Newcastle’s Ben Arfa Just Like World’s Best Player

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.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #1

    Damn it Cisse. Here comes the HBA day of debate again. For the record, just as Cisse has compared him to quite possibly the greatest player ever, at least the greatest of this generation, doesn’t make it so. Young Benny has someway to go still, however, he is amazing and I have high hopes for the future!

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #2

    Also, as part of my “IN” obligation, all posters please remember to ignore a certain individual. Unite and we shall go forward.

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #3

    Ruddy…I’ve had a catch up on your postings of yesterday. Well done, you showed some great leadership skills with your debate. You are a great example of OV and what it stands for 🙂

  • shpetmeister

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #4

    Anyone who is excited for Ben Harfa VS Jose Enrique ????


  • martoon

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #5

    Like everybody else I enjoyed the performance against WBA but as usual people are starting to get carried away. HBA is a talent but not as good as Messi and we will probably not finish in a champions league position and if we did we would be embarassed. Finishing 5th or 6th and sneaking into the Europa league would be an excellent season way beyond most people’s expectations at the beginning of the season.

  • gorgonzola

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #6

    What the hell is with all the nick changes!!!!! 😀

  • martoon

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #7

    Hope @5 doesn’t ban me from OV – just trying to be realistic.

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #8

    shpet…Should be a great spectacle! Although not looking forward to watching our CB’s (whatever the combination may be – without colo) against their attackers. Thinking this may be like an old Keegan game. Surely the front 3 of Benny, Cisse and Ba have to be told to attack them like mad and get some goals. Think Pardew will keep the CM’s back to help defend though.

    Is the game televised this weekend?

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #9

    Martoon. People don’t get banned from OV for being realistic. It’s more of a protest of being overly negative about everything. I appreciate not everything is wonderful at our club, but for the first time in a long while I’m genuinely excited about what we can achieve and how the club is being run. I think that’s a good reason to be upbeat and optimistic and give the board and manager some time

  • Pecorino ( will let you figure it out)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #10

    Indeed CODARM

    Feel the same way about the back two… mus say starting to like that orange shirt 🙂

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #11

    Gorgonzola…was nick meant to be name?

  • martoon

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #12

    CODARM @8 – In the UK it is live on Sky so bound to be on other channels also.

  • ballerfan2

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #13

    I agree he has some way to go to be compared with Messi who imo has now become the best the world has ever seen including Pele (never agreed with the Maradona hype, good though he was). Ben Arfa does have the skills though and if he can get his head up and show even greater awareness then he might yet achieve real greatness. He is certainly a pleasure to watch when he is in Sunday’s form, and the potential threat he poses with Cisse and Ba is scary. Over the years I have thrilled at the likes of “Jinky” Jimmy Smith, Tony Green and Beardsley and this boy is certainly as good as any of them.

    On another subject, I caught up yesterday with some previous articles and found the thread re. “Geordie qualification”. In my case I was born in the London area but moved to the NE before I was old enough to understand anything. I challenge anyone to suggest I am not a geordie (and very proud of it).

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #14

    Martoon…well Sky is illegal in Spain. So I certainly wont be watching it on the Sky subscription that I certainly don’t have over here

  • Alan_Pard_Who

    Mar 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #15

    Regarding my previous post about the 2 inter players

    I think inter would let them both go due to financial difficulties, they are understudies that don’t make the bench due to inters supposed world class defenders and when a new manager comes in I think he will want new players. There is a risk that a new manager will like them but with Newcastle maybe in Europe next year then why nor put a bid now?

    It won’t happen but it’s good to talk.

    Regarding ben arfa

    At times when he has the ball he is untouchable. A run on Sunday left me drooling and I think he will be our star player next season!

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #16

    Ballerfan. I’m not a born Geordie, nor have I ever lived in Newcastle. My mum was born and raised there and I’ve supported Newcaslte all of my life, although I understand supporting a team doesn’t make me a local, if it did the population of Manchester would be immense- However, “I” consider myself a Geordie, as well as a Southerner and there is nothing anyone can say or do to make me feel differently.

  • martoon

    Mar 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #17

    CODARM @14 – In the words of Monty Python “Wink wink – say no more” 😉

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Mar 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #18

    Marton….”You’re wife, is she a go-er?” 🙂

  • jakesome

    Mar 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #19

    his last display was that of one of the best players atm. were seeing the fruits if pardews labour and its tasting sweet.
    i was actually in awe at some points of the game, its been a long time since ive said that

  • wynsleap

    Mar 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #20

    Ben Arfa has some wonderful talent and is really starting to show it now at our club.
    However to compare him with Messi is going WAY overboard and putting undue pressure on the lad.
    Messi is in a class of his own on this planet and having watched all the greats over the years like Pele, De Stefano, Charlton, Rivelino, Garrincha, Best, Cruyff, Maradona, Suarez, Beckenbauer, Baggio, Zidane, Ronaldhino, etc. and not forgetting the nearest we’ve had to absolute superstars – Tony Green and Beardo – I have to say that Messi is, in my opinion, the best of the lot. And what is frightening is that he’s still just a young’un!

  • cupiddstunt

    Mar 27, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #21

    Martoon @ # 7

    That’s the thing you are banning yourself with your pessimism, you are trying to disguise it and claim it is realism but in fact what you posted did not need to be posted and was done just to be contrary hence pessimistic.

    So you stop yourself from enjoying the moments.

  • gazzaforever

    Mar 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #22

    Saying that messi is better than maradona or pele is plain silly, anyway comparing is always stupid, lets just say that we have a gem called hatem ben arfa and I hope he ll stay in newcastle

  • north east lincs toon

    Mar 27, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #23

    SO it LooKs man City Will Bid 20 Mill For him in suMmeR


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