Pardew Squirms As Pressed On Ben Arfa – Blow By Blow Account
At Thursday’s pre-Cardiff press conference, Alan Pardew was quizzed repeatedly as to the Hatem Ben Arfa situation.
The manager looked very uncomfortable as the media repeatedly questioned him on the back on the manager/player ongoing situation and especially the [intlink id=”42389″ type=”post”]much reported interview with Hatem Ben Arfa[/intlink] that was not sanctioned by the club.
What do you make of Hatem Ben Arfa’a comments?
Well, they’re his comments.
My comments are the same as what I said before, I pick the team on merit.
Is Hatem in the squad for Cardiff?
I haven’t picked the team for Cardiff.
Is he being considered for that squad?
He is in our squad in terms of on our rota, yes, but as I say, I haven’t picked the team or the subs for Saturday.
Hatem is a big fans’ favourite, what do you say to those supporters who wonder why he hasn’t featured?
Well the only thing I’d say to our supporters is that I hope that the team comes first, because this is not about me, Hatem, or any individual player.
This club is a lot bigger than that and it show that on Saturday, that we are a big club and the fans need to support the team that gets picked.
Hatem touched on having trained with the reserves, is that still the case?
Well he trained with a different group than I trained with, yes.
Will he be dealt with internally just because it’s an interview the club didn’t facilitate?
Well the disciplines we have at this club go throughout all the players and you know in terms of that procedure, it will be in-house and we’ll take care of what we need to take care of.
I find it embarrassing that our manager can’t just give a straight answer, why can’t he just say that Ben Arfa is not playing against Cardiff?
Each detail has to be chiselled out of him, clearly if Hatem Ben Arfa isn’t even training with the other players he won’t be in the team or even on the bench.
Especially with Pardew always going on about how important the pre-match preparation is in training.
Although there again he isn’t averse to saying and doing things that are the complete opposite of what he said five minutes ago.
On this occasion though I think it is quite safe to say that you won’t see Hatem Ben Arfa on that pitch on Saturday.
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