"The Chronicle understands that some senior players wanted to know why Hatem Ben Arfa found himself back in the team so quickly following the dressing room bust-up with Pardew.
The manager faced a dressing room inquest from some of his own players after the 1-0 loss against Stoke City.
Ben Arfa had exploded after the 4-0 loss to Man United when both the Toon boss and the French playmaker exchanged harsh words.
It is believed that some players felt Ben Arfa should be dropped for his vocal outburst last week only for Pardew to name the ex-Lyon and Marseille ace on his team sheet and hand him a 17-minute run-out.
This was in contrast to scores of fans who made the trip to the Potteries on Saturday and chanted the name of the ex-Lyon and Marseille playmaker in support of him being axed in recent times.
Ben Arfa is thought to have told Pardew that he was responsible for the decline of players such as Sylvain Marveaux and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa."