Ben Arfa Needs Time But Has Skills To Become Newcastle Great

Newcastle fans will have to give some time to 23 year-old Hatem Ben Arfa to settle into English football, which of course is a lot more physical game than is played on the continent.

Ben Arfa – hitting that goal at Everton – wow!

Like every new arrival, Ben Arfa needs time to settle at the club and also time to adapt – not to mention time to learn the English language.

The fans have already seen what the lad is capable of,  and now the Newcastle coaches have to find out how they can get the very best out of him at Newcastle.

His manager Chris Hughton talked about the player today:

“He is a new player and he is trying to adapt to the pace of the game,”“He is also trying to adapt to a new language, country and players.”

“It will take a bit of time. But what he has got is wonderful ability and he will learn how to get into positions where he can use that ability.”

“He will be no different to everybody else. He will go through his ups and downs, and it’s still very much a learning curve for him.”

Ben Arfa didn’t have a great game on Sunday, but we still liked what we saw, and the lad keeps trying to get into the game, and it will take a little time for Ben Arfa and the Newcastle coaches to work out how best to use his immense talents.

There have been enough glimpses of his ability on the ball,  to suggest he’s going to be a big hit in the Premier League, and he may even be trying too hard right now to impress the fans, because it’s obvious from his comments that he’d love to sign permanently for the Newcastle club.

And we noticed on Sunday he didn’t stay on the left wing much, but tried to get more into the center, where he had more chance of taking a shot, but after that goal at Everton, whenever he looks like he may shoot, the opposition defenders will have been told to get onto him very quickly.

And we have also been very pleased with the reaction of Jonas Gutierrez to being dropped against Everton, as he came back and had an excellent game at Chelsea, setting up the winner for Ameobi right at the end, and also against Stoke when he looked lively on the wing when he replaced Ben Arfa. That’s something that has not gone unnoticed with Jon,as and we applaud his professionalism.

It may be that Ben Arfa’s best position is as a withdrawn striker – the role that Kevin Nolan has played so effectively for Newcastle -but that may be difficult for Hughton, who has his captain playing there.

But it looks like the lad naturally want to play in the center – somewhere.  Let’s be patient with this youngster, as he’s done everything right so far since he arrived at the club, and we hope this lad can become another Newcastle great, given the time.

He certainly has the natural ability to be a Newcastle great,  and it’s an excellent coaching challenge for Chris Hughton,  to get the very best out of the French International on Tyneside. If they can do that then everybody wins.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Comment #1

    BUT he is ball greedy and lacks vision!

  • jarnytoon

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #2

    i think he will be a smash hit here! he’s played 2 and abit games and has looked one of the best players in each game (including his cameo). once he gets used to the rough and tumble rather than the ooo la la french league he’ll be ace.

    n about him drifting in i agree with that, he should be doing nolans role and have wayne and jonas either side and then get all 3 running at the opposition! that’s a handful for any team!

    my team for citeh:




    ben arfa


    tiote n barton arent intended as deep midfielders but rather jonas and wayne playing high up the pitch with bennie!

  • rkw

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #3

    Rich- I dunno about all that. If a player is told to roam the midfield and do as much as possible then you can’t fault him for doing that.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #4

    @ jarnytoon // Sep 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM (2)

    That lineup is never gonna happen.

    Perch wont get dropped coz Hoots will think it will knock his confidence.

    Nolan wont get dropped coz he is captain.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #5

    @ rkw // Sep 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM (3)

    On a few occasions against Stoke he held the ball up and then took it inside and tried to take on 1,2,3,4,5,6 men rather than passing wide to Bull who bust a gut to get forward and was probably in a better position.

  • loothas

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #6

    nufcrichygo: are you off your nut? If you are saying that he is ball greedy or lacks vision based on his performance on Sunday then I have to MASSIVELY disagree. I think if he was ball greedy he would have shot loads but he was looking the entire game to get a pass to someone but the rest of the team were having a slow day where no one moved about and gave anyone an option. only people i saw doing this were Ben Arfa, Jonas and…. Routledge, yes Routers all you haters. I dont get why people keep thinkin we need to drop this guy like… hes been excellent nearly every game since we got him.

