There’s little doubt that Hatem Ben Arfa is one of the most popular players at Newcastle, and the Frenchman seems to know that too, and he is well aware the fans just love him to bits, and he seems to return that affection, as he has often said he just loves playing for Newcastle in front of their famous fanatical fans.
Ben Arfa – in action at hartlepool on Tuesday evening
And Ben Arfa gave some good interviews only yesterday, and he even suggested Newcastle could win the Premier League next season, and apart from that, his comments seemed sane enough. 😀
Ben Arfa got a good 45 minutes run-out at Hartlepool on Tuesday night, but it’s still touch and go if he will be ready for the first game of the season against Tottenham at St. James’ Park in nine days time.
And throughout his career the 25 year-old has been a difficult lad to manage, although Newcastle manager Alan Pardew seems to be handling the mercurial winger with great success on Tyneside, and Ben Arfa has been no bother at all at the Tyneside club.
Alan Pardew discussed the French International in an interview with the Evening Chronicle this morning:
“I’ve got to manage him. I’ve got to choose the right games for him.” “He’s going to have a big, big season for us. We hope he does.”
“He can’t play every game – none of our players can, even Fabricio Coloccini or Tim Krul.” “Obviously, Hatem’s got qualities that even our own players stand and applaud.”
“He takes corners with the outside of his foot, and stuff like that.” “He’s a complete one-off, and it was nice to see him get involved.”
It is a big season for Ben Arfa coming up, after he seemed to successfully adjust to both the Premier League and the way Newcastle play the game last season, and he increased his work-rate significantly to help nail down a first team place from early January.
But it’s Ben Arfa that Newcastle rely on to unlock defenses, as he did in that important home win against Bolton on 9th April, when he scored that simply fantastic go-ahead goal, when the game was on the line, in the 2-0 win.
Players like Ben Arfa are one big reason fans pay the money to go see the games, and he’s great for the game of football.
What do you think?