Alan Pardew is doing a good job of telling Ben Arfa, via the press, what he needs to do to improve his game at Newcastle, and then become a regular starter in the side.
Ben Arfa – in action at Bolton
The Newcastle manager has proved himself to be an excellent man manager, and his style and personalty seems to fit with the Newcastle club almost perfectly, and certainly Alan is not shy to say what a tremendous club Newcastle United is, which always helps.
But that’s not new news to most of us of course, but it’s interesting the way he is handling the French maestro, because Ben Arfa does give the ball away too much, and probably needs to work harder for the team too.
This is what Alan Pardew talked to the local press today:
“I think we saw all the sides of Hatem.” “There was some loose stuff – he was a bit cheap with the ball – and I’d have liked a bit more intensity out of him defensively.”
“But there were some magical moments which no one else in our team can produce.”
“It’s frustrating for him to have that sort of ability and not play because of other issues like his intensity, when we haven’t got the ball and coming back from that injury.”
“But we’re getting there. We’re trying to get the balance of the team right.” “When he came out on the right, it looked better for us.”
“That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s him – he can play a number of roles.” “Every player has a different personality and character.”
“And Hatem’s a very different personality to most footballers in terms of the way he believes in himself, and the ability that he has.”
If Ben Arfa wants to see a player with world-class skills who works his tail off for his team, he need look no further than a certain Lionel Messi of Barcelona, and Lionel won the World Player of the Year award for the third time running last Monday night.
Lionel Messi is probably one of the greatest players ever to play the beautiful game, and he’s still only 24 (isn’t that just amazing) and has been at Barcelona since he was 12 years old.
Lionel had a growth hormone deficiency at the time he was at Newell’s Old Boys, and Barcelona had spotted him and offered to pay his medical bills (Newell’s couldn’t afford to) if he was willing to move to Spain.
Lionel Messi – the worlds’ best player for the last three years
And the rest is history as they say, as the youngster and his father moved to Spain in 2000, where he’s been ever since, and he’s completely loyal to Barcelona, the best club team in the world for a few years now.
Messi has played 297 times for the Spanish masters with 211 goals – not too bad at all.
But the thing that’s so great about Messi is that he’s so modest , and almost as modest as our very own Demba Ba, and the lad has a pure team ethic.
And when Messi’s interviewed he always talks about the team, and plays down his own contributions, which of course are massive and he scores the big goals in the big games, which is what world-class players should be doing.
England’s world-class players please take note.
Newcastle’s great Ben Arfa could do a lot worse than follow Messi’s example, because it’s those areas of work-rate and tracking back, and giving the ball away too easy, which are some of the areas the Frenchman needs to improve on.
If Lionel Messi loses the ball just watch how he works like crazy to get the ball back.
Ben Arfa already has the difficult stuff – he is simply loaded with skills – as we all witnessed in what is probably the best individual goal ever scored at St. James’ Park against Blackburn Rovers last Saturday, in the 120 years that St. James Park has been the home of Newcastle United.
If Ben Arfa can fix the other pieces of his game that are missing, he will become a world-class player, and in a black and white shirt too.
That sounds good!