Ben Arfa Hints At Leaving Newcastle

Hatem Ben Arfa is right to say that he needs to concentrate on is playing consistently well for Newcastle United, although on Saturday afternoon, what happened was what Alan Pardew has been warning about for a few weeks, and Ben Arfa had an off day.

ben arfa fulham goal

Ben Arfa – a hint he could leave Newcastle?

Alan Pardew has been coaxing Ben Arfa to play well in every game, and to be more consistent, and that’s  what Pardew told his team after the dreadful defensive display on Saturday,  when we leaked three goals and were beaten 3-2 by newly promoted Hull City.

This is what Ben Arfa told the French TC channel Canal+ after the game:

“There were enquiries this summer, but what was important was to remain at Newcastle. ”  “The club has confidence in me. I need to gain a lot of experience. Here, there is everything you need. Before thinking of anything bigger, I need to commit 100% here.”

So that’s a good statement from the 26 year-old Frenchman,  but what does he mean by “before considering anything bigger”?

It seems to us Ben Arfa may see Newcastle as a stepping stone to a bigger club.

But to be fair to Hatem, until Newcastle get a big shot of   ambition,  we are likely to be a stepping stone to one of the top sides in England – the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal , Liverpool or  Tottenham, or even one of the top French clubs like PSG or Monaco.

But if  a club  does come in for Ben Arfa, then Mike Ashley will put  a huge fee on his head, which would make it unlikely he will leave Newcastle.

What we hope for is that Ben Arfa can be one of the players who can turn Newcastle into a great side again, but of course Mike Ashley will need to loosen up the purse strings a bit for that to become a reality.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

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

You can also reach Ed at

89 comments so far

  • Offkey

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #1

    On the positive side…………

  • dembademba

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #2

    err… look at things realistically???

    or is everyone here deluded

  • Offkey

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #3

    Oh demba, only on the last thread we were talking about the current blog negativity. It was just a little quip on the basis of the very positive article. Calm down.

  • dembademba

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #4


    i think plenty of clubs have looked at ben arfa but wont touch him untill he’s achieved consistency with us, for various reasons. thats not a bad thing. a consistent ben arfa wins us matches… and should get us a healthy sum of money. win win (looking at it realistically) ! 🙂

  • banjax

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Comment #5

    This is what is called ‘Lack of Ambition’ from Ashley and his crew. It is the side effect of accepting a Top Ten finish instead of investing in top quality throughout the Newcastle First team. You reap what you sow – trouble is – it is stupid f…ers like us who put up with it ! Newcastle will not prosper with the current Owner and his ‘Vision’ for the club and it rubs off on the pitch !!

  • Toonacious T

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #6

    The really sad thing is that our standard of coaching is so bad ATM that if you were advising Ben Arfa you would tell him he would likely develop quicker as a player at another club. All players seek out opportunities to win trophies and every sign points to that not happening at Newcastle any time in the near future. He needs the playing time he will get with us and if he ever puts together a consistent season without injuries then the ambitious clubs will make an offer that Ashley will accept.

  • headtheball

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Two recent quotes from ToonDarnSarf

    ” People should really pay more attention to what I’m saying ”
    ” Football fans are crazy ”

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #8

    Jesus, there are at least twenty clubs that would turn the heads of our better players. This has probably always been the case and very much so as things stand under Ashley.

    I agree with a previous poster that he should pump another 50 mill in on a new manager and 3 extra genuine first teamers. He stands to add value to his investment, compete for greater financial reward and have a more settled squad that good players will want to be a part of and greater exposure for his dreadful tat, and of course he and the parent company can afford it.

  • stuart no9

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #9

    firsly ED , we are a stepping stone club , have been for years- coz we get the 3rd biggest crowd in the country, the perfect place for erm – non uk residents to display their talents to a watching world hoping to be spotted by a club of their dreams, and sold quicker than you could say- greedy barrowboy with dodgy sports clothes from india, also if benny dosnt want to move now, pards could easily talk him into it with his constant critisizing of him , benny needs to be let free, and cause havoc in places where he can cause havoc . did you evr see peter beardsley tracking back every 5 mins ? no – coz he wasnt causing havoc there . david genola- lauren robert-andy cole- george reilly, well maybe not george reilly , but you get my point.

