Blanc gives Ben Arfa boost
France coach admits he is 'callable' again
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: May 7, 2012 12:03pm
Hatem Ben Arfa: In line for French recall
France coach Laurent Blanc has handed Newcastle ace Hatem Ben Arfa a huge boost by declaring he is now again 'callable'.
Ben Arfa is enjoying an excellent end to the season with Newcastle, who are pushing for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old has eight caps to his name, but has not been called up to the national squad since 2010 when Blanc first took charge.
Injuries and form have meant he has not been considered in the past two years, but he is now firmly back on the Les Bleus radar.
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"I haven't just waited for the last few performances to follow Hatem," Blanc told Telefoot.
"We know he is a very talented boy. He has become callable again."
Blanc also took a little dig at Alan Pardew, after he urged the national team manager to call up Ben Arfa.
He said: "His coach (Alan Pardew) is very nice saying Laurent Blanc should call him for the Euros, but he hasn't always played him since the start of the season. He waited a lot to play him again."
Blanc also talked about another possible midfielder who will be at his disposal for the Euros, in the shape of Lyon's Yoann Gourcuff.
He added: "Yoann Gourcuff? His season has been chaotic. He has a chance to participate in the Euros as we realise we don't have so many certainties, notably in attack. So that gives him a small opportunity."
Blanc was again quizzed about his future, with his current contract due to expire this summer and an extension to the deal dependent on results.
He reiterated that he could yet agree a move back to club football.
"It is possible I could sign in a big foreign club if that is what was demanded and if the challenge attracts me," he said.
"But I don't forget my very first mission, which is the Euros. I wanted and I still want to go on with French team. But to me, I won't consider the results of Euros."