Ben Arfa Thanks The Fans – He’s In A Good Place Now

Hatem Ben Arfa is back, and looks to have fully recovered from the horrendous double leg break he suffered almost a year ago, and from the ankle injury he picked up on his first game back in Kansas City in July.

Ben Arfa – fit again – at last

Ben Arfa has been giving lots of interviews since successfully returning to the side on Tuesday night, and he talked today with the Daily Mirror:

“My leg was shattered in two places. One bit pointing this way, the other pointing the wrong direction” “But now it has finally healed, and it is straight again! It took a year, there were setbacks along the way but now it is right. It is a massive relief.”

“It was 11 months. I was sad and a very frustrated at times but I had to keep calm. I wanted the whole process to hurry up. I wanted it to be ready immediately.”

“I have not been depressed, but I have certainly been sad. It has been hard watching the team play and not being involved. It is difficult to come back from a big injury like the one I suffered, but now it is finished and I will put it behind me.”

It’s just short of a full year since Ben Arfa’s left leg was shattered at Manchester City on October 3rd last year, and we hope he is playing in the Newcastle side regularly again very soon, although Alan Pardew has emphasized he’s not going to rush him back unduly.

Newcastle took a massive gamble on the player by signing him permanently for £5M from Marseilles last January, while he was still injured, so we thought it wa strange in the summer when the news was the club could not bring in Swiss winger Tranquillo Barnetta,  because he had a slight injury to his leg, and would be out for about four weeks.

Ben Arfa did most of his rehabilitation under the watchful eyes of the medics at the Clairefontaine  Academy, just outside of Paris,  but he also kept in regular touch with the Newcastle medics.

The French International got 70 minutes on Tuesday night, and he looked good, and will most likely be on the bench against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon, in a game that could see Newcastle retain 4th place in the league, if the lads can win it.

And with so much time to think things over as he recovered from his very serious injury over the last year, that’s exactly what he did, think a lot,  but seemingly in a positive way, because he says he is now more appreciative of his football.

It’s strange how set-backs in life often  turn out to be positive things over the long haul, and you seem to appreciate more of what you already have.

Ben Arfa continued:

“So many things went through my mind,”  “It was not just worrying about football. It was life in general. It is difficult to explain, but it has made me a bit more patient, I appreciate my career now.”

“I think it can make me a stronger person, coming through that sort of trauma. My heart is stronger.”  “I have to make sure that, in the long run, it becomes an experience that I learn from – a good experience, in a way. Now it is finished, though.”

“I am very happy to be playing again. It has been a difficult year, a long, hard time for me physically and mentally. I am delighted now to have got back on the pitch.”

And Newcastle fans have played their part in keeping Ben Arfa’s spirits up, and we often put out articles to allow readers to contact Ben Arfa and send him messages of support, and it seems to have done the job, as the 24 year-old continued:

“It feels good to be back at work. The supporters have been texting me and messaging me and I have to thank them for their support. They have been very good with me and they have kept me going.”

“It is important for me to take my responsibilities as a play-maker for this team – someone who is creative,” “I have to do good things on the pitch every game.”

“I have confidence in my ability and in this squad. We have some very good players and we can go far this season.” “Am I ready? I would, of course, love to play some part on Saturday. I am ready.”

We expect the Newcastle team on Saturday to most likely be the one that got a draw at Aston Villa last Saturday, with possibly Sylvain Marveaux coming in for Jonas Gutierrez on the left wing.

Alan Pardew wants to see a little more from Ben Arfa in training before he will give him  a starting position in the side, and he will play somewhere in the middle of the park, and probably as a withdrawn striker.

This is what Alan Pardew said about Ben Arfa:

“It is  a horrible road to go down, with a long-term injury like that,”  “He is in a good place right now. He has been helped by the other new French boys. He has five or six French speakers around him now.

“He likes the group and he trusts us. Now it is a matter of when he is ready. He shows flashes of brilliance in training, but I want him to do it more often in training before I bring him in.”

“My view is that he can’t play out wide. He has not got the relish for it and his best football comes through the middle.” “Realistically, he knows he has got more to do on the training ground. He smiles at me as if to say, ‘Okay, I will play next week.'”

“He has character and there are times in the coming weeks when if he has not made a start he will be kicking my door down.”

It’s terrific to see Ben Arfa back again, but there’s really no undue hurry to rush the lad back, and it seems Pardew will give him some substitute appearances before starting the French International in the team.

Comments welcome.

24 comments so far

  • pizzicatochan

    Sep 23, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Comment #1

    *big breath* it’s good to be back here.

    Because of the good performance, the negativity has bee reduced and we can again talk about positive football.

    Howay the lads!

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Comment #2

    I am itching to see Ben Arfa play a full match with Cabaye, Tiote, Marveaux, Obertain, Ba and Best around him! Absolutely great to have him back.


