Ben Arfa boost for Newcastle

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has revealed Hatem Ben Arfa could return from injury before the end of the season.

Last Updated: 30/03/13 at 14:27 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa: Could return before the end of the season

Hatem Ben Arfa: Could return before the end of the season

After 12 weeks out, the Frenchman returned to action earlier this month in the first leg of United's Europa League last-16 tie with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, but lasted only 64 minutes after being forced off with a hamstring injury.

The former Marseille winger was then ruled out for the rest of the season, but having returned to France to work on his fitness, Pardew has revealed he may be back to action sooner than planned.

Speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle, Pardew said: "We're getting more optimistic he could be involved again before the end of the season."

Pardew has previously insisted he will not take any risks with Ben Arfa but it would be a major boost for Newcastle if he can return for the run-in as he is a player who the manager feels brings a different dimension to the team.

"He's a massive player at this level. He's our Suarez - he's that different player, someone who in a tight game can create something out of nothing," Pardew said last month.

"He's a fantastic player, tremendous technique and a great mentality to be one of the best players in the world.

"That's what he wants to be. That's his target and all I am trying to do is drive him towards that goal."

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W

e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

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toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

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ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

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