Papiss Cisse has been interviewed today and he pays tribute to Ben Arfa.
Ben Arfa – you see him here, you see him there, you see him everywhere
You cannot get a much bigger compliment than to compare a player to Lionel Messi, the best player in the world over the last three years, and that’s what the Senegal striker has done today.
This is what Cisse said about the mercurial Frenchman, who scored one and set up both Cisse’s goals against West Brom:
“Ben Arfa is a great player. He played his match and that is why we are going home with three points.”
“I am certain Hatem is capable of going to the Euros because he is really talented. He is showing it every weekend.”
“He did it at Arsenal and again today. Now he has shown he is great player. If I were in the coach’s place, I would take him.”
“He has a great range of skills. He is the kind of player who can make the difference and that is really good for us. He is really good to play with.”
“Sometimes with the ball at his feet, he is like Lionel Messi. The ball really sticks to his feet. I really like that kind of player.”
Ben Arfa’s weakness when he came to Newcastle almost 20 months ago, was that he lost the ball too much and didn’t track back enough, certainly not for an Alan Pardew team.
But this year he has increased his work-rate, understands exactly what his role is at Newcastle, and is starting to produce some great performances, and now has five goals this season and seven assists.
Ben Arfa already has what most other players don’t have, he has been blessed with mercurial and sublime skills, and the way he is now blending those skills with some hard work in a back and white shirt, makes it exciting to see just how good a playerBen Arfa can become on Tyneside.
His skills on display on Sunday, coupled with the combined and slick play of both Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, was just too much for West Brom.
And in that form Newcastle would be too much for quite a few Premier League sides, especially the way the lads played in that first half.
The flair that Newcastle now have with players like Ben Arfa, Cisse, Cabaye and Ba, coupled with solid and strong defensive work, makes Newcastle look like a very good side at the moment.
They were very good on Sunday and were just simply too good for West Brom.
And now they have to start all over again and prove they are too good for Liverpool at St. James’ Park next Sunday.
Another 3 points then and we’re really in business.