Too Much Is Expected Of Ben Arfa – Give Him Time


Big things are expected of Hatem Ben Arfa on Tyneside.

Ben Arfa – in action against Wigan last weekend

Ben Arfa didn’t have a good game on Wednesday night  at Blackburn, especially in that first half, but Alan Pardew still thinks the French International can become a very big player for Newcastle.

But the Newcastle manager also thinks that too much is being expected too soon, from the 24 year-old.

It’s clear that young Davide Santon will need a little time to get used to the Premier League, and Ben Arfa will need time too, and he’s still made only 9 appearances for Newcastle so far, after suffering his terrible double leg fracture just over a year ago.

We don’t expect either Ben Arfa or Davide  Santon to start on Monday night at Stoke, but both will be on the subs bench, and both could make an appearance in that game.

This is what Alan Pardew said about Ben Arfa:

“Perhaps too much is expected of Hatem,” “I didn’t think it was his best game at Blackburn, he’ll play a lot better than that.”

“It’s difficult as a striker to come in to the team and have an immediate impact, especially when you’ve been out for a long, long time. Possibly he’s trying too hard to make an impact.”

“With Hatem, it’s a question of being patient and above all him being patient, to make sure he gets himself right, because when he does he’ll be a fantastic player for us.”

The chances  are that the Frenchman is trying too hard, but Ben Arfa, and the Newcastle fans too, will need to be a little patient.

The way forward for both Santon and Ben Arfa seems to be to get appearances from the subs bench, and allow them to find their feet, so to speak,  in the Premier League.

But to criticize the two of them at this point seems harsh – give them time and they’ll both turn out to be great players for the club.

And one example of a player needing time was Jose Enrique, who we knew was a good player when he was signed from Villareal in the summer of 2007, but needed almost a full season to get to grips with the pace and physical nature of the Premier League.

Comments welcome.



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13 comments so far

  • rwpoynter

    Oct 29, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #1

    Totally agree with Ed and Pardew, this lad’s potential is incredible, but what a double fracture of your leg must do to your confidence is not something cured overnight. Give him time and he will come good. Same with Santon. This side is as good as we have had in years, but not everyone is going to have a blinder every match.

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  • raiiney

    Oct 29, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #2

    First post on this website, i enjoy this blog Ed and would like to give my opinions here and there 🙂

    As a team on form players like Ben Arfa Guthrie Santon and Gosling will find it difficult to break into the first 11. However Ben Arfa played good in three games last year before his leg break, now however people expect blinding runs and 30 yard screamers, we have to give him some time 🙂

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  • HENDAS-NUFC

    Oct 29, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #3

    Agree with pardew on this,but watching him a couple of times now and he doesnt look right for the position they have put him in its either striker which i didnt know he was, or behind the striker like nolan was but does look like it works i thought he was a winger, i would try him on the right with his pace and tricks i think that would work better for him.any thoughts on this matter ?

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  • Kris

    Oct 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #4

    Give the lad a chance on the wing! It was there he was shining against Everton.

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  • Kris

    Oct 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #5

    Totaly agree @2

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  • joe

    Oct 29, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #6

    @kris
    Dont think playing him on the wing is a good idea. Firstly he will not track back, and leave Simpson even more exposed than Joey Barton did. Secondly his game is so much more than just playing as a traditional winger. Why is it that all the skillful players get shuned out on the wing in England? Even if he did he would cut in all the time, and while that is fine, Simpson just does not have the pace and skill to play as the marauding fullback.

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  • joppadoni

    Oct 29, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #7

    Id like to know who isnt giving them time.. not heard anyone making waves. and would everyone stop repeating the initial comments from pardew.. even ed did it in the article..

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  • sweendog

    Oct 29, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #8

    No doubting on his day Arfa is unplayable .. hope he doesn’t panick about his injuries as he is slowly showing that he is getting back to full fitness, he had some flashes of the skill he has in abundance at blackburn.. with a bit of match practice and encourage he could be the 35+ mill player he was only 3 seasons ago ..
    Le Toon Army!!

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  • geoff777

    Oct 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #9

    Weird how some people are giving HBA & Santon time but Obertan is expected to hit the ground running.

    He didn’t play much for Man Utd.

    Patience is needed with our new players and are new playing style.
    Back passes are cool, possession rules.

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  • joppadoni

    Oct 29, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #10

    Abosfactilutely geoff. 😀

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  • sweendog

    Oct 29, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #11

    geoff777 .. agreed on that one .. fans should never boo of slate their own players while they wear our colours ..
    I think obertan is a quality player and all players need time to adjust to new teams/formations etc .. obertans problem is guti/marveaux are top players in a rich vein of form and should probably both be first choice ..

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  • Brutooon

    Oct 29, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #12

    Ben Arfa – need time to get back to his previous form.

    Santon – need time to settle in a new league

    BOTH players will be a star

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  • Sir Alan

    Oct 29, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #13

    Geoff777 (9).. Bang on mate.

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