Ben Arfa Back – A Great Player With Massive Talent

It’s expected that Ben Arfa will return to the line-up tonight for Newcastle at Craven Cottage, and it will be great to have the Frenchman back in the side, where his immense creativity has been sorely missed over the last few games.

Ben Arfa in action against Aston Villa this season

While Pardew is not saying for definite that the Frenchman is fit to play – he obviously knows that Ben Arfa is now a huge player for the side:

“If he is fit enough to play, it would be important because he’s a good player – a great player.” “If there was one defender to beat and I had to choose a player to take him on beat him, it would be Hatem. That’s his real strength.”

“I signed him after looking at the tape of the Everton game and the goal.” “The little history I did about him in France was enough to convince me that he had massive talent.”

“It was just a question of whether I could work with him and get into his head, and I felt I could do that with the experience I’d had of Yossi Benayoun, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, Teddy Sheringham, and fortunately it seems to have worked out.”

Ben Arfa was already on loan from Marseilles at Newcastle when Alan Pardew arrived two years ago, but after watching some tapes of the player, he persuaded Mike Ashley to sign him, even though the Frenchman had just sustained a horrific double fracture of the left leg in early October two years ago and was months from being fully fit.

And Alan Pardew has handled the Frenchman brilliantly over the last couple of years, and he has been no trouble at all on Tyneside, after he had arrived with a bad boy image.

And there’s such a great relationship between the 25 year-old and the fans, that the 13 times capped French International seems to just love it on Tyneside.

For the record,  Ben Arfa has played 47 times for Newcastle with 9 goals and 10 assists, and we hope he makes his 48th appearance for the Magpies tonight in London.

He’s been a fantastic signing for Newcastle.

What do you think?

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20 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #1

    What do I think? I think Alan is going to get some stick today about saying he can get in to that list of players heads.

    Not going to comment on players past, as I don’t know enough either way, but with Benny, I think he has done really well at getting close to the best out of him and is handling his attitude really well, something that not many have managed in Hatems career.

  • Indian Magpie

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #2

    Please pardew please,

    Do not site examples from your previous management experiences. or for that matter playing either.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #3

    Being stuck in a lift for thirteen hours while jingle bells is played repeatedly over the tannoy is to good for Ashley .

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #4

    Jail…..Got me thinking there. Theme music for Ashley. First thing that comes to mind is Money (That’s what I want).

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #5

    I can actually go back in the archive on this blog and find article’s related to the topic on strengthen in the summer (2012) – now these are Pardews own words…

    ..but I can also go back in the archive and find article’s stating the exact opposite!

    It is always good when those in charge knows how to communicated a message to either it’s employers or their followers. Now I am old school and I judge people on what they say and do.

    It is just very difficult when everything you are told is a contradiction and action leaves you wondering! 😀


    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #6

    Can’t argue how well he has handled HBA, despite what fans wanted, I think he did exactly what was needed in order to make Benny have the required impact on a relatively consistent basis

    Does make me wonder with Benny fit does it send Marv back to the bench or Jonas? I’d guess it won’t be tonight and HBA won’t start but after Fulham its going to be hard to drop one of them

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #7

    Reading between the lines,if Pards is so confident of bringing in players a bid of 17M for HBA has already been lined up,Debuchy and Douglas in for 10M Parts can say were stronger because two came in and only one went out,Mashley makes another profit and his adoring public marvel at his business genius.

  • headtheball

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #8

    Speaking of music perhaps Pardew is a great trumpeter. He should be as he’s always blowing it. But his song should be The Great Pretender me thinks.

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #9


    Or could o down the ironic route and go for a classic, hey big spender.

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #10

    It is just very difficult when everything you are told is a contradiction and action leaves you wondering!


    you se the picture

    also,, pardew, 2 of the 4 players above , hated working for him, masc and tevez,, so what does that say about him,,

    how much digging did he need to do, what a tool,, everyone new he had tallent, for me it was how he would recover from the leg break, not what he once was , that was the problem

    pardew held back on playing him for to long


  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #11

    Repost through our today.

