Hatem Ben Arfa will return to the squad for tomorrow’s home game against Crystal Palace, and he will most likely be given a run-out in the second half, because Newcastle could need his unique ability to get through what is expected to be a tough defensive performance from Tony Pulis’ Palace side.
Ben Arfa and Alan Pardew
The 27 year-old winger has not played since the Tottenham disaster because of a groin strain, and after that game he was lambasted by manager Pardew in the dressing room because of his poor work rate, and there’s now a decent possibility that he could be sold in the summer, with just one year left on his four and a half year deal at the club.
Ben Arfa returned to full training this week, and this is what Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told the Shields Gazette today:
“I need to weigh it up with everything else,” “Hatem needs to deliver. I’m concerned with his assists and his goals. He needs to produce for us.”
“The last few games he’s played, there weren’t as many as there should have been. But I think his confidence is better, and I hope that part of it improves.”
“Hatem missed six days’ training last week,” “We’ve put some work into him. We think he’s in a better place.” “I don’t think he’s ready for a 90-minute game in this team at the moment.”
“Obviously, he’ll be involved.”
In 25 appearances this season ben Arfa has three goals and seven assists, but he hasn’t produced many goals or assists for the side for a while, which is what the manager is referring to.
Tomorrow would be a great time for Ben Arfa to come on and change the game for us, and show some of that magic we know he possesses in spades.
And it may take a player of Ben Arfa’s unique and immense abilities to open up the Palace defense tomorrow – we hope the 13 times capped French International can do just that.
Newcastle definitely need a win tomorrow, after last Saturday’s poor performance in London.
Howay The Lads!!
Note: Lewis Williams is in his final year at the University of West London (UWL) studying for a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management, and he is busy on his dissertation on Site Waste Management Plans and he has a survey he needs filled out.
This survey is for anyone who has been part of a construction project (past or present) that used some form of waste management on the project. See if you can help him with they survey here.