Newcastle again looked a very good side yesterday in their 2-0 home win over Liverpool, and Hatem Ben Arfa is starting to show Newcastle fans just what he’s about.
Ben Arfa in action yesterday challenging Jose Enrique
It’s a fantastic time for the mercurial Frenchman to come into his top form, at the business end of the season, and he was again a delight to watch yesterday, and crafted the first goal for Papiss Cisse superbly.
Hatem now seems fully match fit, after finally recovering from his double leg break, which happened exactly 18 calender months ago tomorrow – October 3rd of 2010.
Alan Pardew was as pleased as punch when he replaced Ben Arfa with Davide Santon on 90 minutes yesterday, so the Frenchman could get some well earned applause from the very appreciative Newcastle crowd.
This is what Alan said about Ben Arfa after the game:
“When you have a player who has a special talent, sometimes they look at you as a manager and they want to play. He wasn’t fit. He had worked really, really hard, but he wasn’t actually match-fit.”
“He was fit, but not match-fit, not really sure of how we played and in the Premier League, the transition of play, where he should be and where he shouldn’t be.”
“He has taken on board and he has listened to me, and he as listened to my staff and he has been very, very diligent.” “That’s why nothing would give me more pleasure than for him to make the French squad, and I think he can.”
“He has got some individual ability that I would be very surprised if France has that in the squad in terms of what he can do to a team.” “Even if he was to be taken as an impact player, he’s got a great opportunity and he is in great shape.”
Alan Pardew has managed the lad very well this season, although Newcastle fans have been frustrated at times that he hasn’t played more games, but he is now showing what a great player he can be, and he creates goals for others and scores them too.
The way he created that goal for Papiss Cisse out of nothing yesterday, shows that whenever he gets the ball, watch out, because a goal can be at the end of his run, either from the boy himself, or for somebody else.
He’s a total joy to watch in action, and the lad deserves great credit for the way he has come back from his terrible double break.
Ben Arfa had shown great patience and fortitude, and not a little bit of courage and guts, and he’s been a credit to himself and to France too.