As we reported yesterday Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye have both been included in a provisional list of twelve players named by France manager Laurent Blanc. The group contains players who play outside of France.
Ben Arfa – congratulated after his amazing goal against Bolton
Ben Arfa has been in top form this year, along with a number of other Newcastle players, and his form has allowed him to get 6 goals so far this season with 7 assists, and it’s not too much of a surprise that he has been recalled by France.
This is his first call-up since he broke his left leg (that’s the good one) in two places in October of 2010, and he deserves enormous personal credit for the way he has fought back to get fit, get his form back, and get the job done for Newcastle.
We hesitate to say he can now get the job done for France, because France’s first game in the European Championships is on July 11th, and is against England in the Ukraine.
When he heard about the good news, Ben Arfa posted these comments on his web-site:
“I’ve just found out my pre-selection for the Euros. I feel great personal satisfaction from achieving this main goal and wish to express my full gratitude to all those who supported me in recent months. “
“Personally, these eighteen months without being in the French team felt like an eternity. Since I started playing football, I have had a special relationship with the shirt that I wore for the youth teams.”
“At this moment in time, I am not forgetting my friend Baccary Sagna. Despite his great form, he will miss the Euros, the victim of a serious broken fibula last Saturday with his club. With all my heart, I wish him to return quickly to the international team.”
“I will go to the Euros with humility and collective ambition. The team must truly believe in its chances because the competition is very open”.
Those are good words from Ben Arfa, and it’s also fitting that he puts in a word for his French team-mate Baccary Sagna, the Arsenal right-back, and of course Ben Arfa will know all about what Baccary is going through at the moment.
The French manager Laurent Blanc had this to say about Ben Arfa, whom Alan Pardew has been pushing forward big time this year, to be included in the French squad:
“His talent was always there, and always will be, and he has shown more maturity this season.”
Newcastle team-mate Yohan Cabaye is also named in the squad, and we are hoping both will start the game against England.
We offer our congratulations to both the Newcastle players.