Alan Pardew dropped heavy hints that Hatem Ben Arfa will start on Wednesday night when he explained his reasoning for not putting him onto the pitch against Swansea.
The manager explained to the Chronicle “Sometimes you’ve got to fuel your players and the disappointment he had about not getting on might fuel him for Wednesday night”.
As for last Saturday Pardew revealed that, “A couple of times I thought about Hatem but I just felt they were so deep, with so many numbers back, that I did not think he would find any space, if I am honest. He looks for pockets, and there weren’t any”.
As for who he actually did bring on, Alan Pardew’s logic was that; “Actually, I thought that maybe a diagonal coming in that box with Shola climbing on the back of a centre-half might just be enough. As it was he had half a chance at a set play, and Sammy ended up winning a cross at the far post. That was really the only time we had the space to get a goal”.
Fair play to Alan Pardew for coming out and giving us the info even if many of us felt that Ben Arfa would be a better bet to unlock a defensive mentality, not sure whether there was any definitive answer but the Ameobi boys didn’t supply it.