France manager Laurent Blanc has said that Newcastle’s Ben Arfa has played himself back in contention for the French squad, for the Euro 2012 Championships to be held in Poland and the Ukraine mostly in June, with the final being played on July 1st.
Ben Arfa in action yesterday challenging French compatriot Gael Clichy
Ben Arfa is now 25, and won the last of his eight caps in August of 2010, months before suffering his double leg fracture in early October of 2010.
Alan Pardew has recently been singing the praises of the French maestro, and Alan seems to have made him into a more complete player. That’s because he has to track back and work hard to get into any Newcastle side that Alan selects.
The France manager has said Ben Arfa is back in contention, but it hadn’t gone unnoticed that Ben Arfa was not a starter in the first half of the season.
This is what Blanc told TF1’s Telefoot program:
“I have not waited until his most recent performances to start following Hatem.” “I can remember when he was recovering from his injury at France’s national training center, Clairefontaine and nobody was thinking about Hatem Ben Arfa” (we were).
“We know he has great talent, this is not something that we have discovered in the last three games. “It is very nice of his coach Alan Pardew to say that Laurent Blanc should take him to the Euros but he rarely picked him at the start of the season.”
“He waited a long time before picking him, but now I would say he has become a contender again.”
Blanc will name his initial list of foreign-based players selected for the squad on May 9th, and then 6 days later he will announce the home based candidates.
And then a final list of the 23 players will be named by the UEFA deadline date of May 29th, three weeks tomorrow, and we will hope that both Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa are in that squad.
France’s first game in the tournament in Group D is against England on May 11th, at the Donbass Arena, in Donetsk in the Ukraine.
That should be some game in Roy Hodgson’s competitive debut as the new England manager.
Looks like an easy win for England? 😀