  • GeordieGerman

    Sep 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #7

    My son had the same problem with passing/playing the ball. He now realises that it is a team game and it doesn’t matter who gets the goal just as long as goals are got…

    … My son is 11.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #8

    @ loothas // Sep 28, 2010 at 12:59 PM (6)

    So you didn’t get the impression that he kept trying to get into a position to re-create his Everton goal?

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #9

    He needs to have a chat with Robert/Raylor re taking a decent free kick too

  • loothas

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #10

    richy yeah there were a few times that he did that and you could see his left leg twitching but I got the feeling he didnt want to do it to prove he was a team player but mate, no one was moving it was the most static game ive ever seen at SJP. and if no one is moving to get intio a decent position I think he has every right to try get it past people. He most certainly doesnt lack vision everytim someone was in a better position he was trying to get the ball to them.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #11

    @ loothas // Sep 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM (10)

    Okay fair enough.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #12

    In the 2nd half I felt that Jonas should have come on for Routledge over Arfa like.

    Routledge seemed to fade away in the 2nd half.

  • roy cropper

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #13

    once the penny drops & he realises he’s ahead of nolan in the – substitution stakes – regardless of how he’s performing then i can only see one outcome.

    taxi for benny boy !

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #14

    Our subs should have been:

    Raylor on for Perch
    Jonas on for Routledge
    McLoven on for Nolan

  • loothas

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #15

    You see I think hughton has a really tough decision because Nolan played well last season in the (key word) championship. Now he feels like he has to give this guy a game but I saw someones comment the other day which I agree with it said that smithy was dropped for tiote, jonas for ben arfa, I think it should have been Nolan for Arfa and hopefully hughton can see this as the season progresses.

    full strength team:

    Simpson, Collo, Willo, Jose
    Routledge, Barton, Tiote, Jonas
    Ben arfa.

    If he played in the same role lovenkrands played on last season he would get so many balls knocked on by carrol and we would dominate.

  • Davies

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #16

    I agree withj those subs Richyg01. Routelidge was good, but he did fade a little in the second half. Would have been the ideal time to swap him out for Jonas.

    I worry at the prospect of Nolan playing every single minute of our league games. He doesn’t have the fitness he did and sooner or later it’ll knacker him. I imagine he’d be an excellent impact sub it he was finally denied a few starts.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Sep 28, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #17

    I just think if we had Jonas on the right and Arfa on the right we would be able to get more balls into the middle.

    McLoven gives us added pace upfront and is brilliant to bring on against tired legs.

    Raylor should have come on for set pieces and also to overlap Jonas, Perch fills me with anything but confidence.

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Sep 28, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #18

    Yeah Nolan is not good enough. He’s way too slow.

  • toondra

    Sep 28, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #19

    it’s true that ben arfa is a little bit greedy sometimes but it’s his game, like it or hate it…
    when you really tries to make the difference in football, you have to take risks, let he guy play and give him the ball to create that’s it

  • baro

    Sep 28, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #20

    Ben Arfa is absolutly awesome!! Once he adapts to English style of game he is going to be an absolute beast!

  • callie9

    Sep 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #21

    He’s a good player. But did he touch the ball in the second half? In the little that I have seen of him, he HAS to be in the middle to be the central playmaker. A few people also need to realise a) Nolan won’t be dropped and b) although perch hasn’t exactly set the world alight, he’s our best right back and Hughton has already proven he is incredibly stubborn re: his selection. I think jarnytoon’s team is the team everybody would want to see, and the team I would play on football manager. lol

  • Klatoon

    Sep 29, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #22

    to Jarnytoon and others assuming Collo can play RB. Collo doesnt hav the pace to play there.Hes our best CB.He has excellent gamereading,decision making,positioning and his calm style is a joy to watch.If he were to play anywhere else it would be DM with his good passing range and confidence on the ball. I think its the number 2 on the shirt that throws people.Its been his favorite evrywhere hes played in his career

  • Tom4Nufc

    Sep 29, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #23

    He might have a lot of the ball but he does his job well. He is not selfish in my opinion but does have the confidence to run at players and get past them which I applaud.

    I completely disagree that he lacks vision as I watch a lot of French football as I live just north of Toulouse for 4 months a year and he is one of the most creative players I have seen in a long time!

    Although everyone is entitled to an opinion!


You must log in to post a comment.