Can Pardew take any credit for Ben Arfa’s renaissance?

A blossoming partnership?
This season has been full of plaudits for various different things at Newcastle.

From player form, to results, league placing and even football finances, there are may things that have brought us positive press throughout the season and which give us at least a cautious glimmer of hope for the future.

The latest person to attract the plaudits is Hatem Ben Arfa after a sequence of stunning performances which have seen the former “enfant terrible” hit form at just the right time of the season. How much of that can be attributed to the player though? And how much credit can Alan Pardew take for his treatment of the player as he battled his way back to what we see now?

Ben Arfa has always had the raw ingredients to become a fantastic player. His skill and vision are immense and he can do almost anything with a football at his feet, which is why a lot of fans have been quick to jump up and down with joy about him.

However there have been deficiencies in his game that can cause problems, especially in a team where “team” is the vital word. Admittedly these deficiencies are heightened by a lack of quality in the squad. For instance Danny Simpson has an alarming habit of bombing forward past the attacker in support, only to be found wanting if possession is lost.

To counter that it means that the right-winger has to be able to track back and work with the team, which has been an achilles heel of Ben Arfa’s. Not anymore though, and now we are seeing Hatem Ben Arfa producing magic where it counts in attack combined with a steely determination to track back and help out when the team needs it.

That can play into our hands of course. You only have to look at his goal against West Brom to see that. That goal came from him dropping back to defend and being able to break forward quickly when we won the ball back. A few passes and we were soon up the other end celebrating a goal formed from his willingness to work for the side.

For me a lot of the credit has to go to Alan Pardew. He got a bit of stick from some fans for failing to include Ben Arfa in every game, but now we are starting to reap the rewards of his approach and, to be fair, the players willingness to listen, and long may that continue.

It’s just my opinion of course, but how much credit do you give Alan Pardew for Ben Arfa’s sensational recent form?

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.

149 thoughts on “Can Pardew take any credit for Ben Arfa’s renaissance?

  1. any defensive cover on bench? article in chronicle tavernier on stand -by to be recalled.any one else available?


  2. I think Pards has to take credit as most would have threw him in from the start, maybe through fear of Benny throwing the toys outta the pram concidering the reputation he had. I also think it has maybe saved Benny from some stick because if he had of been played before he was really ready im sure a lot more fans would have been on his back. I noted that Pards has also had words with him to tell him he doesn’t need to comeback and defend as much as he did in the Norwich came, because he said that Benny was that keen to impress that he was coming back to defend that much that it took part of his attacking away, so that will show to Pards how hard he is trying to impress


  3. Anyone got a live stream for the Chelsea match?

    Villa playing a really weak team so not very hopeful of them doing us a favour πŸ˜•


  4. @toonsy

    Good subject.

    He definitely deserves to be praised for the way he’s handled the Barfa situation.

    We all know of his temperamental character and that has surfaced on a few occasions since he’s arrived but particularly when he has not been getting his game or just playing a cameo role.

    For me, he’s brought him in gradually and withdrawn him when he’s been exposed. This despite the growing pressure from impatient fans calling to play him every game.

    We are now seeing the benefits of Pardews tactics and Pardew seems to have identified that Barfa is better when given a free role to wander in midfield instead of being stifled out wide.

    It definitely worked last week and hopefully it will continue. He tracked back, got out wide and created chances from midfield and attack.

    Ive said along that this season should be wrote off for Barfa and it was all about getting his strength and fitness back and prepare him for next season.

    Not like many who wrote him off and some suggested that we get rid in the summer. Step forward JJ.

    Well done Pardew, you’ve played a blinder, firstly for securing his services a couple of seasons ago and secondly providing him with support all last season when our in the wilderness and thirdly, bringing him along gradually this season and starting to get the best out of him.


  5. Good article, I am noticing Hatem tracking back more which is good, what needs to be drilled into him then is what to do after tracking back. He is constantly just standing there watching Simpson trying to hold off the winger and fullback, when he should run back to help him out or actually tackle the on coming player instead of just watching him run past. Teach him what to do in a defencive position and he will have the makings of a world-class player(also when to pass).


  6. Chelsea 1-0 up then, looks like we’ll have to win to keep the pace πŸ˜•

    On topic-I think its pretty clear Pards does deserve credit, although it would be interesting that if Benny hadn’t suffered that injury during pre-season and hadn’t been picked he may have well caused a **** storm. Or we may have found a role for him sooner…hard to say.

    However- imo he doesn’t deserve all the credit, there were some games (in which I thought) we were crying out for someone to mix it up a bit and instead of Benny we got Sammeobi for instance. Plus it seems to show that what Pards thought benny’s best position was-no.10, is not actually his best position. His best position is what was expected and his preferred role I believe, out wide in an attacking front three..

