game at West Brom this afternoon:
“First he has got to get in front of Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko and that isn’t going to be easy because they have been brilliant.”
“But I have no worries about Hatem. I think he’s in great shape.” “He is an exciting player and we have always had a history of that here.”
“But at the moment, he is trying to get a team place and he’s fighting two very good players to get in the team.” “I honestly thought he could win it for us against Arsenal after coming on.”
“But unfortunately for him after about two minutes of him coming on, we conceded.” “If it had stayed at 0-0, obviously Arsenal would have pushed for the goal and that would have created more opportunities for him so he was a little bit unfortunate.”
“Towards the end there were two or three moments, mainly from Hatem, that just didn’t fall for us, and that was the difference.”
This will be Newcastle’s 4th game in 11 days, and surely some of the top players who do not start at the moment on Tyneside deserve a chance today?
But even if Ben Arfa doesn’t start this game against a beatable West Brom side, he will be used in the second half and lead Newcastle’s attacking efforts to win this game today – which is very important.
For the record Ben Arfa as played 73 times since signing on from Marseilles, and he’s scored 15 goals and had 18 assists – which is not a bad return after being out of the game for almost a year with that terrible double fracture of the left leg that he suffered at Manchester City in October of 2010.
Ben Arfa could be a match winner at the Hawthorns this afternoon.
What do you think?
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