Pardew: Ben Arfa no winger and not good enough for start yet.

Posted on September 23rd, 2011 | 48 Comments |

Hatem Ben Arfa: Not a winger, but is he a singer?
Ben Arfa: Not a winger, but is he a singer?
Speaking in a rare interview, Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, has declared that French-Tunisian wonder winger, Hatem Ben Arfa will have to show more “flashes of brilliance in training” before he’ll give him a first team start.

In a somewhat surprising change of tack from his recent gushing about the player’s abilties, Pardew said of his training sessions:

“He likes the group and he trusts us. Now it is a matter of when he is ready. He shows flashes of brilliance in training, but I want him to do it more often in training before I bring him in.

Although Ben Arfa has spent much of his career as a mostly left sided winger, impressing many of the great and the good in football in that role, Pardew is not impressed by the player on the flank, saying that he could only see him in a central role, continuing:

“My view is that he can’t play out wide. He has not got the relish for it and his best football comes through the middle.

“Realistically, he knows he has got more to do on the training ground. He smiles at me as if to say, ‘Okay, I will play next week.

“He has character and there are times in coming weeks if he has not made a start he will be kicking my door down.”

As to whether this is some kind of psychology which is intended to dissuade the allegedly temperamental player from becoming big headed and improve his workrate remains to be seen, but the silver supremo certainly seems to be blowing a little hot and cold on the young maestro in the interview above.


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48 Responses

  1. Unbelievable! thought for a brief moment this jerk knew what he was doing, but after reading the above, believe he is the same idiot he was at West Ham.
    The guy speaks in riddles, what does he mean by he cant play wide, does’nt have the relish for it and his best football comes through the middle ?
    Am i wrong or did he not play as a winger in France ?
    He did mention previously he wants him as a second striker, now i know he has’nt played there before and has no real history as a goalscorer so what makes him think that’s his best position ?
    Besides, both Cabeye and Tiote are a lock on the inside midfield roles, he’s gonna drop Cabaye? dont think so !
    Ya don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this guy’s just faking his way through, hey! sometimes bull***t baffles brains.

  2. I completely agree that this is psychology from Pardew. One of the things that Ben Arfa was attracted to Newcastle for is that they said they would play him in the middle. However, he hasn’t played much in the middle so Pardew wants to ease him in and the injury is a convenient excuse to do so.

    From what I’ve seen of Ben Arfa (admitedly not that much) he was always wanting to cut in from the wing and come inside. I think this is what Pardew sees and what Ban Arfa feels, and why they both see him as more of an inside forward.

    I’m not a mind reader, and certainly not Sherlock Holmes, but I think this is where Pardew was going.

  3. Emm ! you can decipher whatever it was he intended to say, any way you want.
    Unfortunately the guy cant put a logical sentence together,
    which is really the problem.

  4. “He seemed to want to cut in from the wing”! so does Jonas, so did Duff, so did N’Zog, so what ? so do a lot of wingers.

    “they said they would play him in the middle……
    Who’s they ? don’t recall that one.

    I think there’s more too it, could be he re-injured himself, or is not near match fit and with such big fan expectations…..

    Hey we have been lied too before !

  5. Chuck:

    I haven’t got quotes to back it up but there was a lot said when HBA was signed on loan that he was promised he would play in the middle.

    I am sure others on here will recall this.

  6. Methinks that the jury will be out on this bloke for a long time yet. Is it his managerial nous, his man management skills or just that the players are good enough to get us where we are @ the moment. Like to think it’s a little of all three but it’s a bit disconcerting when he’s seen to contradict himself so often.
    For me, I’m happy to keep picking up the points whichever persona he shows. The time to worry surely is when we’re staring thru the trapdoor. we are doing alright for now so lets enjoy it.

  7. HBA will obviously be anxious to get back because he seems very competitive. However, being a Newcastle fan we have all seen players come back early or play more than they should and reinjure themselves. I think the club are being careful this time because they realse how important he could be, and so want to cool his heels.

    Therefore, the Pardew doublespeak may even make sense – psychology, you see. Encouraging HBA sometimes and then trying to tell him not to get ahead of himself.

    As I said though I am not Sherlock Holmes.

  8. Chuck(5)
    I seem to remember something along those lines. I’ve got a feeling that he just adapts his patter to his mood swings and the situations he finds himself in at the time of interview. He may well think that Statler and Waldorf upstairs are a pair of nuggets and has to say things that will be appreciated. Don’t suppose we’ll ever find out.

