Pardew looks for more from Ben Arfa

A blossoming partnership?

Work harder Hatem!
Alan Pardew has issued a fresh warning to Hatem Ben Arfa and has told the talented Frenchman that he must work harder for the team if he wants if he wants to play in a free attacking role.

Ben Arfa caught the headlines last week after scoring a sensational solo goal against Blackburn in the FA Cup – a goal Pardew described as the best he’d ever seen. That goal came from the right wing though and not from the No10 ‘trequartista’ position that had been earmarked for him.

To me it seems as though we struggle when Ben Arfa plays in that position and the team suffers as a result. We seem to lose any attacking presence as their defence outnumber our lone striker. This is why it’s good to hear that Ben Arfa may be set for a spell on the right, according to Pardew.

“I think with Hatem, if he wants that No.10 position, he has to understand this football club. I am going to require more energy in that role from him,” Pardew said in his pre-match press conference yesterday.

He continued: “We know the boy has talent – you only have to see him with the ball at his feet. And when he went on the right he did absolutely brilliantly and that goal was sensational. But in our team he needs to understand with the team-mates he’s got he needs to put in more work-rate and more effort in that particular role.”

“On the wing it is a little bit more straightforward and it might be we see more of him there in the near future.”

However Pardew insists that Ben Arfa is getting better and better as he gets to grips with playing regularly after such a long time out in what is essentially still a new league and new country for the player.

“He’s not had a lot of Premier League experience and like any player coming from abroad there is a period needed to settle down. Ronaldo, Henry, even Cantona to a degree, needed that time to adjust,”
said Pardew.

“I’m not suggesting for a minute that he’s going to be as good as those players but that kind of flair player does need to understand what this league is all about and I think he’s getting a grasp of it.”

“Ben Arfa is improving as we go along and I don’t think he would have got that goal four or five weeks ago.”

So a right wing role against QPR for Hatem? It seems that way. As I said earlier, the team seems to struggle with Ben Arfa in the No10 role, but I don’t think that is the only reason why a right wing role is suited to Hatem whilst Demba Ba is away. I mean could you imagine Leon Best or Shola Ameobi getting on the end of a little unexpected yet intricate through ball? No, no I can’t either.

Of course playing Benny on the right means that Gabriel Obertan will be relegated to the bench. Obertan has been criticised for not getting the ball in the box and generally not doing a lot, but don’t expect a load of pinpoint crosses from Ben Arfa either. It’s not in his game and never has been. He’ll try and run his way into the box instead.

Ben Arfa is improving steadily. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from him already and he will only get better as he plays more. The good news is that it looks as though he will start against QPR and fingers crossed we’ll see him improve further.

Maybe he can beat eight players and score this time?

34 thoughts on “Pardew looks for more from Ben Arfa

  1. We’ll see, but he may not be able to get him “working harder” for the team, flair players rarely do 😕


  2. Looks interesting dan! Here is the translation for anyone

    The absence of Aly Cissokho in the group that travels to Montpellier on Saturday surprised many, the defender of the official Olympique Lyonnais with muscle pain. Depending on progress, this package could be justified by the imminent departure of Cissokho. The regional newspaper says it will do in the next 72 hours the trip to Newcastle to undergo a medical examination. If it is positive, while Aly Cissokho could commit on Monday with the Magpies, who coveted for quite some time. No price has been raised so far, but we know that in this case Jean-Michel Aulas wanted to get a sum of around 10 th, even if now we talk now 9ME. A relatively respectable for a defender given the current status of the transfer market.


  3. IF it happens, probably look to offload Simpson I would of thought but Santon and Cissokho full-backs, couldn’t complain!


  4. I think we’ll do better with Benny on the right, but im sure he must be getting a bit pissed off hearing Pards tell him he needs to do more, but im pretty sure he will do mire than what Gabby has been doing.
    As Wor Richie says Flair players arn’t normally known for their work rate.


  5. Dave, especially as they don’t have Traore bombing past him the other way and will probably be playing Clint Hill left-back who Benny should destroy!


  6. SkyGraemeBailey Graeme Bailey
    @MsiDouglas They want 9m and wont loan, goes against NUFC policy to pay that for any player, despite age and potential.
    1 minute ago

    MsiDouglas Mark Douglas
    Cissokho to #nufc reports jumping gun. No bid from UK club, source close to player says. Won’t play tomorrow as injured-but still in France
    3 minutes ago


  7. It’s more likely to make him realise he can still get better.

    Also, can anybody tell me if QPR sign someone today will they be able to register in time for us tomorrow?