  • Offkey

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #10

    If HBA stays this season, he only has a year left, normally that means they go cheap (except maybe Gomis) or we lose him for free if he sees out his contract. Hopefully he signs a new deal.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #11

    Beardsley had a fantastic work rate when the opposition had the ball. Ginola was heavily criticized by Keegan of all managers because of a reluctance to track back. I admire Benny and get as big a thrill as anyone when he’s buzzing, but the team has to press and cover as a unit for 90 minutes and it’s still a poor part of Benny’s game, and Marveaux is worse.

  • Sav

    Sep 23, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #12

    Beardo always did the defensive stuff as well. Ben Arfa is exciting to watch when he’s on song but at the moment, he’ll win us nowt because you never know if he’ll turn up. Pards has been trying to play it down, not criticise him. – But I will, because even the talented ones need to get the finger out.

  • stuart no9

    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #13

    jimmy smith – yes beardsley was a grafter . but tracking back every 5 mis was not something he had to do, being an attacking midfielder/striker , . The players employed for that purpose were quite capable of handling any situation when the opposition looked a threat going forward , thats why we got promoted , everyone done their job

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Comment #14

    Well, Benny like every player has a job to do when the opposition has the ball and part of it is tracking back and covering when needed, particularly if his fullback has seen an opportunity to get forward. It really is about maintaining shape and if you don’t you’ll just get consistently beat at this level. I don’t think Benny is being asked to do too much defensively, I think he just isn’t that keen sometimes. Not good enough at the end of the day for a top player or a top team. He is improving though, and I actually think Pardew deserves some credit for this. But HBA is as much at fault as anyone for the Hull result and more than most.

  • stuart no9

    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #15

    jimmy – on a final note , i dont think it is being lazy on bennys part. i think he knows where he can cause damage , drop some grenades as keegan would say, and that is not on his own 18 yrd line, surely you dont need every one in a black and white shirt to be behind the ball in those situations, get some body else there if thats the case, but leave benny a little higher up the pitch , sweep up at the back, benny is now available in a good position to do what he does best. sounds easy , we know its not, but to try and counter when benny is so deep IMO is a waste of time.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 24, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Comment #16

    I think Benny needs to cover and maintain shape when his fullback goes beyond him and track back when his own man gets forward and he needs to graft when he isn’t on song. He didn’t play well on the weekend and he didn’t put in a shift, but yeah, I do agree, he shouldn’t be required to do a load of defensive donkey work. So Pards needs to get the side operating as a unit and playing as best it can to its strengths. Look when Benny’s playing well, there’s less need for him to defend, when he isn’t there is much greater need.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Sep 24, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    Comment #17

    Stuart 15, right on.

    I remember hearing an interview with Brazilian Ronaldo and he said he didn’t do much tracking back because he made sure that all of his power and pace were maximised when attacking the opposition. Or words to that effect. That was in his Barca days before he put on a few pounds of course 😉

    If he wasted his energy in defending too much, he would lose some of the edge he had over the defenders when attacking them. I’m sure I’ve heard Henry say a similar thing.

    Constantly defending when you are an attacking and flair player, is mentally draining and can sap your confidence if it goes too long. Not exactly enjoyable football to take part in.

    Helping as part of the team is one thing, but excessive defensive play when you’re primarily a forward is another.

  • nufcalex

    Sep 24, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Comment #18

    If they rate cabaye at £20 mill, ben arfa is worth atleast £27-30. cash In if clubs come asking

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 24, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Comment #19

    One more thing about Benny and not withstanding his genius at running at defenders when in form, that is astonishing. But he is hot and cold, he is far from a complete player and his decision making and distribution is flawed. He isn’t Messi, Ronaldo or Maradona and he isn’t in a mediocre French team and if we don’t make demands on him beyond running at teams when he has the ball at his feet we will struggle.

  • Blofal

    Sep 24, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #20

    I really agree with the premise that we need more english players… I really do believe that only they can realise what a privilege and honour it is to play for Newcastle United.

    All foreign players view Newcastle as a stepping stone if they are good enough to champions league teams and world cup squads. English players are more likely to thank their luckystars they have the chance to play for such a club. I dont want a club like man city… I want a club that is all heart and no fear.

