Ben Arfa – I’m Still Full Of Dreams For The Future – Videos

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa had had a bit of a frustrating season at Newcastle United.

Hatem Ben Arfa – while playing for France

This is really the French lad’s maiden season in England, since he suffered that terrible double fracture of his left leg against Manchester City, that saw him make only 4 appearances for the Magpies last term.

And he’s having a little bit of trouble getting himself a starting place at Newcastle, although in 19 appearances this season he has 3 goals and 3 assists, and scored what could be the goal of the season against Blackburn Rovers in January.

It was certainly the best individual goal ever seen at St. James Park – ever – and he beat – was it five or six Blackburn players – before rifling the ball into the back of the net with that great left foot of his.

Take a look at that goal – again!

And Ben Arfa changed the game in Newcastle’s favor on Sunday against local rivals Sunderland, as he gave a display full of energy and skill in the second half, and it’s just a pity that Newcastle couldn’t have won the game, but we’ll take the point that Shola Ameobi got us in stoppage time with his second goal of the season.

The 24 year-old Frenchman still has many dreams for the future, and he believes he will still become a great player, and his goal in football has always been to be one of the best players in the world.

Frenchman Gerard Houllier, the former Liverpool manager and Ben Arfa’s manager at Olympique Lyonnais, when he was there from 2004 through 2008, asked this of the 8 times capped French International in France Football:

“You’ll soon be 25-years-old. So are you ready to finally have a big plan for the future?”

And this is how the Newcastle midfielder responded to the question:

“I always have the same plan as when I started, to become one of the best players.”  “Inevitably I lost some time in my career, but in my life, I have the impression that I will win.”

“In fact, it’s sad that a career is not made between 24 and 40, because I would have all my chances!”  “I’m looking forward to the next three or four years. “

“In that time, I see myself on top, winning for example the World Cup in Brazil or the Ballon d’Or. I’m still full of dreams.”

Ben Arfa has not been part of the French International scene since scoring that  great goal in the friendly against Norway in August of 2010, but he still has a chance of making the French squad for the European Championships this summer in Poland and Ukraine.

That will depend largely on his form for Newcastle United in their final 11 games of what has been an excellent season so far for the Magpies, who have a large French contingent these days in their ranks.

Here’s that goal Ben Arfa scored for France against Norway – take another look:

Comments welcome.

378 comments so far

  • Pardew's fist pump

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #1

    Hope he finishes this season off in sparkling form and goes on to dazzle at the Euros! Made of stern stuff this kid – iron will – some people are just destined for greatness.

  • alex84

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #2

    If he starts against Arsenal on monday night and doesnt play to well i hope pards doesnt then have him off at half time and not to be seen for two games again, he needs a run in the team good or bad its the only way he will adapt to the league. And if you notice he doesnt lose the ball that much.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #3

    He deserves a good run with the team playing full 90mins. Incredibly gifted player. If we had him for 90mins against the scum I think we could have nicked the game with 3 points.

    Only player in that game to breach scums defence. And that too with so much ease. Opened up space for our entire team. He brings a new dimension to our team.

  • Dannyo

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #4

    If HBA was a bit busier helping his team, rather than helping himself, he’d be a much better player over night.
    A mentality change is needed here.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s great if he tries to dribble his way through 3-4 times, but we have highly mobile players in Cabaye, Cisse, Ba, how many more goals could we have scored if he simply found the window to pass it. Instead of looking for the window to dribble.

  • thelongshanks

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #5

    Talking to dad of one of youngsters in our youth who I quized other nite. This is what he had to say;

    Streete is real deal, compared to paul mcgrath and will be some player if he develops.

    Campbell he said was bit light and needed put on some weight but he is shit fast and great lad.

    Knight, looks to have great potential and one for future

    Hopper is a tank but is a too slow and unless he is in box is useless (heskey).

    Also says reserves are being scrapped and we are leaving league to focus on youth and if good enuf will be sent out on loan.

    Got to get bak to work HWTL!

  • alex84

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #6

    Ilovetoon8788, agreed…he is super talented, creative and at his best is unplayable, to come in to a game that size at 0-1 down and change the game was immense, Richardson is still having nightmares, unreal.

    i noticed Cabaye’s game upped when he came on, and to those saying he dont pass, i think he passes to players he trust, tiote, cabaye etc…not simpson haha.

