Hatem Ben Arfa should play at some point tonight in the Europa League tie in Moscow against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow, and the mercurial French winger has been interviewed, and thinks Newcastle now have a much stronger squad than we had in January.
Hatem Ben Arfa – will make return tonight
Ben Arfa was interviewed a number of times in January while he was still out injured with his hamstring, and in one interview he said he would like to join Paris Saint Germain, but would be happy to stay at Newcastle if the Tyneside club showed ambition.
And sure enough Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias signed five Frenchmen in January, with three of them being full French Internationals – and the Newcastle squad is a now undoubtedly a lot stronger.
The 13 times capped French International turns 26 today and this is what he said:
“I’m very happy now because they are very good players.” “They will help our team and we are stronger than before. I was in France when the players were signing, I was happy because I know they are good players, not just because they are French. They have made the team stronger.”
“We have a stronger team than we had before January. It’s good because last season we did very well and finished fifth, but the squad wasn’t very big. Now, with the players coming in, it is even stronger and we can do something similar again. The squad is better than it was.”
“I hope we can do good things in the Europa League, I hope we can win it.” “It is important we climb the Premier League and not fall into the Championship, but this is also important. This is a chance to win a trophy and that is something the whole squad are excited about.”
“It is amazing it has been 44 years since Newcastle won anything. It would be great to write my name in history by winning something, for us as a team to become the one who ended the gap.” “I hope we can do good things in the Europa League.” “I hope we can win it now we are in the latter stages. “
“I really hope we can.” “I know they are a very good team and have very good players like Samuel Eto’o and Lassana Diarra, who I played alongside for France. They have great ambition.” “It’s going to be a very tough game. And they’ve won all four home games in this competition so far because it is very cold.”
Newcastle finished fifth last season, but not reinforcing the squad last summer really cost us big time, but the reinforcements in January have shown that if Newcastle can keep this squad together over the summer, we will be a force in the Premier League next season.
But first things first, and it’s going to be a tough game tonight against a side who are currently second in the Russian Premier League.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org