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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Another Newcastle Star Likely To Be Sold In The Summer

8:05 am, Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 10 Comments

Hatem Ben Arfa will have one year left on his contract at Newcastle in the summer, and it’s a good question as to whether Newcastle will sell him in the summer, rather than lose him for nothing in July of next year, when he will become a free agent.

ben arfa trapping ball

Ben Arfa – is his time up at Newcastle?

The other thing that could happen is that he gets a new contract, but with the inconsistent way he has played this season, and his inability to nail down a starting place at Newcastle, that may now be unlikely.

Alan Pardew has issued an honest assessment of the player today:

“In the short-term we’ve given him a fitness program because in the last few games he played for us he didn’t play very well by his own admission.”

“His confidence is a little low, and his fitness was a bit low for whatever reason. He missed six days with a family illness so we’ve got some extra work into him and he looks a little bit more confident.”

“He’s not ready to play and start this game but he will be on the bench on Saturday. He needs a good finish to the season and he’s aware of that for a number of reasons.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever shut the door with any player. I have been accused of that in the past but that’s never been truthful. I’ve not lost patience with him.”

“But he has to gain the trust of not just me, but of our players and our fans that he’s the real deal if he’s going to play.” “On the performance at Fulham the two strikers are under a little bit of pressure.”

“Hatem is in a pool of players that you can ask is he going to be a success here. If it is, then they stay. If it’s not then we’ll move them on.”

“The bottom line with Hatem is this – don’t confuse that I have a problem with his work rate. If he’s getting assists and goals, then that balances itself out. “

“If he isn’t then it isn’t balancing up. He needs to get that balance right.”

There were reports in the last couple of days that some Newcastle players were not satisfied with Ben Arfa’s work-rate on the field, and with his unwillingness at times to track back to help out the defense.

And of course when he’s playing well and scoring goals at the other end, that deficiency in Ben Arfa’s game is overlooked, as the manager rightly points out.

If Newcastle were a better team and higher up in the league table, it would be easier to accommodate a player like Ben Arfa, who has always been a potential match-winner and still is, and he has amazing skills and technique.

But we are not a top side, and it could be that this is the player’s last season on Tyneside, and if he does go in the summer, we would expect it to be at a club that plays regularly in the Champions League.

And that will not go down well with a number of Newcastle fans, who will say that Ben Arfa has not been managed well enough on Tyneside, and that we didn’t get the best out of the 27 year-old.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



Tags: Contracts · European Champions League · Hatem Ben Arfa · Newcastle News · Premier League



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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Whoarya.com // Mar 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    Ben Arfa has the potential to not only replace Cabaye but surpass him so it is frustrating that he hasn’t “clicked” yet.

  • 2 firebug666 // Mar 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    I said this yesterday, put him in a forward role alongside LDJ and see how he does. If he is given a more attacking role where he does not need to track back as much, his freedom in the last third could bring about goals and assists.

    Every defender in the league knows exactly what HBA will do if he is playing down the wing. Giving him the freedom to play an advanced forward role, might be all he needs to bring back that little bit of confidence that will allow him to mesmerise defenders and our fans with his gifted feet.

    Playing him with LDJ will IMO give them both a chance to get on the score sheet. Defenders will watch Benny like a hawk and he in turn could use that to open gaps in the defence for his team mates.

    Still with the way Pardrew sets up every game he will get 15 – 20 minutes down the right today.

  • 3 Marty-Toon // Mar 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Great player on his day,but his days are few.
    Very frustrating for team mates when you’ve a player that doesn’t pass the ball when you’re in space.
    Had we Martinez as manager I bet he would have Benny playing out of his skin.
    Managers with flair know how to use these players.
    He probably should play on the left or through the middle.

  • 4 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Mar 22, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    It is Benny’s last season here – no matter how Pardew spins this, why would he sign a new contract?

    Truth is, and Pardew might pay attention here, when summer comes and Newcastle have no other choice but to sell Benny we won’t get that much for him, which means Pardew will get no replacement for him!

    Pardew, you will get no replacement for Benny and you can blame yourself 70% (the rest is on Benny himself)

  • 5 Greebol1892 // Mar 22, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Wasted talent under our current manager who is clueless when dealing with flair players. Pardew always prefers work rate so he shouldn’t be asking Ben Arfa to track back/cover defense/get some tackles in. He is an all-out attacking flair player. FFS we should play him in a free role like he should have been from day 1. That will NEVER happen under Pardew so move him on along with Marveaux and Cisse. All players that I really like but just don’t fit into our current manager’s game plan (if there is one….)

  • 6 jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew // Mar 22, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    Greebolt…there isn’t! There never were and there never will be!

    …we are a yo-yo team under this management!

  • 7 tequilamag // Mar 22, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    http://www.themag.co.uk/the-mag-articles/newcastle-players-turned-ben-arfa-sunderland-cabayes-departure/?

  • 8 Mister Tuff // Mar 22, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    I must say I do not like these stories about individual players problems -viz the Guardian article saying the rest of the team turned against Benny -and then detrimental comments from Percy -should be kept in the dressing room. To me looks like it is curtains for Benny at the Toon. all this stuff about him being unfit (again) -how can this happen to a professional athlete who we presume is monitored in great detail. something definitely going on here -plus I suspect an initial shot from the Toon that Benny is out the door.

    Also Mr Tubbs Football news channel is reporting that Remy has been spotted in a London hotel with Arsenal officials. Can NUFC do anything about this -bearing in mind he is not our player. Thought he was injured. I am a bit suspicious of the “injuries” to him and Debuchy – he also might have been using his “injury time off” to get a new future for himself sorted out before the summer.

  • 9 Jam only For H.ben Arfa // Mar 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    F’g pardew if you want assist & goal the player need to play & not only 20 min.
    F**K!!

  • 10 Jam only For H.ben Arfa // Mar 22, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Putain de pardew, if you want goals & assists, the player need to play & not only 20min.
    Connard!!




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