Date: 21st February 2013 at 12:03pm
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News today that Hatem Ben Arfa has been penciled in for our away fixture in Wales next week at Swansea, which is a slight surprise considering a lot of us thought he could make the bench for the visit of Southampton on Sunday.

Manager Alan Pardew had this to say over the issue on the official website.

‘Hatem’s only been with us two days from Clairefontaine, who I have to say have put him in fantastic physical condition for us,
We’re very pleased with their contribution and I thank them for for that.

Again, it just underlines the relationship that we have in France because to have that faith to let Hatem do his recovery there – as we would if Yohan Cabaye or any of our other senior players preferred that route – that’s worked out well.

He’s trained for two days. He looks match fitness short, but we hope that we can get him up to speed perhaps for the next round of this competition (the Europa League).

I think Sunday’s too early too, but certainly at Swansea I will be looking for him to have some sort of cameo role on the bench if we progress well.’


Hopefully we get the proper Ben Arfa back and not some sort of shadow of his former self because with him in our side, it changes us from a good side to a very good side.