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Jan 4, 2012

Ben Arfa urges Pardew to play him

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has asked boss Alan Pardew to give him a prolonged run of starts so he can prove his fitness woes are a thing of the past.

Ben Arfa has endured injury traumas since joining Newcastle at the start of last season - first breaking his leg and then suffering an ankle scare - but insists he is now fully fit.

Nonetheless, he has been restricted to a mere three Premier League starts in this campaign - and he feels that may be because his style of play does not fit in with Pardew's philosophy.

"I knew it would take time to get back. But it has been four months now and I feel I'm ready," Ben Arfa said. "I'm completely fit and believe I'm able to play more than I have done so far.

"When I see fans in the street, they always ask me why I am not playing. I respond it's not my decision. I scored at Bolton but then was still on the bench for the next game. I wasn't surprised though.

"There have been a lot of emotions since I arrived here - positive and negative. I arrived and scored a great goal against Everton, then there was the injury [broken leg]. I went from one extreme to the other in a very short amount of time.

"But I would still say it has been positive so far, mainly because of the fans who have always supported me. I'm a competitor and I want to play every game, every minute. The manager knows what I'm thinking. He knows I want to play. He makes his choices and I have to respect them.

"But it's true we don't share quite the same philosophy. For him, it's more crosses, a bit of a more direct style, whereas I'm more the kind of player who likes to play short passes. I like to pass and move, a little bit like Swansea when we played against them. I was very impressed with the way Swansea played football.

"That is the kind of football I like. That's the philosophy I learned at the French academy at Clairefontaine."


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