Welcome Ben Arfa problem
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has a welcome selection problem following the return to fitness of Hatem Ben Arfa and Davide Santon.
Last Updated: 03/10/11 3:42pm
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has a welcome selection problem following the return to fitness of Hatem Ben Arfa and Davide Santon.
Ben Arfa was back in his club's starting XI in September's Carling Cup win over Nottingham Forest and also featured as a substitute in the Premier League victory at Blackburn having previously not played since last October.
The former Marseille man had been sidelined for almost a year after suffering a broken leg and this summer he was joined on the injured-list by new signing Santon, who has yet to make his debut following his arrival from Inter Milan.
But both are now match-fit and, having watched as Pardew preferred to use substitutes Peter Lovenkrands, Sylvain Marveaux and Danny Guthrie in Saturday's win at Wolves, they could be involved from the start after the international break against Tottenham.
Pardew told the Shields Gazette: "It's not a headache, but a nice problem.
"I didn't use Ben Arfa (against Wolves) because I thought with the pace of the game, and the way we were defending, we weren't going to get enough ball to him.
"Peter came on and did a sterling job. There'll be other games for Ben Arfa to come on, for sure, and Santon."
Newcastle have made an unbeaten start to their season and sit in the top four of the Premier League after seven matches, but Pardew is realistic about their long-term targets.
"To be where we are now's an outstanding achievement, not just by the players, but by the staff I have around me," said Pardew.
"But I don't think any of the fans will be thinking Champions League."