Pardew has dealt with the player brilliantly, confident that some one-to-one time would get his message across to the 25-year-old. And that message was simple. He had to play the Pardew way.
The manager said on Tuesday: "It's a challenge to manage players like him because you have to understand in a football team you're never going to get 11 characters who are the same. We have some of our characters for whom the defensive side and being diligent is 90 per cent of their game. For Hatem it's different. Flair and making things happen is 80 per cent of his game. It's just about balancing it out.
"Everybody's different as a footballer. You have to know your limitations and your strengths and it is about getting the balance of the team. You can get bogged down a little bit here in terms of the work-rate of Hatem defensively."