  • martoon

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #7

    I’ve looked at all the proposed teams you lot have posted and tend to agree that if HBA plays it has to be in a 5 man midfield – I think against Arsenal we would be too exposed with him in a 442. I also noticed some teams have Shola included – as much as I like Shola (obvious reasons) he normally has a bad game after a good one so I would not play him.
    I also feel sorry for Santon who has not done much wrong but squeezed out for tactical reasons but I’m not sure about Raylor at left back against Walcott – think he’ll get murdered.

  • Dannyo

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #8

    I don’t belive that last part there. Beardsly has been asked about this and he’s said there’s no way they’re leaving the reserve league.
    That would work against the entire idea of putting even further weight on the youth.

    I know u’re the messenger, but that last one there i simply do not belive.

  • Klatoon

    Mar 6, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #9

    Just watched the 2nd half against the scum AGAIN,and the commentator nailed it when he said HBA glides along the turf almost as though he’s on wheels,everything about him is so fluid a real natural talent. And those nutmegs??? Does he practice them or what,bet Perch and Simmo have received lots of em in training 🙂 Also did anyone else notice Saylor on the bench? I guess nothing can keep him away from the derby afterall.

  • Pardew's fist pump

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #10


    Have you not seen him in his days partnered with Benzema? They had a tacit understanding which can only be developed through playing alongside each other regularly, learning each others movement and vision. Almost seeing the game through each others pair of eyes.

    Play him and he’ll soon be prising open stubborn defences, more and more often.

  • Dannyo

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #11

    Hehe, i saw Saylor on the bench aye, he’s Mr. Newcastle u know 😉 There’s no player that bleeds black and white as he does. Perhaps Shola, but Saylor is a better player in his position 😉
    I bet he’ll sit in the dugout in Woodmans seat, now that Woody is out for 3 matches, lol.

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #12

    If you will watch that video on youtube from the game on Sunday, you will see him always surrounded by 2 to 4(!) players from the scum’s team. Think how much space he creates for the other players – they just have to know how to use all that space, pards much understand how to use that space.

  • Papi_Demba

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #13

    Obertan Never crosses the Ball for his TEAM and has had many a bad games R.Taylor in mid is no better but keeps getting chance after chance.

    HBA is never given a run of games regardless of his performance. Everyone is forgiven if they have a bad game but when it comes to HBA, AP and Everyone want him to perform at his highest level and is taken off when having a bad day.

    AP keeps talking high of HBA but never gives him a chance. what more really do u want from him when u have played Obertan more…

    Im sickened by people who keep expecting HBA to play at 110% every game…when u accept 35% from other players and keep them in the team for 3 – 4 games in a row!

  • Dannyo

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #14

    @Pardews fist pump
    (Fantastic name btw)
    Yes, u do have a point. My point is tho, is that if he just simply passed it more than he tries to dribble, he’d be in the side regularly by now.
    The reason he has bad games is that he doesn’t work for the team, he works for himself.
    So when he gets shut down, he’ll be shit, and when he’s getting through, he’ll be awsome.
    It’s so extremely black and white.

    If u’re not getting through, pass it.
    But i do love me a HBA dribble 😉

  • LewSpi

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #15


    I agree, in part, but it must be acknowledged that he has rarely played with this team in a consecutive stretch of games. He can’t be expected to understand his team mates etc when he doesn’t know where they’re going to be.

    As somebody says, he more often than not passes to Cabaye, he’s played with Cabaye, he knows him as a player. The only way Ben Arfa can improve the passing side of his game, (by that I mean knowing when to pass, not how to pass), is by playing in 5 or 6 games (90 minutes) consecutively.

    It is only after these games that I feel we will see the true Hatem.

  • tomtoon7

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #16

    i would dearly love that we could accommodate BEN ARFA in most TOON games e clearly is a brilliant talent.Non defensive 4sure but e can only inspire his team mates 2 up their game,espesh the French contingent.Slowy but surely his confidence is growin after his nightmare injury& with more time on the field i HOPE the TOON can only get better!!HWTL!!

