The Independent has a long interview with Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa today, a player who has basically been sidelined by Alan Pardew, as the manager tries to break a six game Premier League losing streak on Saturday, against bottom of the table Cardiff City.
Ben Arfa and Alan Pardew in happier times
Ben Arfa reveals it was hard to watch Newcastle’s 3-0 loss to Arsenal on Monday night, while sitting at home watching the game on TV, and he admitted he and Alan Pardew had an exchange of words following the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United at home:
“I feel sad and frustrated, but not angry,” “I want to help my team and I can’t. It hurts a lot. I want to take the ball and give the maximum for the team.”
“When I see we are losing games 3-0 or 4-0, it is very hard for me and I’m on the bench. If I was involved on Saturday, I think I could make a difference. I would like to try.”
“Every player needs confidence,” “Every player in the world needs confidence to show their best. It is hard to come in during games and it is very hard for the player if you’re substituted at half-time, like I was against Southampton.”
“It hurt me. I had tried, it was very hard.” “It’s not easy because when you come on and we’re 2-0 down and everybody wants you to do something great. I think it’s better if you start the game and it’s 0-0.”
“After that you can lift your game up. When I come on with 20 minutes or 30 minutes left I give my best and sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not good. But I give my best.”
“Of course it hurts me not playing because I’m competitive. I want to play and I want to help my team. Of course, I want to play every game.”
“That is not my decision. I train hard. I try to start but if I’m not starting, or on the bench, I have to respect the decision.” “Yeah, it was very difficult watching the Arsenal game. I was at home watching on TV.”
“It was hard because we have lost too many times, 3-0, 4-0, 3-0. It is hard when you love the supporters, it is hard to lose every time like that.”
“After the game against Manchester United we had an exchange of words, but that was it. It is common at any team where players and the manager want to win,”
“He told me I had to score more and get more assists for everybody’s confidence, the supporters, the players and him. I said OK, but I have to play.”
“I have to have confidence to show everybody. If the manager doesn’t play me, he has his opinion. I respect that, but every player needs confidence.”
There has obviously been friction with the manager Alan Pardew and there were reports a day or two ago that Ben Arfa is thinking of buying himself out of his contract at Newcastle.
But it seems he wants to stay at Newcastle, but the chances of him getting an extension to his current contract, which has just one year to run at the end of June, are not good, with Newcastle having struggled mightily this year with some very poor form and results to match.
Here’s a player who wants to stay on Tyneside, but it seems very likely he will be sold, if Alan Pardew remains manager of Newcastle at the end of the season.