Pardews “moral debate” over Ben Arfa.

Hatem Ben Arfa.

Hatem Ben Arfa.
Get well soon Benny! Still!
Newcastle United have had to endure the vast majority of the season without one of their most exciting players, with a little ‘thanks’ to Nigel de Jong of course.

The Dutch hatchet man put an early end to Hatem Ben Arfa’s debut season in the Premier League with what was a dirty challenge designed to leave a mark. Now I don’t really want to get into that debate again, and I also don’t believe that de Jong meant to cause such a serious injury to the skilled Frenchman, but I do believe that his tackle was a tactical move designed to nullify one our most creative players.

That was back at the start of October, and six months later we are still without the services of Ben Arfa. In fact it could be another six weeks before we even hear about Ben Arfa making a return to the first team, and that’s if he even plays again this season! It didn’t stop us from signing him permanently though, and at least his absence will stave off any interested parties over the summer. Clouds and silver linings and all that…

I had hoped that we would see Ben Arfa back on Tyneside to complete his recovery, but thanks to Alan Pardew it appears that is not going to happen as he has taken the decision to allow Hatem to complete his recovery back in France. Here is what he told The Daily Mail about that particular decision:

“We’ve questioned whether to bring him back at times and have his treatment here and get him embedded into the city a little bit more, but I think the personal issue he had with what happened in Tunisia with his family and him, as a person, we just think it’s better that he stays there.”

“It’s nothing to do with the French national team or anything like that – you have to take on board that he’s a foreign player, newly arrived in the country and the injury happened so early for him, would you really want to be stuck here with a broken leg with people he doesn’t really know? He’s been brought up there, he knows the doctor and everything else.”

Personally I’d have liked Ben Arfa to get a bit more embedded into the city. It’s common to hear of overseas players struggling in their new surroundings, and getting Ben Arfa acclimatised to what will be his new home would have been a good thing in my view. At the end of the day, Ben Arfa could have got to know his new colleagues that bit better, but now he’ll have to try and fit in all over again.

Of course I can see the other side of it as well and I’m just being selfish when I say that I want him back on Tyneside. But if Ben Arfa feels happier being at home recovering rather than being at his new club recovering then fair enough, but for some reason it doesn’t sit too well with me. Pardew continued:

“It’s a moral debate that me and the club doctor have had – shall we bring him back? – and we just keep coming to the same decision – let’s just leave him there, he seems to be progressing well. Other than being in the city and getting used to the restaurants and God knows what else, there’s no other benefit for us at the moment.”

“He’s on constant attention at Clairefontaine, he seems to be enjoying the treatment and everything else and our doctor travels over and makes sure. The facilities there are absolutely brilliant.”

I do know that the French have some of the best high-end medical care in the world, and I guess in the grand scheme of things it is better for Ben Arfa to be receiving the best possible treatment throughout his recovery. Really I don’t know what I’m moaning about to be honest!

I guess I don’t want that cliche about long-term injury victims being ‘like new signings’ when Ben Arfa eventually rocks back up on Tyneside. No doubt there will be a lot of excitement, again, regarding Hatem, but what I don’t want is for that to be the only excitement over the summer.

That’s why I’m sceptical!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

6 thoughts on “Pardews “moral debate” over Ben Arfa.

  1. Yeah i think its right to let him decide on his treatment , maybe im judging him harshly here but i get the impression he tends to throw is toys out of the pram easily. Im not saying we should pander to him over eveything but if it keeps him happy and he gets himself fit I see no problem with it


  2. What ever’s best for him. We hear all the time from new signings how friendly and welcoming the squad is so i don’t think that will be an issue and i would guess once he’s back it’s going to take 4/5 weeks training before he’s considered for first team football so that time will help get back into the swing of things on and off the pitch.


  3. The club did the right thing here if I’m honest. New city, new club, new language, probably not many friends yet, plus what was going on in his home country. Tough to feel part of the club when you are a long term injury.

    He’s a big part of our future. Keeping him home and happy was the right call


  4. Clairefontaine is meant to be awesome. A happy Benny will recover more quickly than a depressed Benny.

    I think Pards has made the right choice here.


  5. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If he’s doing well and progressing fast in France, then let him keep it up. No sense in rocking the boat. Besides, culture shock is a BITCH.


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