  9. On team selection for Saturday, I think Pardew made a statement with who he picked on Tuesday and there will be no changes from the Vill team, bar injuries.

    I would really like Marveaux to start as I would like to see a bit more of him. He has to be closer to a full recovery than HBA. Still early in the season though.

  10. How anyone call his injury a convenient excuse is a mystery to me.
    This team are playing well above expectations. Lighten up everyone or are we so stuck in misery mode that we can’t get ourselves out of it?

  11. GS,

    I agree mate, Ben Arfa is far too good to be stuck out on the wing.

    Pardew is right. Ben Arfa’s best position is through the middle with licence to roam. He has greater skills, ability and vision that neither Jonas and Obertan have. Also Jonas and Obertan can tackle which I’m sure Ben Arfa cant. Additionally, Marveaux is probably more suited to the left wing than either Ben Arfa or Jonas.

    The only danger is that Ben Arfa starts operating where Cabaye operates. Pardew has seen how Tiote and Cabaye got in each others way in early games but quickly changed things for the game at Villa and it worked well. It may be a game or two before he sorts out Ben Arfa and Cabaye. The benefit Pardew has is that Ben Arfa and Cabaye speak the same language and therefore should sort it out themselves without too many misunderstandings.

  12. This is what i think Alan Pardew is aiming at.






  13. I suppose he knows what he is doing.. He said that Best does not have a guaranteed place in the squad and that he has to work harder (about the same time a lot of fans were praising Best for his performances) and what happened then?
    Best came onto the pitch against Villa and he worked his ar*e off for as long as he was on the pitch.

    Some may not agree with how Pardew deals with players, but he seems to know how to get the best out of them.
    I have a mate that went down to the Forest match, and he said Perch had an absolute stormer. He said one of the tackles that impressed him the most is when Perch came running in with a pretty hard tackle but he got the ball cleanly and it stopped them going through on goal with a goal scoring opportunity.

  14. I’ve mentioned this before but do you all remember when AP first came here and said he won’t speak about players misgivings, problems etc in public.He never stops.

  15. It was clear to me watching ben arfa he was wasted on the wing. Playing centrally in a free role is clearly where we need him and where we can afford him to roam without sacrificing defensive shape. We need a link in and around the box and he should provide this. I like the shape of tiote holding, Cabaye and arfa in front of him, best up top and any 2 of Obertan, jonas, marveaux, ba, Sammy out wide.

    From what I’ve seen of ba, he’s not a lone striker, more a wide attacker. I’d like to see a lot more of marveaux as he looks like he has real quality in his delivery and is pacey too. But like others I fear while we have Taylor at lb, jonas will play. Maybe worth trying marveaux on the right to see what he’s like there but long term left wing must be his spot. Really looking forward to seeing an attacking midfield with arfa, marveaux, Cabaye and jonas. There’s a lot of players there that would normally get doubled up on by defenders so we should be able to find the space for Cabaye to run the show. I think if best can learn to stay on side be will get a lot of chances to score, so far he seems to be a good finisher around the six yard box.

  16. Marveaux on the left, aye.
    HBA ‘in the hole’ a-roaming.
    It seems to me that Marveaux knows how to pop up all over too, so him & HBA could be swapping round throughout the game.

  17. All these negative comments are actually quite incredible – I think Ben Arfa will play better down the middle than on the wing. Yeah, he has a great pass on him and can deliver some great balls. But if we were to put him on the wing, it would be on the right so he can cut in on his left.

    Through the middle, we can put him right behind Best. Just look at his goal against Everton. I think he would like more of them and I’m certainly sure that I do.

    Pardew might not be able to put a sentence together but he is showing that he is a good manager. We are unbeaten all season, 4th in the league and through to the last 16 of the League Cup. Wouldn’t you have accepted that at the beginning of the season? I would of – nobody expected to be in this position at this point.

    Stop posting negative comments and get behind the team. It doesn’t really matter what Pardew is saying off the pitch, aslong as he has the team performing on it! Howay the lads!

  18. Thank you Shaun
    we are 4th & unbeaten with a winable game tommorow
    and what are we whinging about – the manager’s style!
    let’s whinge about his results instead
    only 4th, wey man we expected better than that!

