Ben Arfa v Pardew - Who Is Winning The Battle?

Last updated : 05 May 2014 By Footy Mad - Editor

They have gone head-to-head and it is expected the player will be sold in the summer ... but there could be a shock for the Newcastle manager ... Hatem says "I'm staying, I'm not going anywhere!"

Ben Arfa is set to be fined by Newcastle United for his impromptu Press conference last week – and he was left out again by Pardew on Saturday.

But, although he was not in the squad, he sat in the stands with the supporters.

Pardew legged it down the tunnel on the final whistle too scared to take part in the lap of honour - but Hatem made it onto the pitch.

The Frenchman was left out of Pardew’s squad for Monday night’s game against Arsenal, and for the Cardiff fixture, and he reacted by arranging a Press call in which he questioned why his opportunities have been limited under this season.

Ben Arfa: “He doesn’t want me to play.

“I respect it. If he wants, I will play. I’m here for the club. I just want to play. I’m fit.”

The 27-year-old’s comments have heaped more pressure on the Newcastle manager.

Ben Arfa – who denied he has been a disruptive influence behind the scenes – was forced to train with the club’s Under-21s while Pardew worked with the first team squad.

Asked if Ben Arfa will play again for the club, Pardew said: “I’ve not said he will or won’t.

“But what I have said is that I’ll pick the team on merit for this club.

“As a Premier League manager, you get these sort of issues.

“But there is a disciplinary process for that, and we’ll follow the same process for Hatem as everybody else on that.

“The only thing I’d say to our supporters is that the team comes first.

“This is not about me, Hatem or any individual player.

“What is important is the team and performance.

“The team has worked very, very well.”