Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse, who is already hugely popular on Tyneside that he cannot even get a haircut without being overwhelmed by young fans, has some good words to say about his team-mate Hatem Ben Arfa today.
Ben Arfa mobbed after his fantastic goal against Bolton this year
Let me out!
Ben Arfa was quickly spotted as a prodigious talent as a youngster in France, and he played in all the French youth sides from U16 through U21, but has so far played only 8 times for the full French side with two fantastic goals.
Ben Arfa got used to there being high expectations of him in football, but he also made a name for himself at Lyon and Marseilles for being a bit of a trouble-maker.
So there were a few doubts about his character when he first arrived on Tyneside almost two years ago.
But Ben Arfa has said himself last week, from the French Training camp at the Clairefontaine Academy, that he has matured big time at Newcastle, and is now a much calmer person and more settled than he has ever been.
Papiss Cisse seems to have no doubts that the Frenchman has sublime skills, as he had this to say about Ben Arfa today:
“Hatem’s a phenomenon,” “I don’t know why he hasn’t played for France up to now – that’s down to the coach.”
“But for me, he’s a dynamic player for Newcastle, and he should play for Les Bleus.” “He’s always joking around,”
“Every time something happens, he’s joking.”
Newcastle fans have taken to Ben Arfa a lot, because of his brilliant goals, two special ones were against Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers this year, and also because of the brave way he doggedly came back from his terrible double-leg fracture in early October of 2010.
Ben Arfa’s been out of the French International picture since he’s been at Newcastle, but we are hoping he will make France’s final squad of 23, along with team-mate Yohan Cabaye, and then star in the European Championships.
But not too much because we want him to stay at Newcastle, and we also want England to do well.
France is in the same Group D at Euro 2012, which also includes England, Ukraine and Sweden.
Maybe England can maybe even win it all in the summer, and then maybe not.