Pardew to put Ben Arfa in Nolan’s hole?

Posted on April 3rd, 2011 | 13 Comments |

Ben Arfa: Ace in the hole?
Ben Arfa: Ace in the hole?
Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew has been most forthcoming about how he will utilise crocked French-Tunisian wonderboy, Hatem Ben Arfa, when he finally returns from his long injury layoff.

Speaking in two interviews, one for the French publication, “L’Equipe”, and one for North East weekly, The Sunday Stun, Pardew revealed that he saw Ben Arfa playing as “a playmaker, a number 10, just behind one forward”. The manager also revealed his thinking on how he would be cautious about the final stages of Hatem’s rehabilitation, going slowly to make sure that he gets the best out of the player in the long term. This would be a refreshing change in the wake of several Newcastle United players returning from injury, only to return to the treatment table again after being rushed back too soon.

In the first interview, the one with L’Equipe, Pardew said of not rushing Ben Arfa:

“After such an injury you have to be patient. We don’t want to burn him out.

“The objective is to help Hatem to feel back at ease both in his body and mind. His rehabilitation has gone well, our doctors have been in constant contact with Clairefontaine’s medical team.” (Ben Arfa has been recuperating at the Fédération Française de Football’s centre of excellence at Clairefontaine near Paris).

“I have had several talks with Hatem. He has spent a lot of time in France during the last few months, so it is essential for him to adapt again to daily life in a group and get focused on the Magpies.”

Musing on a rough timescale for his return, and what his role withing the team might be, potentially playing behind the first striker in a position that has previously been occupied by Kevin Nolan, Pardew then added:

“We rely on him, above all, for next season, but we won’t rule out anything.

“If he can play one, two or three matches before the end of May, it would be fine both for us and him.

“Next season? He will play a central role in our attacking line. I want to use him as a playmaker, a number 10, just behind one forward.

“I am convinced he is able to score between 10 and 15 goals a season.”

With a slightly worrying note of caution in relation to whether Ben Arfa would still have the great acceleration he displayed before he his leg was broken in two places by Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong, he then concluded:

“We will think about how to protect him during matches.

“Our expectations are big but once again we will go slowly. The end to this season will allow us to see if he has not lost his acceleration quality.”

Moving on to Pardew’s interview with the Sunday Stun, he concentrated on Ben Arfa’s return to Tyneside on Monday, where the player will complete the final stages of his rehabilitation and reaquaint himself with his teammates, and the club in general after such a long abcence. On these issues, Pardew mused:

“It’ll be a great boost for everyone to have him back on Monday. But he’s some way off still.

“He’s coming back to get the end of his rehab in and around the players, to get a sense of the club again because obviously he’s been away for a while now.

“We want him to get embedded with us before he starts playing football again. His recovery and rehab will be here.”

On the issue of some kind of schedule for his return, Pardew continued:

“I would like to say we won’t need him before the end of the season,” he said.

“Looking at the last three games – those would be the ones you look at and say ‘Well maybe he’s going to be all right for them’.

“He might be desperate to play in that last game. Some people are desperate not to go through the whole summer without playing a game.”

Aye, divven’t rush it, Alan!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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13 Responses

  1. ed says:
    April 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    “it’s not nolan’s hole and he’s spent most of this season in CM.”

    Thanks for putting me straight, Ed.

  2. I’ve said all along that I’d wrap him in cotton wool and, all being well, give him a cameo in the last home game. I’d modify that now by adding that the game would need to be meaningless for both teams just in case a heavy tackle comes in and breaks the lad again. Would be great for the player and home crowd to see him play before the end of the season

  3. Ed.
    That`s a large area, it would be fairer to say Tiote plays as a CD or even Joey.
    Fact is Nolan plays more on the strikers shoulder than both and when playing with a lone striker he`s in that role.
    And he did`nt get a dozen or so goals by not getting forward.
    As for Pardews statement, i`m sure Nolan is charmed to find out he is being replaced by someone that our manager has probably only seen in video clips, but is convinced can score ten or fifteen goals.
    So to put out a statement, which sounds like…..
    Oh yeah!were gonna replace the captain, you know the guy who has been the team leader and goalscorer, with a guy comming outta rehab.
    Well that just beggars belief, gives a whole new meaning to the term diplomacy.
    The guy just cant seem to keep from putting his foot in his mouth every time he makes public statement.
    Look i`m looking forward to seeing both BA and Ireland (if he signs) they will i`m sure bring a great deal to the side, plus their entertainment value is something we have`nt seen since, kk`s sides.
    And face it we don`t go to games to watch, Stoke or the former BSA Bolton style of football, ( no offense intended) but most people go to be entertained, so hopefully with a few quality additions, mainly defensive and up front, we can be a bit more competitive and entertaining in the coming season.
    However I don`t believe Pardew is the one to get us there, but hey ! lets see?

