While the press would probably love it if there was disfunction and controversy at Newcastle this summer, the truth is that training is going well, and Newcastle will play their first game of pre-season at Motherwell tomorrow night.
Ben Arfa in training this summer
And while Newcastle fans are getting just a wee bit worried that we have not brought in any senior players this summer, the five Frenchmen we brought in last January will have a full pre-season, and should be a lot better for Newcastle in the new season – and that’s good news.
One player who is in good fettle this summer, according to the Evening Chronicle today, is our mercurial French International winger Hatem Ben Arfa.
Hatem’s been at Newcastle for three full seasons now, but due to injury the 26 year-old has played only 56 times with 10 goals and 11 assists, and last season he was dogged by that hamstring injury he picked up in the Europa League game at home to Maritimo in November.
And Ben Arfa didn’t play much at all after that, and it seemed that the Newcastle medics didn’t handle his injury too well either, and on his return at Fulham in December, he scored a wonderful goal but re-injured the hamstring and was out for over three months.
And it was thought he needed an operation on the hamstring, and then he didn’t – so the situation is he didn’t have an operation.
But we have to hope he doesn’t pick up another hamstring injury this season – because that could point to a physical weakness – or that whatever’s wrong with his hamstring has not been fixed, and that would be bad news.
What would be good news is if Ben Arfa can stay fit all season, and show us some of the magic he is capable of, like the goals he scored at home against Blackburn Rovers and Bolton, which are two of the best individual goals ever scored at St. James Park.
So to lift your spirits this Monday morning, take another look at Ben Arfa’s two fantastic goals, and of course we won both games in the season before last.
Wow – looking forward to seeing Ben Arfa score a few more like those next season.
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