Hatem Ben Arfa will return to the Newcastle side on Tuesday night at Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup, and that’s terrific news for Newcastle fans.
Ben Arfa – after scoring phenomenal winner at Everton
And it seems that in training Ben Arfa has been very impressive indeed, and doing things other players simply cannot do.
Newcastle took a huge chance in signing the French International last January for around £5M , while he was still injured, but Alan Pardew pushed the Newcastle Board to sign him up, and they did.
And at the same time Pardew tried to get Newcastle to give long term deals to Joey Barton, Jose Enrique and Kevin Nolan, but was unsuccessful and the three top players have now left the club.
Ben Arfa arrived at Newcastle with a lot of baggage from his time at Lyon and Marseilles, after reports that he fought with players and certainly fell out with Marseilles manager Didier Deschamps, which is one reason Newcastle were able to sign the player.
And Pardew believes the 24 year-old is a huge creative force too:
“He’s a player that can reach heights that other players can’t reach – that Heineken player if you like.” “He brings a creative force to the team that is different to what we have, and he’s different to a lot of players in the Premier League. He’s elusive.”
“He’s been out so long, so the beauty is that I don’t have to rush him. Last year, when we lost Andy Carroll, I was really desperate for him at times, if I’m honest. We didn’t have any control over games and we needed that little bit of quality around the box.”
“This year, I feel that the results and performances mean we don’t have to rush him. This is a bit early for him, this game, but he needs a game. I don’t expect him to be at his full force on Tuesday.” “He’s a Newcastle type player – the type that fans love up here, but unfortunately we haven’t seen him.”
“It’s just a point of getting him right, there’s no doubt about his craft, which is exceptional. He needs to fit into the work-rate of the side and all that we do, because we’re not that good that we can carry a player. But in pre-season his work-rate was tremendous.”
It’s a good job Alan Pardew is a good man-manager, and he should be able to handle the player who has played for all the French youth sides, and 8 times for the full French side with two great goals,
And it must have been very difficult for the youngster with the two injuries that have kept him out of action for close to a year, but it seems the Frenchman has been remarkably calm through it all, although he’s anxious to show the Newcastle fans what he can do on the pitch.
And he’s already a huge favorite on Tyneside, even though the lad has only played four times for the Magpies – a team he was simply determined to join in August of 2010, and he knew all about Newcastle’s sterling history.
Pardew said the lad has been very clam though all the hardships of his injuries, but still hinks there will be falling outs with the player along the way :
“He’s been very calm, actually. Especially after the injury in America. I thought that would cause him a lot of problems – in that he might think this won’t work out and he gets injured every time he plays for us. But he’s been very buoyant around the place.”
“He’s a character. He’s not going to be smooth-running. I won’t say he’s high maintenance but he’s not low maintenance either. We’re going to have our moments with him and I’m sure he’s going to fall out with me and my staff and my players, and we will with him, but along that line we’re hoping to get some great performances and a lot of goals from him.”
“The way Hatem plays, he’s had people kicking him and lumping him up in the air since he was seven. It’s natural to him.” “He’s not going to go into a crunching 50-50 tackle, that’s not his style, but someone will come through the back and you hope he’ll stand up and be fine when that happens.”
Ben Arfa is cut out to be a real star on Tyneside, and the Geordie fans cannot wait to see what this lad can do on the field, and he’s already scored one amazing goal against Everton last September, before he broke his leg in two places at Manchester City.
It looks like Alan Pardew w ill ease Ben Arfa back into the Newcastle side slowly, in the withdrawn striker position, and this lad will certainly add some creativity to the Newcastle side at Nottingham Forest, and some excitement for the Newcastle fans too.