Premier League: Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew challenges Hatem Ben Arfa
Alan Pardew says Hatem Ben Arfa must become more consistent if he is to force his way into the France team.
Last Updated: 14/09/13 2:14pm
The 26-year-old scored the winning goal in the Magpies' last Premier League game against Fulham, producing a fantastic piece of individual brilliance to secure a 1-0 win.
Pardew believes if Ben Arfa can find a level of consistency, he can take the Premier League by storm and make a major impact on the international stage.
He said: "That's what we are searching for with Hatem, a little bit more consistency in terms of him winning games, whether it's an assist or a goal.
"He has fantastic quality. He is a player the fans love and he certainly got everybody out of their seats the last time.
"But we need a little bit more than that, more from him, more of those moments. I think he would be the first to admit that that's the year he needs if he is going to break into the French team."
Pardew will hope for more of the same from Ben Arfa at Aston Villa on Saturday as Newcastle seek a repeat of last season's 2-1 victory at Villa Park.
Yohan Cabaye could return to the starting line-up while loan signing Loic Remy may be handed a full debut after impressing during his substitute appearance against Fulham.
Pardew said: "We got a little cameo of that when Remy came on the pitch the other day.
"Suddenly Papiss (Cisse) started getting opportunities, and that comes from having another striker on the pitch who can threaten the goal of that quality.
"Hopefully, that will take us forward as a team because offensively, we need to improve."