Pards: Hatem not ready for Prem
HATEM BEN ARFA is back in the shadows at Newcastle United.
And the French international is in danger of staying there unless he wises up to life in the Premier League.
The midfielder has still not convinced manager Alan Pardew that he is equipped to handle the pace and power of the English game.
And that puts the pair on a collision course if the temperamental Ben Arfa cannot win back his place in the side.
Ben Arfa was substituted after only 45 minutes of the Toon’s 2-0 win at Blackburn last week and he didn’t play in the victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.
Pardew said yesterday: “Hatem still hasn’t quite grasped, in my opinion, this Premier League.
“He has got unbelievable talent, there’s no doubt about it, but he’s not used to it.
“He’s got to fight now to get in this team.”
Toon keeper Tim Krul, who pulled off several fine saves against Villa, has saluted the impact of new signing Papiss Cisse, scorer of the winning goal against Villa on his debut. Krul said: “He did the No.9 shirt justice with that goal.
“But we were a solid team again – we had to help each other out.
“We’ve got the extra quality now on the pitch and we can grind out results. It’s amazing.
“We’ve done it all season. The character from the team has been amazing – headers, clearances and fantastic goals from the two boys up front.”
STRUGGLING: Ben Arfa