The French winger was omitted from the Magpies side that recorded back-to-back wins against the Blues and Spurs.
Shearer, who is the Premier League's all-time top scorer, said that he could see why the talented Ben Arfa was absent for the games, citing his lack of work-rate as the reason.
"I understand why Ben Arfa was left out to be honest," Shearer told talkSPORT.
"He is not going to give you 100% work-rate and when you go to Tottenham and when you play Chelsea, you understand you are not going to have as much possession as those guys.
"You need 11 guys who are going to work very hard for you and he won't work hard for you. He will give you other things when you are playing lesser teams and he will produce fantastic finishes and passes. He doesn't work as hard as others but he's got skills others haven't."
Pardew's side are currently ninth in the Premier League.