  4. Chuckles….its pretty obvious hes going to play as one of the top two. Pardew has never played Nolan as one of the top two so dont know what you’re on about.

    Its takes a whole lot out of Nolans game if he is already in an advanced position as he gets picked up easier anyway. Look at his goal yesterday, hes only free because he ran from deep and their midfield werent picking him up and the centre halves were occupied with our front two.

    Whereas if HBA is in the hole, hes a totally different sort of player and rightly so will be our play maker. Gives him license to do what he wants and to hurt them in there part of the pitch as I cant see him watching Jonas for the work up the left.

  5. Bobby
    Well gotta disagree, as we are all aware Nolan is not the fastest player in the side and it`s obvious by his goal tally he`s an opportunist, or goal moocher as known in my time.
    In which case you will find most of his goals are from inside the goalies box, you may well have described the only goal he has scored by coming from deep.
    That`s just nonsense about being picked up if he`s deep, that`s what his game is, as a big strong presence to create havoc in the box.
    And i beg to differ he has played a number of games on the shoulder of a single striker, in a 4-5-1 lineup.
    Look i`m not saying BA cant play the second striker role, who knows , we will have to see ?
    Personally i would rather see him as a winger or AM.
    I`m not sure what you mean concerning Jonas ?
    But we could be on the same page just with slight disagreements !

  6. My point was basically I really don’t think Nolan would be reading those comments and thinking thats my position hes going to take up. Pardew has played 2 strikers and Nolan enough times, and there games are totally different. I’

    And I was meant to say “matching Jonas” as in his work rate. My opinion is the more time Ben Arfa spends in their half the better.

    Well that’s at the moment anyway. If we all have a nice shock and we sign a couple more top class creative players then maybe we wouldnt need him to always be up there and could play from the wings.

  7. Bobby
    lets put it this way, possibly Nolan thinks the same way a lot of Newcastle fans think, that Pardew would be a bit more popular if he put his brain in gear before he opened his mouth.
    Because he comes across as being not the brightest just about every time he makes a public statement.
    It bothers me having this guy in charge, more so than most of the other loosers hired by both Freddy and Ashley.
    Especially when it comes to spending a lotta dosh this summer and more or less rebuilding the side.
    And yeah, i doubt if he has the respect of the team, it becomes obvious to those with a brain , he`s not exactly a brain surgeon, tactically naive, keeps making dumbass statements, hey after a while people catch on.
    Understand Moyes could be leaving Everton this summer, good young manager has kept Everton where they are without spending much, not my first choice but a big improvement on what we have.

  8. Regardless of whether Pardew was right or wrong to say this in public, I can’t see why Nolan would be bothered. He’s been great (again) this season and why wouldn’t he fit in along with Benny?
    Barton – Tiote – Nolan – Jonas
    Ben Arfa

    Or with another right winger we could switch different midfield combinations depending on the opposition. That is what the top teams do but you need a big squad to do that.

  9. Sounds like we’d go to a 4-2-3-1 with Tiote being a destroyed and Nolan being a deep box-to-box guy

  10. We really will have a hell of a lot of options in midfield next season. It’s actually pretty exciting to know what a quality midfield we have and how we’ll be able to mix it up with other teams. Don’t know if we’ll sign Ireland (his time is running out to make any sort of impression), but if we do, we’ll have a midfield that consists of Jonas, Barton, Nolan, Ireland, Tiote, Ben Arfa, Gosling, Ryan Taylor (if he stays), Guthrie (if he stays) and youngsters like Lualua and Inmann getting back to make themselves known. Let’s not forget that, if he doesn’t go out on loan, young Michael Richardson could start to force his way into Pardew’s thinking. Does anybody know what’s going on with Vuckic? All that promise and no word of late.

    I’m pretty encouraged by the quality we have at the club, especially with the youngsters, many of whom are starting to show their faces in and around the first team.

    A few good signings and some player sales in the coming window, and we’ll be in good shape to push on up the table. Back where we belong.

  11. Davies
    You got that right, would`nt be surprised to see young Ferguson added to that midfield group (i see him with a better future as a winger)
    Another interesting fact is the versatility of many of our midfielders, who can slot into various roles.
    Unfortunately i dont see either RTaylor or Guthrie as having the quality to make it at the club, in which case we should get what we can for them, more in the transfer war chest.
    If we cant convince Enrique to stay, we will need a replacement (please not Ferguson) and will have to spend on someone decent, that plus fill ins for both Simpson and whoever is at LB.
    Possibly another CD and of course a good striker.
    We should be able to come close to affording these changes, especially if we sell Enrique.
    We live in interesting times.