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.