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Ben Arfa trains alone after Emery drops him from squad to face Arsenal


The story between Unai Emery and Hatem Ben Arfa took another turn on Monday. On the eve of Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League opener against Arsenal, following the club's final training session of the day, the former Nice player learned he had not made the squad.

Juan Carlos Carcedo, Unai Emery's deputy, told Ben Arfa that he could go home and that he would not take part in Tuesday's game at the Parc des Princes.

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"There is no reason for Ben Arfa's absence - Hatem is not injured, and he had no problem with the coach," he told Goal.

The Frenchman will not enjoy a period of rest, however, as the assistant coach reminded him of his obligation to train at the Camp des Loges on Tuesday, starting at 11:00am, to complete a one-man workout. 

Ben Arfa has not taken kindly to the decision, however, and sees it as a humiliation. The former Newcastle forward has assured his relatives that he wants to fight for his place at PSG despite not being deemed surplus to requirements by new boss Emery.

The punishment sounds like an injustice for Ben Arfa, especially as Emery has had just one month to judge the player. But it does not lead him to question his choice to join a club that has the ambition to win the Champions League after other European clubs had registered their interest in him before he made the switch to Paris.

Ben Arfa has proved his maturity during the early stages of the season. A few years back, the 29-year-old may have been unsettled at the news before such an important fixture for his club. This is now not the case.

Arriving at the club for pre-season, the Frenchman realised he would have to dig deep in order to find his place in the team. He is refusing to hide away from the task and has taken the recent statements of his coach as a new challenge. 

The door is not yet permanently shut for Ben Arfa, who signed a two-year deal at the club in the summer, though he will have to work hard in order to recapture the impressive form he showed at Nice last season.

Last week, Emery warned Ben Arfa over his work-rate and mentality, telling RMC: "He has played in every game. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but he has played every time.

"He needs to work to improve himself so that if he plays a good 10 minutes, he can play 20 minutes the next time and so on.

"This is the process. He has to work hard and have the right mentality."