Hatem Ben Arfa has taken another move to damage relations with his club Newcastle United, after announcing he shall hold his own ‘meet and greet’ with Newcastle fans, after being excluded from the open training session being held on the same day. However, he has been advised to cancel the event to limit the damage of an already rocky relationship with NUFC.
The session, which was to be held Tuesday night, would have taken place at The Back Page book store in Newcastle. Ben Arfa is still popular among many Newcastle fans and would have drawn attention away from Newcastle’s own public events.
Ben Arfa, 27, was excluded from the senior squad after a fallout with manager Alan Pardew over his laziness on the pitch and fitness concerns, and has been training with the reserves over the summer. Newcastle are keen to sell the midfielder, but the French international seems willing to run down the final year of his contract at St James’ Park.
Ben Arfa disputes Newcastle’s claims that he has come back to preseason overweight, and this debacle only adds to the pressure on the Newcastle management.
Ben Arfa famously organized his own meeting with newspaper journalists last spring and was fined two weeks wages for breaking club rules, showing it isn’t the first time Ben Arfa has acted out against his parent club. The severity of the punishment for this action is as of yet unknown, though he will have obviously soured an already poor relationship with Newcastle, and perhaps put off other potential suitors.
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