St James' Park, Newcastle

Next Game

Newcastle v Hull City

Saturday, 20 September 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

St. Mary's Stadium

Last Game

Southampton 4 - 0 Newcastle

Saturday, 13 September 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Ben Arfa: Fan backing helped

Hatem Ben Arfa is grateful for the support he received from Newcastle United fans during his time stuck on the bench.

Last Updated: 27/12/13 at 09:53 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa: Has had to be patient in his pursuit of a starting berth

Hatem Ben Arfa: Has had to be patient in his pursuit of a starting berth

The Frenchman accepts that the strength in depth which now exists at St James' Park means he will not start every week.

He has no complaints at filling a squad role, with the collective cause of greater importance than individual ambitions.

Ben Arfa has had to be patient in his pursuit of recognition, though, with a 5-1 victory over Stoke City on Boxing Day seeing him drafted back into Alan Pardew's starting XI for the first time in almost two months.

The highly-rated forward grabbed his opportunity with both hands and believes he is a stronger player - mentally and physically - for having spent a spell on the sidelines.

Ben Arfa said in the Shields Gazette: "We're very happy. We won, which is the most important thing.

"And I was very happy to be on the pitch. I hadn't started for two months, and I gave all my energy.

"Every time I came on, I tried to do my best. The crowd supported me when I was on the bench, and that made me stronger.

"I want to say thank you to them. Even when I was on the bench, they supported me. They give you confidence and strength.

"I'm very happy, but the most important thing was that we won."

On the competition for places at Newcastle, he added: "We have a big squad. We have very good players on the bench and on the pitch. That's very important for us.

"Everybody contributes. The spirit is important. When somebody is on the bench, he still motivates us in the dressing room. Everybody is together."

Watch Newcastle v Arsenal and Chelsea v Liverpool live on Sky Sports 1HD from 12.30pm on Sunday, or for just £4.99 with a NOW TV day pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

ilarious, thanks for that. But if I may, I do suspect the reason of your partners' ire is not Tottenham, but most probably all the compusilve gambling :)

DannySmith
Backing Costa To Keep Banging 'Em In

T

wo police horses in a paddock. Horse 1: What's with the long face? Horse 2: I'm working St James Park this weekend.

hump3.
Pardew - It's mass hysteria

T

wo things. First, I can't stop reading your name as 'Dane Bowers'. Second, you used the words 'philosophy' and 'Redknapp' in the same sentence.

ajsr1982
Can United's Defence Handle Ulloa?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Mario Balotelli wanted AC Milan exit, says CEO Adriano Galliani

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has confirmed that Mario Balotelli wanted to leave the club for Liverpool this summer.

Premiership: Chelsea's Diego Costa to return against Manchester City

Diego Costa will return for Chelsea's Sky Live showdown with Manchester City on Sunday.

Euro 2020: Wembley to host final and semi-finals

Wembley has been chosen to stage the final and semi-finals of Euro 2020, while Dublin and Glasgow will also host games.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property