  • HAZZY1

    Sep 24, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    Comment #21

    Blofal I agree I was talking to a friend the other day about how to make the uk players better so we can compete we both decided it would be good if clubs were only allowed 6 foreign players in there team 3 first team players and 3 young talent but the 3 first team players have to be class players not second rate crises buys then that way the youth will get there chance against other youth and good pros every week this will enhance there game and skills I hate seeing teams go out and buy from abroad because they are better value if we act now then in the future teams will only buy from UK any thoughts?

  • Dondatta13

    Sep 24, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Comment #22

    I haveva soft spot for HBA…

    A player whos worth the entry fee to watch him play, when hes on his game…

    Sometimes I feel he trys too hard….

    At times I wish Pardew would just have a word before HBA crosses the white line on match day and say “Don’t go out there and try to prove your a great player”. “Just know that you are”.

  • Sydney Toon

    Sep 24, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Comment #23

    Jimmy – cheers on the positive note a few posts ago!

    Gents, at the moment we are a stepping stone club. I believe even with an empty cheque book that MA could afford, we may still be a stepping stone for a few seasons. What really upset me is that players like Milner were sold to Villa who currently belong where they are, lower table. If Milner went from us to United or Arsenal, then you can understand that clubs like that, at the time, had the main core of the England Squad and were recognised for it. It has changed now with Hodgson, who recognises players across the PL and even the Championship. However, for players like Ben Arfa & Cabaye, a step up in quality and playing CL football on a regular seasonal basis, have been brought up in successful systems, i.e Ben Arfa at Marseille & PSG and Cabaye at Lille. Correct me if I am wrong but both are products of Clairefontane as well. Both have left successful systems to play in the most successful league but for a club that has an ambition to get to the elite top 6-8 in the league but have a model that requires a LOT of patience, but heavily relies on players playing to their full potential. So in their minds, at present they have taken 1 step back to take two steps forward. Cabaye almost was an AFC player, but for MA to be, well very very clever and proved what a good but harsh operator he is, played the recording to Cabaye. He stayed and is playing close to his best already. Ben Arfa has been light years ahead of the rest of the squad. In the end, we may always be a stepping stone, if we spent say 80m in the window and we were sitting in the top 4 right now and Ben arfa was playing like he is now, who is to say that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Bayern, United, Arsenal, Chelsea etc would not be even more interested. Right now they see both as great players that will get better with the players around them. Im not being overly positive, just realistic that sometimes we as fans need to accept that no matter what ambition we put in, no matter how much we pay our players, there will always be a club out there that will poach our players. Sometimes the player needs a new challenge, or wants to go back home like Colo will eventually when his contract expires. It is the same in life, I have been poached from rival companies twice and although it is not ideal, having a bigger company or even an even company tell you that you are wanted to lead them, but at your current company you feel like an important member but feel you need to challenge yourself, then you take the offer.
    Finally, are we experiencing a mass exodus every season…No! So why are you whinging about lack of ambition. The club has a budget, accept that, live with it and when the model brings in the profits we know will come at the end of the season, we will see an increase in spending. We only had limited money because of the outlay in January plus the poor season. If we finished where we should have and say top 12, more funds would have been available. The impact on almost getting relegated is not only impacted in terms of prize money, its other areas of the club, some sponsors have performance based contracts, so if we finish top 10, we get bonuses from companies. Again, MA could show his passion and ambition and blow 50m of his own cash, then what happens if that investment does not come off, he spends another 50m and we get a pattern we were used to, so much money spent for so little success. If it works on the pitch, but are not making the profits we need for MA to take a step back and let the club run itself is next to impossible to believe that could work in the current financial existence. Start small and build, it worked for Ashley with SportsDirect and it will work with Newcastle. Yeah a rich investor who wants us as a toy might be fun for a while sure, but what if there is no success, the club has debts everywhere, players who don’t care about the club on the payroll but playing U21 development football on 100k a week. Yeah that sounds like the right thing to do! man City still have not got their flops off the payroll, there have been reports they are paying clubs to take their players, like Adebayor, Spurs only paid 30% of his salary. Yep I want Adebayor type players at Newcastle and we pay him to play against us. Oh hang on but what if the new owner follows the same model as Ashley but can bring in higher profits and add a little more investment. Well if that man comes along, fantastic!! Sadly, until he comes along on his white horse, MA is here to stay, here to follow this through and no matter how many childish MA out campaigns come along, will continue to run this club in a conservative and profit based way.

