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How did the Pardew v Ben Arfa...
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How did the Pardew v Ben Arfa row reach crisis point?

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

22:36 12 Aug 2014

It's never a huge surprise when Newcastle United are hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. 

The latest story to emanate from the club is a tiff between winger Hatem Ben Arfa and manager Alan Pardew.

Talented though he may be, Ben Arfa has been frozen out of the first team picture at St James Park after falling out with Pardew.

But the situation between player and club came to a head this week when the maverick Ben Arfa organised an unofficial meet and greet with fans at a bookshop - although the event was subsequently cancelled as Pardew saw it as provocative.

But how did it get to this?

North-East football writer Colin Young joined us on the line and he detailed a falling out which dates back to the end of last season when Newcastle had switched to a very direct system, unsuited to Ben Arfa, amid poor results.

"They had a very nasty dressing room row," said Young, who added that the Frenchman felt unused.

"The bust-up left things between them to a point where it was irretrievable".

But the France cap returned to pre-season overweight and seemed to end any hopes of a return to the first team squad under Pardew.

Young explained Ben Arfa has been for sale even prior to the end of last season but that very few suitors are lining up.

"It's possibly going to be one of those situations that's either resolved on August 31st, and he ends up going on a loan or a free transfer to Lorient or Monaco or somewhere like that. I find it hard to believe he'll still be at Newcastle." 

Young also spoke about the busy transfer window for Newcastle and how much pressure that puts on Pardew next season.

Listen to the full interview below via the podcast:

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