    I’ve just had a catch up today with my friend in the club and there is a lot of talk of who we are looking at…got a long-ish list so don’t expect all but these are who we are supposed to be interested in.

    mamadou sakho (only 1 appearance for psg this term)
    debuchy (again!!!!)
    erik pieters
    douglas (yet again)
    llana (cost much more than 5 mil so not likely)
    victor wanyama
    gary hooper
    tom ince
    nathan redmond

    not sure if any of these will come off but i’m hoping that 2/3 will come in…ideally 2 defenders more than other players.

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #12

    Jail for Ashley

    debuchy has stated he is going no where until the summer

    bang goes that idea

  • Transfer Sage

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #13


    Don’t trust debuchy on that. Not many players say they will leave mid season until the offer comes in.

    It would just get him stick from his own fans If he stayed.

    See what happens if we meet the asking price

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #14

    TS…Like it.

    Catchy….Clearly a matter of opinion. Do you really think it’s as simple as having a fit and talented player and just sending them out? What about preparing players mentally?

    Jesper…This club always leaves us wandering. Constantly.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #15

    TS….Agree on the Debuchy thing. After the summers performance, i bet the Lille fans were a little bit peeved with Debuchy, so he’ll keep it quiet this time. Never say never.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #16


    I think Benny has done very well to still make an impact despite being stuck on the wing all season. Benny should have played a lot more last season. He had to wait an eternity to get a game and that was only when raylor got injured.

    Now tonight wouldn’t it be great if pardew didn’t play for a draw and put a team out to capitalise on Fulham’s bad form.


    Santon (RB) Colo Perch Jonas / Fergie

    Tiote Anita

    Obertan Benny Marveaux


    We have very little pace in midfield so those 3 in midfield would get us on the front foot.

    More than likely will be 442 with Ba and Cisse and Guti LM again, but even pardew must have a tipping point to try something different. A bit more of what we did against Wigan and I’d be more than happy.

    I think we’re nearing the end of the road with Simmo and Ba now.

  • Marty-Toon

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #17

    Would love to see Ben Arfa behind the striker,it means he can go left or right and has the pace to beat any CB.
    Although he’s a great winger I think he’d be better used in the middle.
    All teams are doubling up on him on the wing and i think with him being on the wing that he’s too far away from the goal.
    With Anita and Tiote in the CM
    We could have Marveau on the left and Obertan on the right with Benny in the middle behing BA

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Dec 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #18

    Rotonda…I agree and disagree.

    Benny has played out on the wing at his previous club to, so he obviously is a credited winger as well ACM.

    Yes he’s done a good job at being effective from the wing, but many players are, that is what they’re supposed to do.

    I can also understand him being in that position, who would we rather have at RW?

    In theory, I love the idea of Benny behind the striker (s), but haven’t seen much to know for sure it’s his best position, although I imagine it will be.

    As for having to wait, none of us know whether if he had been introduced earlier would he have been ready. I can’t imagine Pardew not wanting him in, but maybe it was just a case of the team doing well, so why change it? Not sure, but we can’t say that when he was introduced he wasn’t ready.

    Like the line up, would be great to see. Is Ba out tonight?

  • Bucks mag

    Dec 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #19

    Sometimes I (mentally) pinch myself when I realise we have a player as good and as skilled as Ben Arfa at Newcastle. Same for quite a lot of our team really! Despite the (relatively) bad times we’re in, at least I’m paying money to see good players playing for the shirt, and we even have a few players who seem like good people e.g. Cissé, Bigi, Krul…

    Think back 7 years to Souness and Babayaro, Bowyer, Dyer, Robert… players who just didn’t care. We may be underperforming/disappointing but the reassuring spirit is still there.


  • bobby vee

    Dec 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #20

    Its amazing how the truly top players stand out from the
    crowd from the moment they walk onto the pitch. We are blessed with such a player HBA!! Players of this
    stature are worth the entrance fee alone, to be in awe of
    such a talent, to be spellbound by sheer ability and
    guile is priceless.

    Now begs the question – do we allow this rare talent
    to be hi-jacked for the sake of £sd, or do we show all
    prospective suitors the door and build around him,
    somehow I don’t think so, we will plough the same furrow and strengthen those around us – to hell with

    So for all you purists and lovers of the sublime, feast
    your eyes on this breath of fresh air within our ranks,
    chances are he will be winging his way for a pound of
    flesh come end of January!

    This is what we do, we are NUFC after all – Keep the
    Faith my friends.


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