Newcastle fans may get to see their first glimpse of Hatem Ben Arfa tonight at Hartlepool, as the French International is due to play some part of the game at Victoria Park.
Ben Arfa – at Paris hearing last month
It seems that Ben Arfa may not make the first league game a week on Saturday against Spurs, after only returning to training after the Euro 210 tournament early last week, but it doesn’t look he is anywhere near up to speed yet, according to Alan Pardew.
Former Newcastle player and current ESPN analyst Chris Waddle has talked about the Frenchman today, and says it’s no wonder he is a favorite with Newcastle fans, but as we know, he can also be a frustrating player at times too.
This is what Chris Waddle told the Evening Chronicle today:
“Ben Arfa can be a frustrating player. I think he showed that at the European Championships where he didn’t pull any trees up.”
“He can have moments of brilliance, which we saw at Newcastle, he can have good spells, he can score a wonder goal or do a little dribble that gets the fans on their feet.”
“I know the Geordie fans love entertainers.” “But what he has struggled with throughout his career is consistency.” “That is why he’s in the team some weeks and others he’s not.”
“He’s obviously got a little bit of fire in him.” “He wants to play all of the time which is good but the consistency stopped him doing that.”
“You can see why the Geordie fans have taken to him as they they love players who can go past people and beat a man and excite you.”
“That’s why he falls into that category.”
Ben Arfa has had his troubles with authority in his career, and some of that blew up again at the Euros when he clashed with France manager Laurent Blanc, and he was warned as to his future conduct at a meeting last month in Paris with the French Football Federation.
But there’s been no trouble with the lad on Tyneside at all, although it doesn’t seem that anybody gets to mess too much with Alan Pardew, who has handled Frenchman brilliantly at Newcastle.
But Alan is well aware of Ben Arfa’s inconsistency, and only yesterday was calling on the Frenchman for more of that in the upcoming season.
Ben Arfa will also have a few challenges for his right wing spot next term, including from new boy Romain Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi and Gabby Obertan.
It will be good to see how Ben Arfa looks tonight at Hartlepool United, and we need Ben Arfa in great form next season, if Newcastle are going to do as well as we did last season – or even better – which would be simply fantastic.