  • Pardew's fist pump

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #17


    Cheers 😛

    I know what you mean, but HBAs confidence/arrogance means, if he doesn’t get through first time, he’s likely to try again, because he believes he’s simply better than them and wants to prove it by humiliating them, maybe he does need to get a slightly better handle on that.

    He does create so much space for teammates though, encourages a snappier tempo, giving us rhythm and mixes up the orthodox patterns we tend to go through the motions of – we’re so predictable without him on the pitch, in my assessment.

  • thelongshanks

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #18

    Dannyo, with ashley in charge nothing will surprise me. Agree its madness, but so is releasing 10 reserve team players.

  • gorgonzola

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #19

    “AP keeps talking high of HBA but never gives him a chance. what more really do u want from him when u have played Obertan more…”

    my point exactly

    Jonas woeful at times , Obertan poor most of the time, yet they have games most of the time no sense whatsoever, and to me when i said Pardew was backtracking there is your proof he will say one thing but DO another thing. Makes no sense , very strange but I hope this has opened his eyes and he doesnt waste his talent on the bench.

    Having said that HBA needs to shake his greed of the ball takes too many touches he should have crossed the ball when he was in the 6yard box chose the extra touch and that ruined it he needs to look into that…

    I really do hope and pray he starts vs Arsenal.

  • gorgonzola

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #20

    I might remind some fans here that Robert had a defensive work rate that put Balotelli to shame but he was played and you could sense when he was out we where poor on attack those dazzling runs…

    Jonas was that not so long ago but to me he is so concentrated on defense he lost his dazzling runs and perhaps I might be wrong lost a yard or two, maybe he is tired dont know just what I noticed…

    You cant take that against HBA, yet he is not a defensive wing but he does track back to try and win the ball seen it many a games…

  • Dannyo

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #21

    When it comes to getting into a higher consistant performance, then i agree, i needs time to do that.
    But at the same time, his arrogance and pride blinds him a bit, and he seems to want to do things himself, rather than sometimes go the easy way. 1/6 time it might create a chance or a goal, the others times we’ll lose ball.
    Until he gets himself up on his feat properly, go the easy way rather than complicate it. He’ll give himself time to grow into the team like that.

  • gorgonzola

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #22

    “But at the same time, his arrogance and pride blinds him a bit, and he seems to want to do things himself, rather than sometimes go the easy way”

    I agree there, that is not on. He needs to LEARN to see when enough is enough and just pass, he tricks half the field then pass dont OVERDO IT lad he definitely needs to cool his head….

  • Dannyo

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #23

    @Pardews fist pump
    He’s a gem, without a doubt. It’s APs job to implement him, then HBAs job to keep the spot. So far it’s been the lack of both imo.
    He creates allot of space yes, but more often than not, he’d rather dribble 3-4 players than pass it to another player who can cross it in, cause that player will be completely free of pressure.

    It’s not about getting into the game for me as much as it is to use his vision.

  • gorgonzola

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #24

    My dream wing combo for us would be

    Krasic RW
    HBA LW


  • gorgonzola

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #25

    Maybe Pardew needs a softer tactic on him tell hij listen lad you promise to pass after three or four touches you will get games till end try and fight your urge not to overdo it…

    give that a bash?

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #26

    Dannyo // Mar 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Check this video mate. In all the parts, there is only one time when he made a mistake (when the ball got to him and he shoots it instead of passing in to the middle of the box where 2 players are waiting for it).

    Look at how he runs and pause. There are 2-4 players on him, but even when he passed them, there are no 3-5 players in black and white to receive the ball, why is that?
    They were one man down, so every time he passed a player, there suppose to be 1+1 player of ours free.

    Also, when he is with the ball, why there are no passing options? Why there is no one close to him? Where there is, he passes, and sometimes he doesn’t pass because he sees one or even two steps further and knows that if he will pass it “there” we will loose the ball because of x,y,z. He has that vision, not many do.

    Look at min 2:20, he passed 2 players, so 3 Newcastle players suppose to be free. Where are they? Simpsons stand behind and starts walking, there is a huge empty space on the top side of the box, there is no Newcastle player there, why?

