I’ll show faith in Ben Arfa, but he must focus – Pardew


ALAN Pardew will keep faith with Hatem Ben Arfa as he looks to reinvigorate Newcastle United’s faltering season.

Ben Arfa was an anonymous figure in the club’s defeats to Everton and Hull City.

And his performances in those two games was in marked contrast to that at Villa Park last month.

He put in a match-winning performance against Aston Villa that afternoon, scoring one goal and creating what turned out to be United’s winning goal, scored by Yoan Gouffran.

The 26-year-old also scored a late winner against Fulham at St James’s Park.

“The only point I would make is that he can reach great heights,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“That’s what we need from him on a consistent basis. That’s something we’re going to have to work towards to get out of him.

“I have to show faith in him, and I also have to make sure he does what’s right for the team. That’s all I want to say.”

Pardew felt he had Ben Arfa in a “good place” after the convincing 2-1 win over Aston Villa last month.

And the forward talked about adding a consistency to his game after the fixture.

“We’ve got him in a good place,” said Pardew at the time. “He’s not easy to manage.

“His focus is sometimes not always there as it should be.”

Pardew is hopeful Ben Arfa, left out of the France squad by Didier Deschamps this week, will again be focused at Cardiff City this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Pardew has warned his players they cannot afford to rely on Yohan Cabaye digging them out of trouble every week.

The 27-year-old was left out of the starting XI at Goodison Park because of a minor hip injury.

But he came off the bench, scored a stunning goal and led a United fightback.

“His forward passing, his forward thinking got us back into the game, but there will be times when he is not there and we need to have that same attitude,” said Pardew.

“He is very important. He’s a great player, and this club needs great players.”

Twitter @milesstarforth