Ben Arfa did very well last night on his first game back in the team for three months, and it’s just a pity he missed that chance in the second half, otherwise he could have been celebrating a birthday goal, as he turned 26 yesterday.
Ben Arfa – in action in Moscow last night
But Ben Arfa says that his chip shot in the 64th minute didn’t come off, because one of the reasons was his unfamiliarity with plastic pitches – and we suppose that’s a good an excuse an any.
This is what Ben Arfa told the Evening Chronicle from Moscow:
“We can now finish the job. Next week we have a great chance to win with our team.” “St James Park will be a different game now.” “It was a good birthday for me still almost perfect, but 0-0 is OK.” “We haven’t lost and we have a great chance to qualify.”
“I had a chance and I actually tried to chip it high over the keeper.” “I was aiming for more uplift, but on that pitch it isn’t the same as on grass.” “I hope next game I get another chance and this time I’ll score.”
““We were solid and we tried to keep the ball.” “But it was a night when we didn’t have too many chances to score.” “I think 0-0 though is a good score-line. We always prefer to score a goal or two of course.”
“Yet this gives us a good chance to get through.” “It was hard on the plastic pitch because it isn’t easy on the knees.” “But that is the game and we had to play on it.”
“Overall I feel good and I am very happy to be going back with the score level.”
Next up for Newcastle and hopefully for Ben Arfa is Stoke City on Sunday afternoon, and we definitely need to win that game and get all 3 points to take us up that league table, and we’d love to see the mercurial Frenchman start that game.
There’s no doubt he’s an important player for Newcastle and makes a difference in the team.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org