Hatem Ben Arfa started the second half last night at Hartlepool, and he almost scored a goal within minutes of starting his pre-season at Newcastle.
Ben Arfa – in action last night at Hartlepool
Ben Arfa looked good last night, and there were some positive things to take from his second half display, including one of those runs through the center of the pitch, and the Frenchman also looked in decent physical condition last night.
Ben Arfa has said he has kept himself fit over the last month or so, and one thing is clear – the mercurial French International wants to step up to the plate and get fit ready for the start of the season, a week on Saturday against Spurs at home.
Ben Arfa was interviewed on the official Newcastle web-site after the terrific 5-1 win last night at Hartlepool, and he spoke in English – good for him:
“It was nice to be back on the pitch.” “I’m very happy that I played 45 minutes and I feel very good, and now I’m going to step it up to be ready quickly.” “I was in the Euros and I’ve stopped for one month.”
“But I ran on my holiday and I kept playing football with my friends.” “And now I feel good, but I’m going to take it step by step.” “It was most important to be on the pitch, to feel the sensation, to get back to feeling the pitch.”
“When you play a game, it’s most important to feel the sensation of the ball and with your team-mates.”
And Ben Arfa is in the French squad for next Wednesday, when France take on Uruguay at Le Havre, in Didier Deschamps first game in charge as the new France manager.
We should see Ben Arfa in action again on Saturday, along with his French team-mate Yohan Cabaye, who is yet to appear for Newcastle in pre-season, in the final warm-up game at Cardiff City.