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Press Try To Drive Wedge Between Pardew and Ben Arfa

8 years ago

At his pre-match press conference for Swansea, one disappointment was when Alan Pardew revealed that Hatem Ben Arfa was further behind with his fitness than generally thought and wasn’t expected to feature at Swansea.

“His conditioning has to go up through the levels and he is aware of that.

He has been protecting his hamstrings and it is now a case of trying to get that work in.

The message that I’m giving the fans is not to expect too much here. Where perhaps I thought he could start on Thursday (v Anzhi), I don’t think that he physically can but we are pushing him. We are pushing him for the match in Moscow on Thursday if we can”.

In pretty much every headline and article I’ve read on Ben Arfa since that press conference, the insinuation has been that the manager has been having a go at the player and hinting at a falling out. Using words such as Pardew being ‘upset’ and saying Hatem ‘must work harder’, as though he has been slacking.

However, when you read what the manager also said, it becomes clear how the press are distorting the ‘story’;

“There is no blame attached to him (Ben Arfa), he has had a little trouble this week with illness and so he missed a day. He has missed a couple of days here and there that have cost him. I think from now on he can’t miss any more days but I’m not being critical of him, definitely not.

I’m just letting our fans know because I know what our supporters are like ‘Let’s get Hatem in the team’ and he ain’t ready”.

When you add this to the nonsensical reports of Hatem possibly going to Liverpool in the summer, you’d almost think the press had an agenda…

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