Hatem Ben Arfa was due to undergo surgery in Manchester today after suffering a bad double fracture of his lower left leg.
Hatem Ben Arfa – taken off yesterday – waves to brilliant Newcastle fans
And Ben Arfa was able to talk to the Evening Chronicle today:
“I’ll be back. I will be working hard to play again in a black-and-white shirt and to perform again for the brilliant Newcastle fans.” “It will be a long road back, but I have to stay positive.”
Ben Arfa’s advisor and close friend Simon Stainrod rushed to be on Tyneside today to support his player, and Stainrod added:
“Hatem is in bits over the injury, but he will look to get his operation out of the way and then it’s the road back to recovery.” “He will be doing all of his rehab at Newcastle and hopes to be back as quickly as possible.”
“That’s the sort of lad he is.”“It just shows his character when he sits up and claps the fans as he goes off.” “It shows the feeling he has for the Newcastle fans, and I don’t think that many players would have done that in that situation.”
“He was enjoying everything at Newcastle.” “He felt under pressure at Marseilles, but he certainly felt comfortable here.” “He’ll do everything in accordance with Newcastle and he’ll be back.”
De Jong apologised to Ben Arfa after the challenge, but of course the Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said the tackle should never have been made:
“It looks a bad injury for Ben Arfa, and that’s really where our thoughts are.” “My impression of the challenge was that it didn’t need to be made.”“I can’t honestly say there was real malice in the challenge, but it didn’t need to be made.”
And Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul spoke of his fellow countryman De Jong after the game and added:
“De Jong said he hit the ball and followed up.” “He gave his apologies to Chris, but we have a big injury.” “I didn’t see the tackle, but I saw him carried off.”
“It was a big shame. He’s a class player, and you don’t want anybody to be carried off with a big injury.”
DeJong has subsequently been dropped by the Holland side for their upcoming European qualifying games, and Martin Atkinson didn’t even think it was a foul.
So we knew we were in trouble in this game after just 4 minutes and it proved to be right – we’ll see if anything happens this week because of Atkinson’s woeful referring yesterday.
We don’t expect anything will, because it seems the referees always hunker down after these type of games, when their performances have been pathetic.