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It may be that Ben Arfa’s best position is as a withdrawn striker – the role that Kevin Nolan has played so effectively for Newcastle -but that may be difficult for Hughton, who has his captain playing there.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