    All managers play these fashionable mind games now (as taught by Fergie) to keep their team on their toes and confuse opposing managers – what do you want? Let complacency develop and tell Blackburn we are confident and how we & who will play? When its done properly it can drive your opponent up the wall (KK I’d love it, just love it!).

    It would be best to say nowt, but they are contracted to Sky & PL to give prematch comments – so just smile and ignore this ritual meaningless weekly drivel.

    NUFC 2 Blackburn 0


    Marveaux & HBA defo to come on at some point, BA possibly

    It’s great to have selection problems!


  19. That line up starts 4-1-4-1 & changes to 4-1-3-1-1 with HBA behind Best
    We dominate midfield & dictate the game.
    A midfield diamond of Tiote Gosling Cabaye & HBA = a revolution in the way we play!


  20. Supermac @ 20

    I think the midfield diamond should be:

    Tiote, Cabaye, Marveaux & Ben Arfa.

    I think Marveaux is much more creative than Gosling.

  21. He’s right about his position-he’s a number 10-but oh so wrong in his man management…

    Probably just trying to give him a kick up the backside so he thinks he can’t just amble into the team but where was this approach with Tiote and Ba over the last few games?

    Marveaux should definitely start-drop Obertan, who probably needs reminding that there’s competition in the squad too.

  22. Kamar – agreed mate, I’m not sure if they are match fit for the whole 90, but if you think they are ready then lets go for it.
    We have 4 special players there and we should develop the team around this set up!

  23. tunyc says:

    “He’s right about his position-he’s a number 10-but oh so wrong in his man management…”

    You’re not surprised are you tunyc ? As WT reminded us yesterday, Tevez and Mascherano are two players who also experienced Pardwho’s unique blend of man management talents.

  24. Pardew on Shola:

    “He’s as good a striker as I’ve ever worked with and I’ve coached a few good ones, including Carlos Tevez, Teddy Sheringham and Bobby Zamora.”

  25. Tevez on Pardew:

    “In Argentina or Brazil he would have been out long ago. It was clear the team did not react as he wanted — it wasn’t going right.

    “I was never given the chances I thought I would be given and I was told to play out of position against my will.

    “I had to sacrifice myself for the team which I don’t think helped. I was playing in ways I did not understand well and I lost a lot from my own game.

    “It didn’t fit where he put me, but I wanted to help.”

    “I don’t think he had a clear idea about my game or what to do. He was good football man but more suited to coaching English teams without foreign players with big reputations.

    “I think that was a bit of a problem for him.”

    “It was strange not to have Javier (Mascherano) playing. Especially as the team were struggling and losing. He is a very good player, doing well in training and he just wanted to play.”

  26. Pardew is our manager – I didn’t want him & have not warmed to him – but he is doing a good job and we should get off his back and stop criticising not only what he does or says but also what he did in the past!
    We are 4th, unbeaten & in the cup – let him get on with developing a good team.
    If he blows it then fair enough, he knows the score as well as anybody, he will be out! But he has earned the chance to show what he can do and I wish him all the luck.


  27. I remember the whole central vs wing thing. And thought of that straight-away when reading the quotes above. It’s really a waste of time going on and on about Pardew. Let him get on with it. We’re not going to get some stellar manager in to replace him and at this point, there’s sweet fanny adams to justify it anyways. He’s doing alright (better than that actually). Judge him at the end of the season knowing that he doesn’t have full control over what side he can build.

  28. Krul
    Simmo Saylor Colo Raylor
    Tiote Cabaye
    Gosling Jonas

    Maybe Marveaux/SAmeobi on at some point in the second half. Give the man enough time to actually do something. Jonas to the right and Marv wide left. I’d like to see what Obertan does in a central role. Maybe he can fill in til HBA comes back.

  29. The argument as to what kind of line up is of course debateable, what kind of blog would this be if we all agreed, thats what it’s all about.
    As for Pardew, it has to be clear to anyone on this blog, he’s not exactly my first choice and in fact have little faith in his abilities.
    There are a number of things concerning the club that i’m not particularly happy about, among them the way it’s run and the people who run it.
    As for those who costantly condem any blogs that have a negative side and the people who write them, well we all have the right to call “em as we see em” least i think so ?
    Debate is what makes for interesting reading and we all have our opinions to share, no?

