Hatem Ben Arfa made some surprising comments a few days ago, when he said he would only leave Newcastle if a bigger club came along who really wanted him.
Ben Arfa – in action for France recently
That point about really wanting him, was probably made because the 25 year-old knows he’s very much wanted at Newcastle, and the club stood by the Frenchman, when he suffered that terrible double fracture of his left leg in October of 2010 – and so did the fans.
In fact Newcastle signed Ben Arfa in January of 2011, when he was still recovering for the awful injury, and the Tyneside club have continued to receive warm praise from the French media, for the expert way they have handled their French players on Tyneside.
The Newcastle winger should be in action tonight when the first game of Group D, England vs France gets under way in the Donbass Arena, in Donetsk in the Ukraine. Maybe Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa will have off games tonight?
Ben Arfa has regained his place in the French squad due to some outstanding play in the black and white shirt for Newcastle since the turn of the year, and it seems like the French International is looking forward to playing with Newcastle next season:
“I’m happy where I am. I don’t take much notice of speculation. Other players thrive on that but I just prefer to concentrate on playing for Newcastle.” “We surprised a few people last season.”
“Naturally there was disappointment that we failed to secure a place in the Champions League and now have to settle for playing in the Europa League instead.” “But we fought for a place in the CL until the death — it wasn’t for a lack of trying.”
“And this team will get better. If we can strengthen the squad over the summer there is no reason why we shouldn’t be challenging for Champions League football next season.”
“And there is no shame finishing above a club like Chelsea in the Premier League — they won the Champions League.”
It would be simply great if Newcastle can challenge again at the top of the Premier League next season, and a lot will depend on whether we can keep our top players on Tyneside this summer, and also bring in four or five other top players to improve the squad.
If we can do that we could surprise ourselves again next season, and wouldn’t that be something.