Ben Arfa Has Found Serenity On Tyneside – And Passion Too

Hatem Ben Arfa is very quickly becoming an enormously popular player on Tyneside, and the lad has already scored 7 goals this season, and most of them this year.

Ben Arfa – after scoring wonder goal on Monday to win the game for Newcastle

It looked on Easter Monday, that Newcastle’s game was drifting towards a frustrating draw with Bolton Wanderers, and that would have been two points dropped by the Magpies.

But then a few seconds of supreme brilliance from the French International, as he beat three Bolton players through the middle of the park, before slotting the ball home,  for a magnificent goal that raised the roof at St. James’ Park.

And when you see the lad running with the ball, on the 9th TV rerun of the goal I was showing my wife Madeline, she  kept pointing out the determination on his face,  as he beat men and then ensured he put that ball into the back of the net with that final touch with his left foot.

This is what Ben Arfa has said today, and he seems to have found his niche at Newcastle, and of course, the fans on Tyneside  just adore him:

“I believe that I have found the serenity that will allow me, as soon as I have regained all my physical ability, to go forward. How far, I don’t know,”

“I have matured and grown, especially with this long injury but, deep down, I remain the same. The other day in training everybody shouted at me because after tricking the goalkeeper I then waited again to trick him again and then shot wide.”

“I know it annoys everyone and I know I won’t change. But, it’s that kind of football that I like.” “However, I am adapting and I am correcting myself to fit into the professional mould because I know I am paid to win matches and not to amuse myself.”

“But learning to adapt doesn’t mean I will forget my instinct.” “I feel right here. I do not want to leave England. This is real football, it is here that you have it, with passion, excitement, and the public.”

“I have already played in Milan, Madrid and Barcelona but it is here that I feel right on the pitch. And also it is here that the players are respected. “

“You need to realise and can you believe it that when Newcastle was relegated in 2009, the players did a lap of honour and the fans still applauded them during that last match .”

“Since I was a young child, everyone is waiting for me to produce. To resist all that, you have to be more solid. The problem is that I often feel I have disappointed more than pleased people.”

Newcastle fans gave Ben Arfa  a standing ovation as he was taken off after 85 minutes on Monday and replaced by Ryan Taylor, and he continued to smile on the bench, sitting next to his big pal, Mehdi Abeid.

After Ben Arfa had that terrible double break of his left leg, there were some obvious doubts about whether he would ever be as good as he once was.

But he’s shown he is, and could even get better wearing the number 10 shirt of Newcastle, and his acquisition from Marseilles for around £5M, is now looking like another master-stroke by the Newcastle club.

What a player this lad is, and he has matured so much over the last 20 months or so.

Let’s hope his brilliance can take Newcastle to a Championship League position by the end of the season.

Comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • dinos

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #1

    1 world for Benny = Outstanding….

    I reckon Messi has been watching his videos on youtube trying to copy him

  • IrishToon009

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #2

    Must say loving this lad now, I had my doubts at the start of the year but I think Pardew has done brilliantly and eased him back into the team full time, with a few cameos and all that. When he said he rounded the keeper again it reminded me of Garrincha, Brazillian winger that won 2 world cups i thin, I rem reading his book and he was the same, rounded one player a few times because he loved doing it!

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #3

    Great player and the best is yet to come.

    Next season we’ll see HBA really light up the league.

    I can see him scoring 20+


    Go Hatem – Hope he makes the French team. (But not against England!)

  • swoopingmagpie

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #4

    We have got a great player and I know if we can add a few defenders to the squad in the summer we could win the championship. Pardew needs to say little , learn much , and be his own man.

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #5

    I know I am paid to win matches and not to amuse myself.” – So if we’re seeing HBA amusing himself, imagine when he’s actually trying? What a lad.

  • CODARM (The poster formely known as Ibizatoon)

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #6

    Hatem…absolutely not against England 🙂 Could be disastrous!

  • rknufc

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #7

    is there newcastle training on today? 🙂

  • Londtoon

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #8

    Thinks Pards deserves a lot of credit on how he has managed this lad.

    He has managed to do what none of his previous managers have managed and that is to get the lad playing a team game and not throw a single tantrum.

    Top class management again. A long term/improved contract must be given.

  • dinos

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #9

    i couldnt care about england if im honest…. well until a couple of our lads get called up… but ive always been club before country…. might get myself a french top for the euros

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #10


    I prefer club football.
    I’d like to see a massive reduction in International games.
    Make qualification a cup style knock-out competition, Instead of 5-6 team leagues.

    Shutting down the EPL so England can play Belarus and Andorra … come on.

  • check the toastie

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #11

    The boy is pure Gold, cannot believe he is gracing our turf and seems to be loving it, hope he realises there is nowhere better to play football than the Toon. he has been the one key to why we have a chance at 4th, above everybody else, we have the worlds 3rd best player to watch IMO.

    Messi and Ronaldo are doing OK currently i suppose, however rumour has it that both their clubs are looking for swap deals.

  • Vask

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #12

    I’m another of the thought school of club before country. I’m all for the big international summer competitions, they can be quite the occasions but I’ve haven’t been into the whole support you’re home country thing since world cup 98. I mean it’s good when the nation comes together but the footballers that represent us now are disgusting caricatures of proper footballers. Big egos, little character, overt senses of entitlement. That’s why i’m looking forward to seeing the team GB olympic side.

  • NotAGhostToon

    Apr 11, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #13

    Spot on Vask, same happened with me, I’ll watch all these tournaments and I was still kicking the ground when lampard’s goal was disallowed, but I’m just waiting for the next crop to come through, I think England have some solid youngsters now but we just need to give them a chance. I blame the untouchables like lampard, terry, gerrard who have been arrogant at their own clubs in different ways too. Fingers crossed I can regain some passion for England but its hard when they’ve somewhat already sold their soul.


    Apr 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #14

    i wish we had tried out this formation before the sunderland game, if we knew this formation would pull off so well with them 3 up front i think we could of beat the mackems at least 2 or 3-0 🙂
    massive respect to ‘le magicien français’ 😉

  • Sav

    Apr 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #15

    Good comment from Pardiola that he concentrates on when Hatem doesn’t have the ball, but when he has it, its his world.

  • SmileyFace

    Apr 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #16

    It’s not Alan Pardiola, it’s Pep Guardew

  • toonincheek

    Apr 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #17

    I think the exact quote from Pardew was:

    “With Hatem, you’ve got to let him have his world.
    It’s his world when he has the ball,
    my world is when he hasn’t.”

    Our very own HatemBomb (if you will excuse the plagiarism)

  • beddersmag

    Apr 11, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #18

    Doesnt want to leave england. Would have preferred it if he had said newcastle. Can see him going to man utd next year…..


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