Ben Arfa Has Worked Hard To Improve His Game

Ben Arfa’s  advisor Simon Stainrod has talked about the youngster today in the local press.

Hatem Ben Arfa – Newcastle’s mercurial midfielder

And Simon says (excuse the pun), that the 24 year-old has had to improve and change his game, and is fitter than he’s ever been.

We have to say we have been impressed with the maturity shown by the French International,  as he hasn’t had too many starts in the the league this season, just five in all.

Yet we never hear a word of protest from the lad, who was supposed to be hard to handle in France, and that’s good for the Frenchman, but also shows Alan Pardew’s excellent man-management skills at Newcastle.

And Ben Arfa has been working hard in training and was even complimented last week by Alan Pardew who said his attitude and work rate in training these days is so much better than it used to be.

This is some of what  Simon Stainrod said today:

“I think the change in Hatem is down to hard work and having a little bit of patience,” “It hasn’t been easy for him with the very serious injury and the fact that the team was doing so well.”

“But I think he’s been mature in his approach and, looking at it from the outside, both the manager and Hatem have handled it very well.”  “It has been a very steep learning curve for Hatem. He’s had to realise that if you’re playing English football, there are certain responsibilities that you need to take on board.”

“You have to work harder than perhaps he was used to and team shape is an important part of it. What you’re seeing now is a combination of things – Hatem maybe understands English football better and he is now 100% fit for the first time for a long time, and getting time on the pitch.”

As the 8 times capped French International showed clearly on Monday night, he can score at any time and from any position.

That first goal was a tremendous opportunist goal that put Newcastle into the lead, and it was just a pity that Newcastle then went to sleep and conceded to Robin van Persie in the next minute.

We hope to see Ben Arfa start on Sunday at home to Norwich, and another goal from the mercurial Frenchman is just what the Doctor ordered.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #1

    Off the Current topic,

    Here is my opinion on Cabaye.

    The lads looks short of a yard.

    Start of the season he looked sharp, and dangerous on the ball. I think the pace of the league is catching up with him, he just needs time to settle and adjust 100%.

    I think the first half the other night was better tactically but Pardew Bottled it second half, I like Pardew and think he has done an outstanding job this season of getting us challenging for Europe, but the fact remains he has the resources in the squad to justify being there. its no fluke, we deserve to be where we are, and but for some shoddy tactics at times and errors on the field we would be slighlty higher imo.

    I think Pardew (as much as im a fan of his) Needs to take the 4-3-3 approach against Norwivh, WE NEED TO HAMMER THEM. We are overdue a 4 -5 goal win and if we play to our strengths we can pass them off the park on Sunday. The squad needs it too.

    Team For Sunday (2 variations)


    There is enough graft in there to cover the bleeding full backs and if not then swap Santon for raylor or Simo For raylor, Its only Norwich (no disrespect-they beat us with no CB’S and set pieces) not Man City!! If we are going to try it ever then try it NOW.

    We are at home……Against a weaker side, We need to dominate the ball and embarrass them this week. It will lift us massively for the run it.

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #2

    On topic

    HBA has been so much better in the last two games, if he keeps improving like this hes nailed on to start.

    he only went missing second hals because we were unfer the cosh and did not keep possession for more than 10 seconds.

    Its basic tactics that if you are getting pressured KEEP THE BALL. just take the sting out of the game and regroup.

  • Beattie25

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #3

    Can’t wait for him to be complimented by a decent full back. Then we can change the game and put the opposition on the back foot rather than be ultra defensive for 90 minutes.

    Any person with half a brain cell can see tue space he opens up! He draws opposition players to him like a skip draws chavs on a council estate. Every team is wary when he is on the pitch and if it wasn’t for the fact he has to defend so much due to poor tactcs and simmo’s inability to play he would be amazing. I hope he is and Pardew sorts it out next year because, and I say this honestly, i’d rather have Benny than Pardew. Controversy at it’s best.

  • Toon Tang

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #4

    coulda used a better pic haha looks like a mugshot.

  • Beattie25

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #5

    Colo sus

    The reason cabaye is struggling is because of the tactics employed by Pardew!

    He has had to be the most active player in the premiership because of our inability to pass the football. He has been told to go box to box, defend, attack, win the ball, play the ball etc…

    There is nobody ever in front of him. He is like aine man army in cm!