    0:15-0:19, 2 players on him, he is stuck, look in a radius of 15 meters, there is no one there to give him help. There are 2 players defending on him, and another 2 in the same line to the left. But no Newcastle players. The closest one I think is Ba who is like 30 meters away and running into the box.

    0:54. He gets the ball from Ba, and look, he can pass only back to Simpson, why except Tiote, there is no one there in the middle, closer the the center of the pitch? Where is Cabaye? Where is Jonas?

    1:13 He gets the ball, in front of him there are 4(!!!) players and another one behind him close to Tiote.
    The only passing option is a static, tired Jonas who just stands there. Tiote also starts to walk. Simmo and Ba are standing in a line with the Scums defense, why not to move?
    Again, where is Cabaye, why the whole team doesn’t move up, and opens the game for him?

    1:36, he gets the ball, 3 players close to him. Yes, he can pass it to Simmo (again, and nothing will happen, like it didn’t before when Simmo just long balled it and nothing happened), or he can try to create something by moving the defense. He passed one, two, three players but look where Cabaye and Ba (left and right) one is behind the ref and with a scum player on his side, the other is behind a sunderland defender.

    1:49. He gets the ball and with two touches, leaves behind 4(!!!) defenders. Where are our 4 players that are now suppose to be free? He is too fast for them? They are not waiting for this? Well, it is not his fault.
    No option on the left, for him, he sees and tries to pass it to Ba. But stop at 1:56 and count the players:
    8 Scums , the ref, and 3 Newcastle players. How is that possible? Where are another 5 players??

    He gets the ball, no options on the left, he is being closed by one player, then another, no options from behind. After taking care of the pressure, and looking around, he is passing the ball, because he has the options, but our team is way too slow in their reaction there, don’t you think?

    2:40 after ripping a new one for the two defenders, he goes to shoot. A good idea, but if he would want to pass, he can’t. Look where Simmo and Tiote are. Outside the box, way back. If he will pass there it is like not attacking at all. And look at Shola and Ba, they are waiting for a cross? why not to come and recieve the ball in the middle, to the feet? There is a GK and 5 defenders there, they really think a cross will work?

    Stop at 2:53, look at the same thing from a different angle. Ba and Shola are like lovers, standing there together. Why Cabaye, or Tiote, or Jonas or one of the strikers isn’t going in that empty space Between them and Hatem, there is no one there. So or put another 1-2 players for the header, or put another player inside the box who will draw the defense to him and make space for HBA because the moment he going between those defenders, there is another one waiting for him, anyone else from our team would’ve shit his pants long before that.

    3:14 he gets the ball, 3:18, look how the players are standing. Only Shola is an option, but why there is no one on the line there, running in the gap, where HBA can see and pass, he needs to know that there is someone there to take that ball and shoot it, but instead, Loven (I think) or Cabaye, and Ba, are inside the box, no way they will ever get the ball there. And in all that empty space there is only one – the ref. Simmo, Tiote, and co. are all too far away, and this is in a 11 against 10 game.

    3:53 his only mistake of the game.

    I also think that HBA has a problem breathing thru his nose. Notice how he is always with his mouth open. I don’t know if I am right, but if I am, he should get it fixed, it is not healthy.

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #27

    Dannyo // Mar 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Our crosses don’t give us anything most of the time. If he is on the right, he can pass it to Simmo. Simmo doesn’t know how to cross.

    Instead, AP should put another player closer the box, and another player in the middle outside the box (Tiote….. Cabaye) and then 2 options to shot and an option for a through pass on the ground or a short cross (much more accurate).

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #28

    Can someone explain to me why Pardew is OK with playing Raylor at LB but not at RB?!…..Surely, especially considering arsenal play 4-3-3, our team should be this for Monday…..




    —Ben Arfa—————— Cisse———————-Ba—–

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #29

    Another thing that some of you said here and is true. He doesn’t feel his mates in the team, because practice is one thing, but the real game is another. Some players that play together for a long time know without looking where their teammates will be. If he will get more time on the pitch, he will be better at passing it. But also, players should be more mobile, we are so static, and HBA loves to move and need players to move around him.

