Premier League - Unplayable Ben Arfa could light up World Cup, says Pardew

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew tipped Hatem Ben Arfa to shine at next year's World Cup after the France winger helped his club climb the English Premier League table with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Reuters

Playmaker Ben Arfa, who has not played for his country since Euro 2012, turned in a thrilling performance at Villa Park after scoring the opening goal.

"Hatem was on fire today," Pardew told the BBC. "He has the ability to hold on to the ball and give us a rest, then burst past one or two players.

"If he can get consistency not only will he be a threat for us but a threat for France at the World Cup.

"Ben Arfa got a lot of headlines the last time he scored, against Fulham, but I thought he did just OK then. Today he was unplayable," added Pardew.

France have still to book their place at next year's finals in Brazil.

Ben Arfa's late winner against Fulham last month restored the faith of the fans in Newcastle and gave Pardew some breathing space after his team had picked up just one point from their opening two league games.

They faced criticism for making just two acquisitions in the transfer window - Loic Remy on a season-long loan from Queens Park Rangers and 16-year-old Olivier Kemen from Metz for their development squad.

Pardew's working relationship with Joe Kinnear, the new director of football, also put the spotlight on St James' Park but two wins from two games have lifted Newcastle to eighth in the table.

"We played very, very well today and I thought some of our play was what it should be at Newcastle," Pardew said.

"We have a real attacking mode at the club and that's the type of offensive side I want to put out but I have not been able to do so since Demba Ba left (for Chelsea in January)."

Frenchman Remy, making his first start, was replaced by compatriot Yoan Gouffran who supplied the winner against Villa after Christian Benteke had equalised for the hosts.

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