    But anyway Barfas workrate is brilliant-matching Jonas almost for hassling, tracking back and the like, difference being he’s got that extra quality for counter attacking and taking a team apart. When it all comes together its beautiful, and Pardew obviously had a hand in it.


  7. Yes i think Pards deserves credit tbh. He would of been acutely awear of the impact such a bad injury has on recovery time and self confidence. Allthough Benny was chomping at the bit to play I think Pards rightly did things bit by bit as he could so easily of broken down if doing too much too soon. Also I think he wanted to see us mathmaticly safe befor fully employing Benny’s services as he is a luxury player .The team player talk he did about him was a bit of bulls**t to disguise the fact he needed results first and entertainment second ,otherwise why is he now saying he needs to stay forward more!. Ithink next season once we have new defenders and we are tighter at the back we will see more of Benny from the off.


  8. Good article Toonsy

    agree with Troy

    Newkie, he may not have got it all right, but he obviously deserves lots of credit.

    IF we can just keep our front 6 together for next season.


  9. T give Pardew any credit concerning HBA’s ability to play football is absurd.
    He kept him on yhe bench, as he did, the two Argentinos @ West ham, should we also give him credit for their present form.
    It was only during a perod where, due to injuries he was forced to play HBA, that it became obvious to the fans what a talent he was, therefore forcinng our genius manager to play him.
    The result being people like you, print such nonsense and Pardew takes credit for being a genius.
    So much for , kna nowts !


  10. Chuck,

    Pards has openly said this is what he was going to do with Benny since the day he mentioned him of I recall. He has stuck true to his word on it and we are starting to reap the benefits


  11. Premandup- Yeah basically what I was getting at, I think he may have got a bit of luck with the timing of Ben Arfa’s pre season injury and the like, but his man management has been great, aided hopefully by Benny growing up a bit..


  12. Newkie@19 you would think they would want revenge for that flukey win they got at the stadium of s***e πŸ™„


  13. Kimtoon-exactly! Credit to Sunderland for that 1-0 they got even if it was completely undeserved, but to grab 3 points off city like that when we go out of our way to completely outplay Man United and thrash em 3-0 well, it just silly that its worth the same points! πŸ˜€


  14. @Troy 5
    Agree 😯

    Ha. Yeah I think Pards has handled the situation brilliantly, flinging him in too soon, whilst we were already doing well and he was a bit rusty, would have damaged team spirit and seen fans getting on his back if he didn’t find form immediately.
    I like how, despite him clearly being the most technically gifted player we have, that Pardew is refusing to molly coddle him, like against Blackburn, he wasn’t playing too great, hauled him off for Perch, he would’ve been roasted if that hadn’t worked, but fair play he sticks by only his own decisions.


  15. liverpool down to 9th and with another 5 teams within 3 pts of them. Could finish the season in 14th πŸ˜†


  16. If Scum go on to win today then you have to fancy our chances against Citeh cause we sure as hell are better than the Scum.


  17. Solano-Not fussed really mate, although Sunderland are the ones with a problem with us so I’d like to keep them in the dirt. Liverpool doing badly is just funny for everyone πŸ˜‰


  18. I think credit certainly has to go to Pardew for the way he has handled the Benny situation.
    It must have been really doing his head in, having a player that talented and trying to work out the best way of getting him into the team without causing the wheel to come off.
    He obviously tried him out on the right and realised that wasn’t his most effective position and against WBA took a pretty big gamble changing the formation – but it paid off massively.

    I also think credit needs to go to Benny as well though. He is clearly desperate to get into the French national team, but he has shown great patience and a maturity that very few thought he had. Long may it continue.


  19. Citeh players fighting each other πŸ™„ How to throw away a PL lead part 2 ,after toons famous I’d really love it part 1 😳


  20. ST…afraid so, Abongaaggbonnnlahor was clean thru after beating Terry to the ball, Terry decided to fall over because he was beat, Ref gave free kick even though the Lino who was right there gave nowt, Chelsea go up the other end and end up scoring from another set piece πŸ‘Ώ


  21. I think most of the credit has to be given to Benny himself. Because he made so good performance that Pardew was forced to play him. Pardew was in a win win situation.
    1) he plays benny, Benny plays bad, He was right to not play him.
    2) He plays Benny, Benny made good performances, he handled him perfectly as a lot are thinking right now.
    So he has nothing to lose.
    It was more forced to play him because of our very poor display and some injuries, otherwise I still think now Benny will not be in the starting XI.
    I think the credit goes to the player for 90%.


  22. Gotta love the mackems and their pixie **** of a manager πŸ˜†

    Always a reason to put the champers back in the fridge on wearside πŸ™‚


  23. I see Big fat Sam’s West Ham just lost at home to Reading to go 4 points off 2nd place. Will be nice to see him and his awful style of ****ball languishing in the Championship. It’s a far cry from Inter and Real Madrid πŸ˜†


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