Ben Arfa – I Can Still Be As Good As Messi

Hatem Ben Arfa has been out of action since the Fulham game in early December and that was his first game back for a number of weeks, so we haven’t really seen Hatem much at all in the last few months, and there’s no form date on when he will return from his server hamstring injury.

hatem ben arfa scores spurs

Ben Arfa after scoring wonder goal against Spurs last August

But in Le10 Sport today Ben Arfa talks about his immaturity when younger at Lyon and Marseilles, and he thinks he could have been a better player today if he had knuckled down earlier in his career – as he’s done since he joined Newcastle in the summer of 2010.

This is what Ben Arfa told Le10Sport

“I regret not being mature earlier, because I think today I’d have evolved to a higher level. Maybe I’d be like him – Messi – today. But I still have time, I can catch up.”

It’s good that Ben Arfa thinks he can improve from where he is today, and we’ll see if he can improve and become closer to world class players like Messi – but it will be difficult for the Frenchman to get close to Messi, who was world class when he was a a teenager at Barcelona.

But less than a year ago Alan Pardew compared his mercurial winger to Messi when he talked to the BBC – and this is what Alan pardew said last April:

“With the ball at his feet, he’s magic. As magic as Luis Suarez or Messi at times.” “We had to work with him to understand exactly what he’s about. He has got a special talent, we know he’s special.”

Alan Pardew challenged Ben Arfa before the Liverpool game last November to have an impact on the game, the way that Louis Suarez of Liverpool has on Merseyside.

And we have to say that Ben Arfa has become a better player since Alan Pardew arrived at the club, and we’d be happy enough if the Frenchman can just improve from where he is today, and be the best Ben Arfa he can be – rather than comparing himself with other players.

And when Ben Arfa is fit and at his best, he’s a match winner for Newcastle and definitely world class.

Ben Arfa will also have a challenge to get into Didier Deschamps French squad for the World Cup next year in Brazil, especially as manager and player didn’t exactly see eye to eye while they were together at Marseilles.

And perhaps whatBen Arfa should concentrate on is becoming a more consistent player and show those world class skills in every game – because that’s exactly what Lionel Messi does – game in, game out.

That’s why the Argentine has been the best player in the world over the last four years.

Comments welcome.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google+:

You can also reach Ed at



15 comments so far

  • Craborumtoon

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #1

    It wasn’t a wonder goal against spurs ed. It was a flippin penalty!!!!!

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #2

    Hate to tell hatem but he isn’t close to messi.

    He has some very good skill but no where near the consistency to get goals or assists.

    For all I think he has more talent than the like of hazard or mata he never seems to get stats to back up his ability.

    Still one of my favourite players to watch though.

  • dannyboy

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #3

    benny boy is our best player but he isnt anywhere near messi, i love him though , with him in our team we have a chance of beating anyone in the EPL

  • Mackems are from MORDOR!

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #4

    when a player starts comparing himself to the best then by nature he’ll want the best and therefore a summer of transfer speculation begins.
    Shut up HBA and start playing/winning games. Talk’s cheap, we want to see you do it.

  • Toon-Prodigy

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #5

    Im hoping he hits the ground running. Is he deffo starting on Sunday? Anything concrete as yet?

    Im hoping he starts, even if i see him on the bench i’ll be buzzing.

    We have narf missed this lad, great to see everyone back. What an awful christmas period that was. I never want to witness that again.

  • Transfer Sage

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #6


    I’m not sure if he is our best player….best technically but i’d say his lack of consistency drops him below some.

  • SBergenwall

    Feb 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #7

    At least he doesn’t lack the ambition

  • Ben3arfa

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #8

    Ben Arfa could have been one of the best players in the world today had he played with the right attitude during his times at Lyon and Marseille .

  • lotoplus

    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #9

    Up to now, he was a bit unlucky to be often injured.
    He rarely played in the position he fits best.

    He also had this problem that his partners don’t understand what he is going to do with the ball.

    He is a hybrid player between Özil and Messi, but not reaching their level yet. He must understand for once and for all that he shouldn’t loose easily the ball as he does sometimes.

    I hope all the best for him.

  • Sav

    Feb 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #10

    The important thing is – when will he be back playing in black and white?

  • Owldman

    Feb 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #11

    Talk was HBA was ready to start training a couple of weeks ago but then contracted a virus which of course set back his training , believe though that he is now back in training, dont know if he is far enough on to get some match time against Southampton!

  • ToonHeart

    Feb 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #12

    I just can’t wait to se him play with the new french men. We could be very suprised! Remember our away game at WBA last season… Cabaye, Cisse and HBA? We were bloody brill.

    I think with the new french players and HBA there could be some better chances to having one heck of a team!!! (for now anyway lol)

  • Pushy Pardew

    Feb 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #13

    Ian Toon
    Sorry that my supportive comments were used as justification by the less talented and intelligent posters against you. I hope that you will continue to post with your characteristic insight, modesty and wit.
    I see that your on a campaign of providing a unique and idiosyncratic perspective on the blog and football. When I said I had not posted for a while but had been reading the blog I wasn’t addressing that to you!
    I was informing the respected a d admired that I was abreast of matters. You need to mix more and have a life unless you want to be on a delusional crusade.
    Mr Tuff
    I really don’t know where to start. I apologise if I was rude to you by suggesting that your tiff with Teq was way past being boring. My reference to the BBC – which is well thought out by IT) I thought appropriate at the time. I misunderstood that you did not hold him in the same high regard and would bizarrely seek allegiance with the irrational JFA to accuse him of multiple attention seeking postings.
    May I politely suggest you have to much time on your hands.

  • Ketsbaia9

    Feb 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #14

    Ben Arfa is a better footballer than Messi. He just isn’t consistent enough.

  • Owldman

    Feb 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #15

    Warned you about that white stuff Kets it’s definitely scrambling your brain


You must log in to post a comment.