There are real signs the Hatem Ben Arfa is becoming a better player at Newcastle.
Ben Arfa - shhhhhhh – I just scored again!
For one thing his work rate has increased significantly in recent games, and on Monday night, not only did he score a brilliant goal, but he worked hs socks off for the Newcastle side.
That’s what manager Alan Pardew insists from his players, and if they are not willing to track back and work hard, then they don’t get a starting position next time out.
And that has happened with Ben Arfa more than once this season, when he has put in a so-so performance and found himself dropped for the next game.
But the French lad is showing he can always create goals out of nothing, and it seems that manager Alan Pardew was happy with everything he did on Monday night in London:
“I can’t fault him – I thought it was terrific.” “It was a great goal at Arsenal, and his workrate was terrific.” “You have to say that.”
“It was just a quick shot.” “If a player takes a quick, early shot like that, the keeper ain’t set it’ll cause problems.”
“It was a good goal. He had a chance in the second half right near the end, and I thought he was going to do it again. He just took it across the box.”
“He’s got that in him – he can win games from nothing.
It seems that Alan’s message is getting through big time to Ben Arfa, and he is now wanting even more from the 24 year-old, whose mercurial skills have never been in question.
We still think Ben Arfa can become a big big player for Newcastle, and at his best he resembles the best player in the world over the last three years - Lionel Messi.
The only thing that’s missing from Ben Arfa’s game is the work-rate the Argentine puts in game in and game out.
Lionel plays like little kids play football in the park – with so much enthusiasm and energy – and he seems to love playing football and Messi is a wonderful example to youngsters.
The one weakness in Ben Arfa’s game – his work rate – is now improving – and quickly too.