    We need to compliment him with 3cm in the team or else what’s true use? At lille and for France his hallmark was/is being in the centre and being the first point of call fromxturning defense into attack.

    We may s well stick him up front with our awful tactics and formations.

    Put Guthrie and Tiote alongside and you’ll see a different player all together.

  • NotAGhostToon

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #6

    On HBA and the other foreign players, I think pardew has handled the whole situation admirably. He’s slowly been bedding in Santon, did the same with HBA and appears to be trying the same with Cisse. Santon still seems to have a few things to learn but the fact he came into the side so strongly I am sure is down to making him wait and work for his chance.

    Doing this with HBA was a bigger risk but also appears to have shown that he has grown up a little, which is brilliant news really and he seems to be a much better player for it in these past couple of games. Cisse clearly also has bags of ability but we’ll see how that one pans out but I would like to bet that he comes back better for it.

    Finally the fact that Pardew has managed all these changes in the side and improving these players this whilst remaining in 6th is fantastic and suggests to me that we’re in for a hell of a season next season if we just compliment what we have by replacing those that we all know must go and keeping the core of players we have. When we have Cabaye, HBA, Santon and Cisse all firing complimented by a few more and the youngsters coming through we’re in for a very exciting ride next time round (as if this one hasn’t been good enough!)

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #7


    I agree hence my formation. Ialso feel however he has looked slower and more lethargic than at the start of the season…

    It not wholly down to tactics though, but it is in part imo

  • Lynxie

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #8

    Quite probably the most gifted footballer in our squad, and we have to make room for him. As pointed out already, once we get a decent full back, Benny can have the confidence to attack defenders and do the damage in opposing penalty areas. Could you imaging Pep Guardiola telling Messi and Xavi not to attack because they had to support p*ss poor full backs? LOL
    When Benny is on the field, you can see the respect he is given by the other teams, they are terrified to make a tackle on him, as he has the ability to leave defenders looking like mugs. It is vital that we get a decent unit around HBA, to give us a threat………..

  • stestickle

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #9

    looking at fixtures that are left would say 60 points end of season which last year would have us finish 6th

  • Lynxie

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #10

    With regard to Cabaye…..
    What would you expect him to do with the ball constantly passing 80 feet over his head at 90 mph……?
    The reason he has gone off the boil is that we are playing hoofball (mainly from the ‘usual suspects’ who CAN’T Play football: Willo + Simmo). When we play the ball on the green stuff Cabaye is ten times the player Guthrie ever will be.

  • martoon

    Mar 15, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #11

    Colo-Sus once again I like your team but I can’t help feeling AP would not drop Jonas so he may play instead of Guthrie. If Jonas does play it gives the option to switch between 433 & 442.

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #12


    Did you watch the first half the other night mate?

    Willo and Simmo played the ball along the floor to our CM’S almost every time they had it.

    Second haf we bottled it, For parts of that forst half we looked a sgood as we have since Man U Which BTW was one of our best ”HOOFBALL” performances of the season.

    Im not saying Willo and simmo are great I think next season their time is up, and I agree that our tactics times have been too direct.

    My point on Cabaye is that part of his dip in form looks to be his overall energy level. This could be a contributing factor to the direct style we revert too at times but I think h needs the 4-3-3 to get the best out of him.

    Before I post this…I DON NO IN ANY WAY THINK WE ARE AS GOOD OR EVERN CLOSE TO BARCELONA, my point is that we have the players to set up and play in a similar fashion, we just need to pass and move and graft off the ball. It can work look at Swansea


    To be clear, in no way do I feel that our players are even close to Barca’s level but the same philosphy is possible.

    Cisse is no winger but does Pedro play as an out an out winger…NO more of a striker really up with Villa, the front three Rotate and move freely. The only Rigid positions are DM and CB……..

    Swansea do it with similar/potentially worse players than us…Why cant we….If we added a CM a FB and CB in the summer we will look a quality side

  • Colo-Sus

    Mar 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #13


    I agree on Jonas mate….either or for me

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Mar 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #14

    HBA is great when we’re attacking but when we’re under pressure he’s not so good.

    Monday night we were satisfied with a single point and because of that we were under a lot of pressure in the second half.

    Often I don’t understand Pardew. We’ve got to keep the momentum going and keep attacking and not say this is good enough. That’s what happened against Wolves.


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