  • niffnoff

    Sep 23, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Comment #3

    ^ JP

    you’ve mentioned this

    Tiote- Cabaye
    Obertan – Ben Arfa – Marveux
    Best – Ba

    3 defence eh? confident XD

  • JP...from The Rock

    Sep 23, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Ba or Best as one will be sub. but with these great attack minded players we now have we can be confident again 🙂 I believe in this team. The players are young, good characters, talented, are growing together and already starting to click. If we can keep Ben Arfa and our defense clear from injury then we will have a terrific season. We have a strong bench now also the kids we have coming through are really exciting players.

    The Future’s Bright… of course it’s Black n White!!


  • evildick

    Sep 23, 2011 at 5:17 AM

    Comment #5

    i’m excited to see Arfa back in the team. Hopefully he gets 20 mins against blackburn.

  • mayureshmady

    Sep 23, 2011 at 5:19 AM

    Comment #6

    we all are eager to see him on saturday

  • sox

    Sep 23, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #7

    team for saturday: Krul simmo colo saylor raylor obertan cabaye tiote marveaux ba best. bring ben arfa on 70min for a run out

  • ilovetoon8788

    Sep 23, 2011 at 5:43 AM

    Comment #8

    Ben Arfa seems ready-made for Newcastle. Definitely a legend in the making. He seems to love our club. With him on the pitch we are a different team. Some of his passes in the Forest game was outstanding. Hope to seem him start regularly for us once he is fit and gunning.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Sep 23, 2011 at 5:44 AM

    Comment #9

    But i think most likely Arfa will come on in the last 10 mins.

  • Klatoon

    Sep 23, 2011 at 6:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Notice how AP insists he wont play him out wide because HBA doesnt relish it? That makes me think Jonas genuinely loves playing LW,if he didnt then AP wouldnt play him there. HBA n Jonas to come on for Best and Marveaux 2nd half Vs BBurn.


    Sep 23, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    Comment #11

    My team





  • toonfan76

    Sep 23, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #12

    Just a question people, Does Sammy play as LW or RW or can he play both, I’m sure when i’ve seen him he plays LW. Don’t think Marveux will get LW just yet, Guti is helping out Raylor at the minute and Marv is not so defensively minded. When Santon returns to fitness we will see him playing there.

  • Eastander

    Sep 23, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #13

    Imagine us on the counter attack, Cabaye picks the ball up on the edge of our box and off we go, Ben Arfa, Obertan and Marveaux go flying up the pitch!

  • roshan MAGPIE

    Sep 23, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #14

    JAMSHA do u know if the match is in star sports live

  • Ian Magpie

    Sep 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #15

    So good to see a player who can genuinely dribble! It is so rare to see a player who can beat a man, beat his mate and then beat his other mate before laying off a slide rule pass!!! This skill has been lost some what on kids today who looked to play like Beckham rather than skin a man! The best thing about it is weve got him!!!!!!!!!! I can see loads of kids in the north east trying to copy him. Great great part of the jigsaw!

  • Ameobi No.9

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #16

    Simmo Collo S.Taylor R.Taylor

    Marv Tiote Cabaye Gutierrez

    Ba Best

    This is the best team we can put out at the moment. Obertan is not a starter for me, judging by his performances, most of the game passes him by, no matter how hard he tries (or walks around shaking his head because the ball was played 3 yards ahead of him) Bring him on as a Super Sub to run at them for a bit. Gutierrez does not deserve to be dropped out the team for him.

    Marv deserves a good run out, in the games I have seen him in, he has been streets ahead of most players on the pitch.

    Might have to go for a 2-1 Toon on saturday. pretty impressed that we have only lost 2 games at home under Pardew.. Long may that form continue.


    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #17

    @ Klatoon post 10,

    He plays both wings in reserves but prefers left wing by looks of it 🙂

  • JackButler

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #18

    Great to see the lad back now if only people would stop trying to kick him out of the stadium he’ll be fine as he could be the difference between a good season and a great season

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #19

    ameobi 9

    totally agree, keep obertan out of the starting line up, and for me away from the first team,

    when he gets the ball he carnt beat anyone, but on the rare times he does, he carnt cross a ball,

    and he always stays on and jonas is off,

    give mendi a shot there,

  • lewytoon

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #20

    why isnt perch on the top banner? 🙁

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #21

    on HBA, lets let the lad get match fit and not put preasure on him to be a world beater right away,

  • catchy in norway

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #22

    agreed, he is our secret wepon

  • toon-hendy

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #23

    Lets say we do well this season, imagne this team for next year:

    Santon. Taylor. Collocini. Pieters.


    Hoilett. Ben arfa. Marveaux.


    Subs between: Elliott, Williamson, Simpson/Tavviner, Ferguson, Gutierez, Gosling, Sameobi, Vuckic, Abeidi, Best, Ba.

    Now thats a quality strong SQUAD, not just starting 11. Easily able to win/ see out games, along with bringing subs from the bench to change games. LOVE NUFC!

    Literally counting down the minutes until 3pm Saturday. I think we’ll win 1-0, score 2nd half when BenArfa comes on. HWTL

  • toon-hendy

    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #24

    Didn’t even mention Obertan! Our counter attacks are going to be vicious!!! Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Marveax, Obertan, Ba. I’d SH1T myself if they were running at me and I was defending…


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