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Sunday, 28 December 2014, 16:15

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Ben Arfa ruled out for season

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has been ruled out for the rest of the season as he requires surgery on a hamstring problem.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 16:28 Post Comment

The Frenchman returned to action in the first leg of United's Europa League last-16 tie with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala after 12 weeks out.

But Ben Arfa lasted only 64 minutes of that game and missed the second leg clash at St James' Park on Thursday night, where Newcastle progressed to face Benfica in the quarter-finals after a last-gasp Papiss Cisse goal gave them a 1-0 win over Anzhi.

Ben Arfa is not expected back until pre-season training for the 2013/14 campaign, with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew confirming he will not be rushed back sooner, even if they qualify for the Europa League final.

"It's a shame for Hatem because we went down this process of not operating on it, and I think now that's an option that we might need to take," said Pardew.

"But we can't now put him at risk. Even if it was to get to a Europa League final, I don't think that's going to be the case.

"We need to look to next year for him and just go forward together knowing we haven't got him on board."

Pardew admitted they miss the quality he offers but insists they have a strong enough squad to cope without him.

"He gives us that X-factor. In a game like last night's where he could open the door for us, we haven't got that luxury," added Pardew.

"Unfortunately for Hatem, that's the news that he didn't want to hear.

"But as far as we are concerned, the team has responded well in his absence and hopefully, we do that until the end of the year."

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W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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