Hatem Ben Arfa has admitted he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew when it comes to footballing philosophy – but says he is working ‘harder than ever’ to become a first team regular at the Sports Direct Arena.
Ben Arfa has made 11 Premier League appearances so far this season, and came on as a substitute for the injured Yohan Cabaye in the 1-0 win over QPR on Sunday that took the Magpies up to fifth in the Premier League table.
Despite Newcastle flying high in the Premier League and Pardew being an early front runner for manager of the season, Ben Arfa admits there is a discrepancy with how he and the former West Ham boss believe the game should be played - but insists it doesn’t cause any problems between the two.
"I will respect his authority and keep my philosophy whether I play or not," he told L'Equipe.
"For me, football is a game based on lots of movements and passes. The coach likes the long, direct game. He often says, 'cross it in the box', but I completely respect that philosophy.
"I will not start any arguments, my time will come and I just have to be patient. I am ready both physically and mentally."
The French international endured a frustrating start to his career on Tyneside, and made only four league appearances for his new club after securing a summer switch from Marseille in 2010 before breaking his leg in two places against Manchester City last season.
Now fit and raring to go, the highly-rated Frenchman admits he is ‘frustrated’ at his lack of first team opportunities, but says he will continue to work hard in training in order to catch his manager’s eye.
"I am frustrated at not being able to play, but I won't go and start an argument with the coach about it, because I know that I will only lose," he commented.
"I am working as hard as possible in training and I will be ready for the moment I will be needed. It's a difficult situation for me because I love football so much.
"I will be patient and hopefully that will pay off."