    And maybe, that is just my thought. He is so “greedy” with the ball because he doesn’t see it enough in games. Also, because he almost never starts, he always feels like he is being sent in to fix the problem. Like when we are behind, or when it is a draw and he needs to change the game. If he will start 5-10 times, he will be much better in everything because he will also learn from his own mistakes on the pitch. How many minutes did he play in the PL + Cup? doesn’t come all together to even 900 minutes? (10 games)?

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #30

    VanToonMan // Mar 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Don’t you think that we should me stronger in the middle, HBA and Cisse/Ba are behind one striker (Ba/Cisse) and in front of the midfield?

  • FAU

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #31

    4-2-3-1 is not bad idea for NUFC, HBA starts on the right wing, while cabaye get the free amf role, guthrie-tiote start in cmf. Jonas left wing. Ba,works as a poacher in front 🙂

  • Cheick and Bake

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #32

    F*ucking Mackems were lucky …. I thought shola woould take that penalty for sure

  • VanToonMan

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #33

    Oleg G // Mar 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Ye i get what you mean…i mean Ba and Ben Arfa can drop back a bit when they are attacking hard and can support cabaye and jonas who have defensive qualities…..but i also then think that by having Cabaye Tiote Jonas as a middle 3….and then Ben Arfa Ba Cisse….we will have a lot more of the ball and will be able to create a lot more.

    Definitely don’t think we should do 4-4-2….we will be chasing the ball non-stop all game.

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #34

    I know we are not Barcelona, but these are flesh and blood people, and they are only passing. Any 12 year old can pass. Why we are not playing more like this? On the ground?

    This type of game is good for HBA, Cabaye, Ba, Tiote, Cisse, on the ground, everyone is moving, everyone is involved. We don’t have too many big players out there, but we have strong smaller players, so why not? Arsenal are the best team in England in this type of game I think.

  • Beattie25

    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #35

    My top 5 hated people on this site:

    1. Plan b/ted/bob/billy etc….
    2. Dannyo
    3. Jay photo
    4. Cyprus
    5. Beattie25

    Dannyo is moving way up the chart today!!!

  • Klatoon

    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #36

    Oleg G,are you HBA’s agent? 🙂 have to say i agree with most of what you say,but in regards to lack of passing options,I can try (as we all) to relate because at every level of football you’ve played there’s always that ball-hog,usually very skillful btw but when he gets it everyone thinks “he’s gonna showboat,try to beat their entire team,i wont bother offering support/making a run” so he ends up crowded out. Dont know if this is the case with Hatem but it just may be.

  • martoon

    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #37

    A lot on here have commented that Jonas has not been as effective recently. I think it is because referees have got wise to him. He usually has a run and ends up facing a couple of defenders and then falls over theatrically which used to win him a free kick and hence keep the attack going. Recently he does not seem to get these free kicks awarded and hence loses posession and the attack breaks down. Just as I see it – what do others think?

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #38

    Klatoon // Mar 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    hh… I wish. I am a big fan of his and I think that he is not being used right and we could be cruising in some games and instead we are shooting ourselves in the leg.

  • Oleg G

    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #39

    Klatoon // Mar 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    About what you said “showboat”… this is a school team or a professional football club?
    What do you mean “I won’t bother offering support”? Our team is full of lazy players who don’t like to run. When we run, we score and win. That is a weird thing to say mate. You are talking like there is no manager and coaches and it is just a team of buddies who came to play together and there is this one guy who never pass the ball.

  • Partizan

    Mar 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #40

    If Sevilla doesnt manage to qualify for Europa League and we do,,we should go all out for Jesus Navas.
    Obertan + 8mill could be enough to convince them to sell.
    Like every big team in England we need to think big too,Man Utd,Arsenal,Chelsea,Liverpool…we have to have 2 good players on each position,,,,the season is long,injuries,suspensions,,,not to mention FA&Carling Cup,Europa League(i hope)
    Marveaux to rotate with Jonas
    Navas with HBA
    Cabaye with Guthrie
    Santon with a new LB
    A new RB with Simpson
    Taylor and Coloccini with a better CB than Willo
    We need another quality DM to rotate with Tiote cos of risk being suspended too often.

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