Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has stated that he believes Magpie midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa can use his poor Euro 2012 experience with France to his own advantage – by excelling in the black and white shirt.
Pardew feels Ben Arfa should use the coming season to prove France chiefs were wrong to leave him kicking his heels on the sidelines at Euro 12.
With Laurent Blanc now departed as French manager, Ben Arfa has an almighty task to impress Didier Deschamps – the coach he had a bust up with which led to his exit from Marseille and subsequent arrival at United.
Ben Arfa is yet to feature in Newcastle’s pre-season tours of Monaco and Portugal but manager Pardew told local newspapers that he is looking forward to seeing Ben Arfa performing in an black and white shirt.
Pardew thinks that his star playmaker is still in good spirits but admitted he feared the worst for the Frenchman after his bitter feud with former French boss Blanc, which saw him left out of the remainder of the Euro’s competition.
The French seemed to lack creativity – which Hatem created for the Toon Army last term.
The United manager must decide whether to ease him in tonight against local rivals Hartlepool or wait until Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City.
Pardew described his chances of playing at Hartlepool as a “possibility”.
But he emphasised how keen he was to get the fixture arranged with Newcastle’s neighbours from just down the A19.
He said: “The games are about minutes on the pitch. We have squeezed this game in because it works on a number of levels.
“It gives our fans the chance to see us, and I’m hoping for a great night.”
However, Pardew has pleaded with fans not to repeat the scenes from last pre-season.