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Pardew gushes over sensitive Ben Arfa, but sees trouble ahead…

Posted on September 20th, 2011 | 18 Comments |

Hatem Ben Arfa.
Ben Arfa: "Very buoyant" says Pardew.
In a rare interview, Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, has been speaking at length about Hatem Ben Arfa, at times making him sound like a kind of Gallic Joey Barton when he got on to the subject of the players character and temperament.

He also likened him to a brand of well known lager which allegedly reaches the parts other beers cannot reach as he swooned over the “creative”, “elusive” French-Tunisian playmaker.

Starting with the beer analogy, Pardew purred:

“He’s a player that can reach heights that other players can’t reach – that Heineken player if you like.

“He brings a creative force to the team that is different to what we have and he’s different to a lot of players in the Premier League. He’s elusive.”

Of course though, the player has had scant chance to prove this where it counts, on the pitch, since Pardew’s predecessor, Chris Hughton, brought him to the club on loan in August 2010. Speaking on the injuries Ben Arfa has had to endure since he came to Tyneside, Pardew continued:

“He’s been out so long, so the beauty is that I don’t have to rush him. Last year, when we lost Andy Carroll, I was really desperate for him at times, if I’m honest. We didn’t have any control over games and we needed that little bit of quality around the box.

“This year, I feel that the results and performances mean we don’t have to rush him. This is a bit early for him, this game, but he needs a game. I don’t expect him to be at his full force on Tuesday.

“He’s a Newcastle type player – the type that fans love up here, but unfortunately we haven’t seen him.

“It’s just a point of getting him right, there’s no doubt about his craft, which is exceptional. He needs to fit into the work-rate of the side and all that we do, because we’re not that good that we can carry a player. But in pre-season his work-rate was tremendous.”

Pardew then moved to to the player’s temperament, something over which questions have been asked in the past since his early days as a teenager at France’s football academy of excellence at Clairfontaine, when he had already been dubbed a “prodigy”. Difficult incidents also continued at his subsequent clubs of Lyon and Marseilles, including over his eventual move to Newcastle United, when the club only offered a small loan fee for his services which Lyon were not prepared to accept. When Ben Arfa heard that Marseilles had declined Newcastle’s offer, he told French sports publication, “L’Equipe” that he would not be returning to Marseilles to train.

However, while acknowledging that some difficulties may lay ahead with the player, Pardew began by expressing some surprise at the player’s calm during his long spell out of the game saying:

“He’s been very calm, actually. Especially after the injury in America. I thought that would cause him a lot of problems – in that he might think this won’t work out and he gets injured every time he plays for us. But he’s been very buoyant around the place.

“He’s a character. He’s not going to be smooth-running. I won’t say he’s high maintenance but he’s not low maintenance either. We’re going to have our moments with him and I’m sure he’s going to fall out with me and my staff and my players, and we will with him, but along that line we’re hoping to get some great performances and a lot of goals from him.”

As a player of such great skill, it is hardly surprising that he has been targeted by hatchet men from other teams, most notably of course by Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong, who started Ben Arfa’s long spell in the wilderness with a vicious scissor tackle which broke Ben Arfa’s leg in two places. Pardew spoke of how he would feel when the inevitable happens once again saying:

“He’s not going to go into a crunching 50-50 tackle, that’s not his style, but someone will come through the back and you hope he’ll stand up and be fine when that happens.”

Amen to that Alan.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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18 Responses

  1. He’s one of the best but it’s his weakness also. Last time he’s easy to be our opponent target because he’s only our playmaker with Nolan,Barton,Jonas and Routledge alongside. But now with Kabaye,Tiote or even Obertan and Marveax is perfect for his style to play.

  2. Sorry, my bad. Cabaye not Kabaye.

    I cannot wait to see him play again. Hopefully this time will be long enough for him to show his true ability.

  3. I wish Pardew would stop talking about players personal problems in public.eg””it’s not going to be smooth running with him” or that Benny his going to fall out with management and staff.If I heard my manager airing those veiws in public I would definatly fall out with them.Just stick to the praising in public, and who knows Mr Pardew there might not be a falling out.

  4. If Pardew is going to link every player with a beer here are some suggestions (feel free to add):

    Castle’s Hung, Drawn & Slaughtered – Purely for the WAGS

    Driftwood Spar’s Blackheads Mild

    Skinner’s Ginger Tosser – Michael Richardson?

    Bay’s Devon Dumpling – Brixham’s own Dan Gosling ?

    Hunter’s Crack Shot – Can only be Cabaye surely

    Hunter’s Pheasant Plucker – Repeat until slapped by the barmaid

    Teignworthy’s Old Moggie – Colo with that mop of hair

    Dorset Piddle’s Jimmy Riddle – Shola as he is piss poor

    Dorset Piddle’s Silent Slasher – Presumably not the leek type.

    Jenning’s Sneck Lifter – Not to be confused with shirt.

    RCH’s Old Slug Porter – Smudger?

    Thwaite’s Very Nutty Black – Demba Ba?

    Wychwood’s Hobgoblin – Can only be Peter Beardsley

    Theakston’s Old Peculier – Any elderly fan who spends more time in the gents than in the stands.

    Merriman’s Old Fart – Harper?

  5. Nice one Kamar and just for good measure (boom boom!), how about this selection from Mordues?

    Workie Ticket – who else but the man himself

    Geordie Pride – the fans

    Radgie Gadgie – I can name a couple, any suggestions?

  6. Mick G says:
    September 20, 2011 at 7:39 am

    “I wish Pardew would stop talking about players personal problems in public.eg””it’s not going to be smooth running with him” or that Benny his going to fall out with management and staff.If I heard my manager airing those veiws in public I would definatly fall out with them.Just stick to the praising in public, and who knows Mr Pardew there might not be a falling out.”

    They’re not even “personal problems” in this case Mick. They’re potential personal problems which may or may not arise at some unknown time in the future. I’d be the same as you.

    Joe Harvey had it right with Terry Hibbitt. A cuddle and a tab in the dressing room according to Supermac.

  7. Games on 5live extra tonight if no streams online…I am praying it’s not jacqui oatley commentating on the game as she is totally dire.

    I heard her do one of our games with Steve Stone when we where in the championship it was shocking…spent most of the game talking about scarves,boots and shit like that.

  8. sirjasontoon says:
    September 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    “Games on 5live extra tonight if no streams online…I am praying it’s not jacqui oatley commentating on the game as she is totally dire.”

    Thanks for that SJT, but leave poor Jacqui alone you surly brute! She can come ’round and commentate for me any time she likes. I’d rather have her than Ando and Lowesy. :-)

  9. I look forward to Ben Arfa making a full recovery and a full return and seeing how he will impact the first team.
    I don’t mind Pardew’s “open” style in interviews, though I wish he would be similarly as “open” when speaking about the clubs hierarchy and decisions regarding transfers.
    With Ben Arfa, I think we know it will likely all end in tears, but hopefully we get some epic years with him before that happens.

  10. JayDee says:
    September 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    “With Ben Arfa, I think we know it will likely all end in tears”

    He will probably be sold to a bigger club for a figure in excess of £20 million if Ashley’s gamble pays off, ie no more injuries, no temperamental outbursts etc.

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