Chris Hughton has rightly said this morning that the toughest days for Hatem Ben Arfa are still ahead of him.
Hatem Ben Arfa – before his broken leg
And the biggest test will be with the mental strain that comes with rehabilitation, as it is tough to have to wait so long to get back to playing football, and have to get over the atrophy of muscles and the like that come when the leg is not being used.
And of course it has thrown his transfer to Newcastle up in the air, and it seems nothing will be done about that until the lad is back playing again.
Chris talked about Hatem today:
“I don’t know what is going to happen in terms of his transfer,” “That will be something we discuss further down the line.” “It is something for the various parties to discuss when the time is right. At the moment all we can concentrate on is making sure we get him back to full fitness.”
“The hard work starts now. He has had the operation and now he has to start thinking about rehab.” “This is the really tough time for any player who suffer a serious injury. Most do at some point in their careers, most will have a long term injury, but it is sad it has happened so early in his.”
“It is mentally tough when you know you have such a long time without playing football. That’s the hardest part of a serious injury and that is what Hatem has got ahead of him.” “What tends to happen, though, is you miss it when you’re not playing and when you do get back into training and playing games, you appreciate how special it is.”
“He is trying to stay positive. There is obviously a lot of frustration because he was just settling in at a new club and has only played a few games. We have seen what he is capable of.”
Ben Arfa has had a huge impact on Tyneside in his short stay, not only with his football but he has been immediately taken to heart by the massive Newcastle fan base.
It didn’t hurt to know he had held out to come to Newcastle, and although other clubs wanted him and could offer him European Champions League Football, he still only wanted to join Newcastle.
And when he finally arrived on Tyneside, he showed he already knew lots about the club and some of the famous players like Alan Shearer, who had previously graced St. James’ Park.
Maybe it was a combination of all those things that had the Newcastle fans immediately take to him, and yes, the fact he was supposed to be bad boy in France didn’t hurt that attraction one little bit.
But the worst thing has happened for both Ben Arfa and everybody associated with the Newcastle club, and it seems he will be out of action for an awful long time.
That’s a great pity – but that’s life too – we suppose.