  30. chuck says:
    September 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    “As for those who costantly condem any blogs that have a negative side and the people who write them, well we all have the right to call “em as we see em” least i think so ?”

    Chuck, as my old friend Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote:

    The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

  31. Worky – I presume Friedrich Nietzsche managed a team in the bundesleauge and his players didn’t have a clue what he was talking about either.

    Chuck – of course you’re right, football is not a science and hardly ever an art (possibly Brazil in 1970?) – it’s organised madness! Otherwise I’d win the pools every week. It’s all about disageeing about tomorrow and arguing about yesterday, opinions and passion – the only people I have no time for are those with no opinions or passion. And you can tell Friedrich Nietzsche that the next time you see him, cos by the sound of him his team would be boreing to watch (but being kraut it would probably win everything!).


    NUFC 2 Rovers 0

  32. supermac says:
    September 23, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    “Worky – I presume Friedrich Nietzsche managed a team in the bundesleauge and his players didn’t have a clue what he was talking about either.”

    supermac, you can see Nietzsche in action playing for Germany here (he’s the second one coming out of the tunnel). He was playing the creative no 10 role, but he was booked for accusing the referee (Confucious) of having no free will. :-)

  33. It’s true that he can’t string two words together but I can’t think of too many football managers who have been especially articulate. If we win tomorrow I’m going to have to give credit where it’s due and back Pardew.

  34. julio laker says:
    September 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    “It’s true that he can’t string two words together”

    He can string about five million words together on a regular basis Julio. However like many managers, he isn’t exactly a master of the English language.

  35. Is doing a good job for me, HBA would be wasted on the wing. He can unlock defences and other than haris we don’t have anyone like that.

  36. WT:

    was weird that Pardew didn’t play Tevez much, but quotes from Tevez are just as un reliable as those from Pardew.

    It may have been that Tevez was pissing and moaning to Pardew as he has done ever since so was not played. Was shown to be a big mistake, as you know, ‘coz Tevez almost single-handedly kept WH up that season.

    I find it funny that people like Tevez, Bellamy and Barton thrive in football when they would be outcasts in any other walk of life except music.

  37. GS says:
    September 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm (Edit)

    “was weird that Pardew didn’t play Tevez much, but quotes from Tevez are just as un reliable as those from Pardew.”

    It was as least as odd to play Hayden Mullins instead of Javier Mascherano GS, though he seems to find it easier to get a game at Barcelona nowadays. :-)

  38. Pardew is doing a good job for us were coming 4th and undefeated plus we beat the unwashed away!!! But seriously overran ( lol even my phone knows I tried typing obertan and auto corrected to overran hahaha) needs to b shot or something but Jonas on the right and marv on the left and play best up front with hba sitting behind him!!
    2-0 HWTL

  39. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.


  40. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    September 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    “and Marx is claiming it was offside.”

    He was right as always Clint. That Greek goal was completely and utterly offside!

    St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas need guide dogs if they didn’t see that one.

  41. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    September 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Confucius was caught meditating mate.”

    Lao Tzu would have been much better Clint. He would have seen everything without looking. ;-)

  42. Chuck you never seem to have anything constructive to say all you do is complain about the manager/owner/player … after 5 games we are 4th what more do you want,

    you ever think Pardew wants to play 5 in midfield HBA in the attacking role, Cabaye deep laying play maker and Tiote does what he does best a protect the back four, another opposition is to play him as a striker …. you she his run V Forrest where he put it on a plate for Loven ? yea more of that please to Best or Ba the score hat full of goals.

    I dont care what anyone says Pardew is proving the doubters wrong , his signing are all looking good thus far, Cabaye was a steal, Marveux looked great in 2 Carling cup games , Albeid has bags of potential exciting young player. Obertan is only getting better , and i seen Santon at Inter he will slot in for the wolves game, Ba has played well just not scored yet although he nearly broke the cross bar in 2 v Fulham with a hammer of a strike

  43. Johnnygg….this is where the whingeing goes on mate, the anti Pardew brigade. They then try and dress it all up, but it’s a fact, expecting our manager to quote Shakespeare and Kant and whatever else……..didn’t do Alex Ferguson much good…he relied on the hairdryer approach and left the quotes to ….er….err…the legendary man of the people Joey Barton……sob….wish he was still here…sob…not…ten o levels and all…he could string loads of words together…