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Ben Arfa tips Newcastle rise

Hatem Ben Arfa is confident Newcastle will be back fighting at the top end of the Premier League table next season.

Last Updated: 15/05/13 at 12:26 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa (l) scored in what proved a priceless 2-1 win at QPR

Hatem Ben Arfa (l) scored in what proved a priceless 2-1 win at QPR

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The Magpies end a disappointing campaign at home to Arsenal on Sunday in a fixture that might have been far more significant had they not ensured survival with last weekend's 2-1 victory at QPR.

Alan Pardew's side, who last season qualified for the Europa League after finishing fifth, could yet finish as high as 10th if they beat the Gunners, who themselves need victory to seal UEFA Champions League qualification.

But though a top-ten finish would mask this term's deficiencies, Ben Arfa believes better luck with injuries and more time to integrate January's arrivals will make for a stronger showing next time around.

He told the Chronicle: "When you look at the individual players we already have, there are some fantastic talented players on that list.

"This season, we haven't been able to play together a lot. We have had a few injuries. A few new players also came in during January and needed some time.

"But when we are all together next season, we can really do well. Then, we can go again and I think we can have a season like we did last season. Of that, I'm sure."

The 26-year-old Frenchman, hampered by a hamstring problem, has managed only 18 league appearances this campaign but despite lingering rumours he could leave in the summer, insists he is focused on pre-season in Tyneside.

"I have always just wanted to work hard and play well," he added. "I just want to be as fit as I can for the start of next season now."

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ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

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e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

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ive him 10 crosses and he'll head 8 of them over the bar.

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