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.