Ben Arfa should be fit to play for Newcastle in a week or two, and it seems he is going to try to prove that his fine form earlier this year was no flash in the pan, as he tries once again to nail down a starting place in the Newcastle first team in the coming season.
Ben Arfa – in action at Hartlepool United
Ben Arfa improved a lot last season in his application to the game, and in the way he was willing to work much harder than he had been used to in France, but that’s what manager Alan Pardew demanded.
And of course Alan left the Frenchman in no doubt, that if he didn’t put in the work, he wouldn’t start in the first team – simple really.
But Ben Arfa got himself into a wee bit of trouble during the Euro 2012 Championships, and that’s the first time in two years since he’s been on Tyneside, that there has been any discipline problems with the lad, there’s been none at Newcastle, as far as we know.
One of Alan Pardew’s many talents he’s demonstrated since he first arrived at Newcastle in December of 2010, is that he handles big players very well, and Alan has handled Ben Arfa superbly since he’s been on Tyneside.
The Newcastle manager has today talked about his superb winger (I’ll not use that word mercurial this time) and says the 25 year-old is in a good place mentally:
“I have to say he’s in a great place mentally. The French experience, in terms of getting into the national team firstly, was a great one.” “The frustration of how it ended has kind of stiffened his resolve to show how good he is.”
“He’s that type. I would not say he is looking to prove people wrong. But because of the French media attention on him after that tournament, he was disappointed with that and felt it was probably unjust. I see him wanting to have a really big year for Newcastle.”
We have a feeling that the French media really played up his involvement in that upset in the French camp, and that was likely because of his prior reputation as a trouble-maker he picked up at his two previous clubs – Lyon and Marseilles.
And Ben Arfa is adored on Tyneside, and that will help him, and everybody likes to have a little bit of hero worship – I know I do – I just didn’t get any.
We have to think that Ben Arfa will continue on his way to becoming a mature person and a mature player this season, and under Alan pardew’s guidance, that is definitely possible.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org