Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Ben Arfa vows to prove his worth

Hatem Ben Arfa is champing at the bit for a return to Newcastle's starting line-up
Hatem Ben Arfa is champing at the bit for a return to Newcastle's starting line-up

Hatem Ben Arfa is desperate to remain with Newcastle even if he continues to remain out of favour with manager Alan Pardew.

The French playmaker has proved on numerous occasions in the past that he is capable of swinging a game in Newcastle's favour, but injuries and a lack of fitness have combined to keep him on the fringes of the side this season.

Ben Arfa admitted he had a frank exchange with Pardew following the 4-0 humbling by Manchester United on April 5, while it has been reported he was made to train with the reserves last week and was left out of the squad altogether for the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal on Monday.

The former Lyon and Marseille man is keen to showcase his talents once more, but would be keen on remaining on Tyneside even if he is not playing.

"I don't know why I'm not playing," Ben Arfa told the Daily Mail.

"You have to ask the manager. After the (4-0) defeat against Manchester United, we had a strong exchange of words, but that is it.

"He doesn't want me to play. I respect it. If he wants, I will play. I'm here for the club. I enjoy training. I just want to play. I'm fit.

"If the manager says to me he doesn't believe in me for next season, I want to stay, but if the chairman wants to sell me I have to go. I want to stay here even if the manager doesn't believe in me because I will show him I can play here."

The Magpies could do with having Ben Arfa back to his best, having lost their last six Barclays Premier League matches, with the mood among the Toon faithful turning ever more sour towards Pardew.

"We have lost too many times, 3-0, 4-0, 3-0. It is hard when you love the supporters, it is hard to lose every time like that," Ben Arfa added.

"On the pitch I can offer my flair and my creativity. I try every time to do something. I think I can give a lot for the club."

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