  8. ET – I haven’t, which is why im not really commenting on him. Heard mixed reports though but I trust our scouting department and if they think he is worth it then its good enough for me. We’ll see though.


  9. Absolutely spot on by Pardew.
    I always feel we are playing with 10 men with Barfa in the side. Of course he’s got the skills to pull a rabbit out the bag but he needs to work for the team more.

    He needs to sit down and watch videos of Pedro and Bellamy over and over again.


  10. Toonsy

    I too trust our scouting department…but only when I haven’t got the necessary information to make my own judgement. I have seen Cissokho for myself and he is not good enough. He is a head-down full-back with poor positioning. More of an athlete than a footballer imo. He isn’t worth £8million despite what the those on Twitter would have you believe. Why do you think Lyon are so desperate to get rid? They paid big bucks(stupidly) and now simply want to cut their losses after failing at playing hard ball in the summer.

    The Arsenal rumour is nonsense too. Why would Arsenal sign a LB for £8million when they already have one better that cost them £6million? Injury or not, that doesn’t sound like a Wenger move.

    The agent is clearly trying to drum up interest and I hope the same goes for the Newcastle link.


  11. would prefer Cheik M’Bengue as he can cove CB if needed, and is a beast of a player by all accounts. However suspect Clyne as a free in the summer appeals more, althogh Rodriguez who is only 19 also looks interesting.


  12. JamesHorncastle James Horncastle
    @PhilippeAuclair Porto must regard Cissokho as one of their best pieces of business. Bought for £264k, Sold for £13.2m. Short turnaround

    PhilippeAuclair Philippe Auclair
    @JamesHorncastle Not bad. Bebe-esque, in fact.

    …Says it all really,


  13. just watched the 5-0 hammering of manure on espn classics and so should hatem the work rate by peter beardsley was awesome great players can still put a good shift in saying that so should strolla and best shearer and sir les were awesome chasing down defenders this team of ours might not have the flair of past teams but in my opinion we are 3 players off being top 4 challengers


  14. @Toonale

    Why would I read the angling times? These are very serious issues that need addressing. 😛

    If you are referring to Barfa and my comment about playing with 10 men, I’m being serious.

    If it’s about the rabbit out the hat line, well I must confess that I read Magic monthly. 😛


  15. Poolietoon,
    Shola seems like a good lad, but in my opinion, the laziest shortest footballer to ever play regularly in the Premier League.


  16. My point being, I agree with Pardew re Ben Arfa, but then why not make the same criticisms of Ameobi. He is far lazier.


  17. JJ…have to disagree, I don’t think he’s the “shortest” player, ever to play regularly in the Prem 😉


  18. JJ perhaps because he can see Barfa as a player that he can mold and influence. Shola is a veteran. Time is not on his side. You can’t teach an old dog and all that stuff…


  19. Troy I am sorry if I have miss construed your comment , but I find it very hard at times to know when you are serious. 😳 😆


  20. Please let this be true about Aly C. He is brilliant. No need for him to wait to develop as he is class now.


  21. have to agree with RICHIE@ 1 you have to decide if you want this type of player in your side try to change them and you miss out,ginola,ect ect never tracked back but were a joy to watch,even going back to super mac,who wouldnt even come near the half way line,you pays your money you takes your chance,one things for sure you wont get both imo


  22. @toonale

    I’m always serious about the football issues just not the mad ramblings around them. 😛


  23. Ben Arfa is a luxury player that can light up a game at any point but equally has the capabilities to destroy it as a contest by trying to do too much to do the extraordinary.
    Don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely love the way he plays but he needs to know when to release the ball at times and also he has a responsibility to his team mates to work hard at regaining possession which means he must track back.
    I mean, it’s down to what we want from the team or what Pardew wants which will determine how many Ben Arfa type flair players we can carry.

    A fully fit and firing Ben Arfa will always be a nightmare for the oppo, no matter what and at any given time he can produce that flash of brilliance to win a game and as long as the rest of the team cater for any shortfalls he has in losing the ball then he’s a bonus.

    The point is, Pardew has to play horses for courses if we want to compete at the right end and that means 10 outfield players busting their balls against dangerous opposition (away) which means Ben Arfa’s game would be nullified ,which means he basically would be a luxury we cannot afford in those games and so a grafter would be a better option.


  24. The more good footballers you have in your side the more games you win its that simple , Ben arfa is a very good footballer and imo should start every game and imo with him in the team we would win more games than without him .
    The same can be said for Colo Krul Cabaye Ba , game winners .
    Simples !!


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