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Pardew challenges Ben Arfa

Alan Pardew has challenged French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa to rise to the battle for a starting place in the Newcastle side.

Last Updated: 01/01/14 at 12:54 Post Comment

Alan Pardew: Newcastle boss challenged Hatem Ben Arfa to fight for his place

Alan Pardew: Newcastle boss challenged Hatem Ben Arfa to fight for his place

The 26-year-old has started just one of the Magpies' last 10 Premier League games due to the good form of compatriots Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko.

But Newcastle boss Pardew has backed the Frenchman to step up to the challenge as he seeks regular action to show off his skills in a World Cup year.

Pardew told the Daily Express: "First, he has to get in front of Gouffran and Sissoko and that isn't going to be easy because they have been brilliant.

"But I have no worries about Hatem.

"I think he's in great shape. I honestly thought he could win it for us (in the last game) against Arsenal after I brought him off the bench.

"Unfortunately for him after about two minutes of coming on, we conceded.

"He is an exciting player and we have always had a history of that here.

"But at the moment, he is trying to get a team place and he's fighting two very good players to get there."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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