Was Newcastle United Manager Alan Pardew Right to Drop Hatem Ben Arfa?
However, his omission at Cardiff City on Saturday raised an interesting debate amongst the club’s supporters about the accommodation of luxury in 2013-14’s Premier League.
Back in the mid-1990s, David Ginola dazzled Tyneside and baffled full-backs in equal measure when he arrived from Paris Saint-Germain. On his day, he was practically unplayable.
During the same era, Faustino Asprilla mesmerised the St. James’ Park faithful and will be forever remembered for his hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League.
Into the new millennium, another arrival from the French capital, Laurent Robert, brought silky skills and memorable goals to the North East following his £9.5 million move.
This trio of box office superstars had invention in common, but all three could frustrate as well as fascinate and were often housed in United’s starting XI as a consequence of reputation.
Fast-forward to today, and the Magpies have another temperamental genius on their hands in the shape of Ben Arfa, who has been as erratic as he has been brilliant this season.
The former Marseille man found out the hard way that inconsistency comes at a price, as he was substituted at half-time in the recent defeat to Everton before being dropped completely for the trip to South Wales.
Often used on the right-hand side, the 26-year-old has played for the most part ahead of fellow countryman Mathieu Debuchy, who has struggled to cope with the demands of the English game since his January move from Lille.
In the home defeat to Hull City last month, Steve Bruce’s men targeted that flank at every opportunity. Coupled with Debuchy’s positional inadequacies, an unwillingness to track back was fully exploited by the Tigers.
The Premier League is perhaps more unforgiving now than it has ever been, and though Ben Arfa’s attacking qualities are rarely questioned, his reluctance to get his hands dirty prompted a response from manager Alan Pardew.
His artistry and eye for goal are not up for debate, but the fluency with which the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Yoan Gouffran attacked and defended during the win over Cardiff would have given him food for thought.
Newcastle are in no position to carry players at this juncture, and if Ben Arfa wants to start every game, his work rate will have to reflect as much.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?