There’s no doubt that Hatem Ben Arfa is the most exciting player at Newcastle and when this lad’s on form he’s almost unplayable, and he’s already scored two of the best individual goals ever seen at St. James Park against Blackburn and Bolton last year.
Ben Arfa in training last month
But of course one big reason why we faltered big time last season was that we were without Ben Arfa from November, and we certainly missed his game changing skills.
That Hamstring injury he picked up never fully recovered last season but manager Pardew is hoping the rest during the summer and new fitness coach Faye Downey can keep this French wizard fit this season.
This is what Alan Pardew said in the local press today:
He has already put him forward for a recall to the France team ahead of the summer’s World Cup and reckons that the influence of new fitness coach Faye Downey will play a big part in any renaissance.
“It’s a big year for Hatem to stay fit. I don’t worry about anything else with Hatem,” “I look at him and we all know when we train with him he’s got exceptional talent. “
“We need it on the pitch and we need more of it. That’s something we’ve worked really hard with him on this summer, particularly in pre-season. He got his rest from that hamstring injury.”
“Remember that was a terrible hamstring injury and I remember people questioning if he would come back the same. Actually in pre-season he’s produced faster times than anyone else. We know that burst of power is there and that is what sets him apart.”
And to cheer fans up this Friday morning – have a look back to those two great goals he scored at St. James Park last year.
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