Pardew delighted with Ben Arfa

The Frenchman provided Toon fans with a tantalising glimpse of what

they thought was to come when he crashed in one of the goals of the

season against Everton in September 2010. But two games later Ben

Arfa suffered a broken leg in a tackle by Manchester City

midfielder Nigel de Jong and did not play again for almost a year.

He is still working his way back to top form and has had to make do

with substitute appearances for most of the season. He began the

Boxing Day trip to Bolton on the bench but eight minutes after his

introduction in the 61st minute he expertly volleyed in Ryan

Taylor’s cutback, and two minutes later Demba Ba’s 14th goal of the

season sealed a 2-0 victory. It was Newcastle’s first win in seven

Premier League games, and boss Pardew said: “We know our strengths

and we played to those. We didn’t give Bolton many opportunities,

the team was tight. “There wasn’t a lot of space for Bolton to play

in and in that environment we can create chances because we’re good

technically with (Yohan) Cabaye, Hatem, Demba Ba, (Leon) Best. “In

the first half I thought we rushed a couple of things but in the

second half we took a little bit more time, we created the moment

and it was nice to see (Ben Arfa) score because he had a terrible

injury and it’s been a long road for him. “I think he’d consider

himself more than an impact player but the role he is in at the

minute, as he’s building himself back, he’s a big player. “He has a

high regard for his own ability, and it’s important to have a

player like that in your squad. He feels he can change it and he

managed to do that, and it’s good for us.”