Ben Arfa's campaign has been plagued by injury so far this term.
Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: "In this particular year they have missed the creativeness of Hatem Ben Arfa for periods and Cabaye.
"A lot of goals which Cisse scored last year were assisted by Cabaye and I think he has suffered mainly from his absence.
"Demba has too but can they play as a pair?
"Of course they can, are they playing well at the moment as a pair? No.
"They are probably not but we have to keep working at it because they are two big assets for us."