ALAN Pardew hailed Hatem Ben Arfa’s club and country renaissance – then backed Sylvain Marveaux to follow his example.
Ben Arfa was this week named in Laurent Blanc’s France squad for Euro 2012.
The forward returned to the international fold after an absence of almost two years after hitting form for Newcastle United.
“It’s brilliant – I’m absolutely delighted for Hatem,” Pardew told SportMail.
Ben Arfa came to prominance in the latter months of last season, the 25-year-old, part of a powerful and pacy three-man attack, playing a pivotal role in the club’s qualification for the Europa League.
His form didn’t go unnoticed in his native France, with Blanc handing him his first Les Bleus start since August 2010 in a friendly against Iceland in Valenciennes on Sunday.
And Ben Arfa showed enough promise in France’s 3-2 win to book a place in Blanc’s 23-man squad.
Ben Arfa, branded an enfant terrible earlier in his career after a series of well-publicised bust-ups in his homeland, has needed careful handling on and off the field, and Pardew’s decision to hold him back earlier in the season drew some criticism from those keen to see him play a more significant role.
However, Pardew’s cautious approach saw Ben Arfa – who had missed most of the previous campaign after suffering a horrific double leg break – ultimately pay dividends.
“I’ve worked closely with him all year trying to get the best out of him,” said Pardew.
“Hopefully, he’ll carry that form on, and we’ll see him build on that next season.”
Ben Arfa’s call-up will buoy his team-mate and countryman Marveaux, according to Pardew.
The former France Under-21 international was unavailable for much of last season because of groin and hip injuries, but the winger – who also had a long spell on the sidelines with former club Rennes – was back in the squad before the end of the campaign.
And Pardew is hopeful Marveaux, signed on a free transfer last summer, will be back to his best next season, just as Ben Arfa was last term.
“(International football is) also a target for Sylvain Marveaux,” added Pardew. “He’s seen that Hatem has come back from long-term injury and made the France squad.
“Hopefully, it’ll be the same with Sylvain.”
That’s the next project for him.”