Opinion Remains Sharply Divided On This Newcastle Player

It seems that this year’s antics with the way Alan Pardew has handled Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle has divided the fans, and some still think Ben Arfa should be kept at Newcastle, simply  because he is a highly skilled match winner – and there’s not too many of those types around these days.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester City v Newcastle United - Etihad Stadium

Ben Arfa and Alan Pardew during better days

And on the other side of things, some Newcastle fans see the Frenchman as too undisciplined and too lazy to be kept on at Newcastle, and  point to the fact he was overweight when he returned to pre-season training this summer.

Ben Arfa was presumably banished to the Reserves for that, but we think he would be training with the Reserves in this pre-season whatever happened, and Pardew made that decision last May.

We’d still like to see this potential match-winner stay on at Newcastle for this coming season, and be used in the first team squad.

But that’s unlikely to happen with Alan Pardew having already decided he’s not professional or disciplined enough to be a Newcastle player and he said as much recently.

And the fact he was stripped of his number 10 shirt at Newcastle two days ago is further evidence that Ben Arfa’s days are numbered on Tyneside.

Ben Arfa may find some salvation before September by getting to another club for this season, either in England or in France, and Everton and Lyon are two clubs interested in taking the player

Everton manager Roberto Martinez  wants a winger signed before September, and he’s known to admire Ben Arfa’s significant skills:

“It’s only one position we need.” “We want to take as long as we can to see how quickly we can get the injured players back to being available for the first-team.”

“Probably another body would help for the September month when we have three competitions to fight for, and we’ll carry on working hard on that.”

“Wide player is the position we want to bring in but in terms of names, it is too early to mention to our fans.”

The team is all important to Alan Pardew, and when Newcastle players were said to complain in the dressing room about Ben Arfa’s work-rate during some of the tough losses we took earlier this year – the Newcastle manager seems to have decided it was better that the Frenchman was not part of the first team squad.

And if Ben Arfa does leave Newcastle this summer, then opinion will remain divided as to whether he was a top class player unfairly treated by the manager, or on the other hand too lazy and undisciplined to be part of Newcastle’s first team.

This feud is bad for Alan Pardew, bad for Hatem Ben Arfa – and not good for Newcastle United.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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