  • Charlietoon

    Sep 24, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    Comment #24

    Nicely said Sydney Toon.

  • terencelim

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:09 AM

    Comment #25

    @Sydney Toon, when you labelled those protecting the club as “childish”, label yourself as MA ass licker then. I don’t judge you based on this post but your previous post as well.

    If you have a hard time living in Sydney, I bet you wouldn’t live well in most places in the world. It’s not the environment issue, but your personal issue.

    Never slag others off for their hard work. They love the club more than you do.

  • Sydney Toon

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    Comment #26


    Call me what you like, have no idea why you want to attack me personally, must be a hobbit thing

  • theartfuldodger

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Comment #27

    The part about players moving on is true.
    VanPersie , Bale moved on from relatively successful clubs.
    Only if yr chelsea or madrid or manu or manc etc can you hold on to players easily.

    However, sometimes players buy into a Project.
    A project with ambition and half decent targets every year. Like swansea or southampton. But the expectations of these clubs are low and baby steps are enough.

    But that is difficult for Newcastle. We finished 5th and had pretty much nowhere to go from there but down.The Liverpool project under rodgers doesent have much time as well. This yr a top 6 would be enough for them. But a 6th place next season would have people moaning about ambition and CL.

    So realistically what can we expect ? What kind of Ambition..

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    Comment #28

    Morning lads!

    …Benny is just an ambitious guy playing for an unambitious club!

    …that. could be said about Cabs as well. No wonder if they want to get something else at some point! Any ambitious player would 🙂

  • jesperfuglsang - captain of the lemon crew

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    Comment #29

    *go somewhere else

  • Santon03

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    Comment #30

    Well.. most players outside Newcastle 99% don’t dream to play for NUFC. Their dreams mostly playing for Milan, Barca, Juve, Madrid, etc. and you have to admit they are bigger clubs than NUFC.
    You watch them on TV winning the league, CL, etc and we haven’t won anything for the last 4 decades. In most countries outside England, you can find a lot of people who doesn’t know or ever heard of NUFC. We are in the same class as NAC Breda, Catania, Hellas Verona, Genk, Wolfsburg, etc. not exactly the big clubs in the world. I say world not England.

  • Sydney Toon

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:34 AM

    Comment #31

    You are correct players buy into a project, like Southampton and Swansea. Swansea is an interesting case, because compare their spending with ours and it almost is similar. Only difference is that they have a superior manager. Their resources are smaller than ours but time will tell if they can continue to grow. Southampton, in my opinion overspent on some players but yes they have a similar project to ours. They have an owner who is known for spending but also as ruthless as they come. Where Southampton, unfortunately outshine us, is that they have an extremely successful footballing academy. Any club that can bring through players like Le Tissier, Walcott, Ox, Ward Prowse, Shaw and Lallana you have the core to build from. I can’t agree with you on Liverpool, top 4 matches the spending done this summer, they are in good shape thus far, but Rodgers is the ultimate project/developing club manager, maybe we need to find a manager scout as good as Carr!!
    We finished 5th, then finished 17th, so looking at it simply, we should expect a top 10 this season. Where this leaves us next season remains to be seen. The profits will come and we can build on that. If the performance is poor again on the field, not only will I think MA will rid of Pardew but I think others will be in firing line such as coaching staff, with hope JK and expect a few players to go. One thing MA wont do and that is change the model he has set up, we got proof of that this season. If the profit is not there, spending will be restrained. The perks of conservatism!

  • Santon03

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    Comment #32


    Sorry, I’m just getting tired of the word “no ambition”. We haven’t won anything for decades, why say no ambition now, why not decades ago?
    When people say things like no ambition, you made it seem like we won titles regularly before MA took over.

  • theartfuldodger

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    Comment #33

    Well, I hadnt finished typing..

    So realistically what can we expect ? What kind of Ambition..
    I think as of now, we need to create a Feel Good Factor about the club.
    This implies no penny pinching, replacing players properly, buying players when needed and not leaving it till next window, keeping kinnear away, playing a good style of football etc
    Also consistent top 8.This helps in getting good players when others move on.

    I believe realistically thats all we can expect from Ashley. He is never going to go for it by spend 50m.

    Some fans(me too) believe that 3 or 4 players would have had us in top6 this season.
    Question is what about the season after that ? Where do we go on from there ?
    Can we challenge for top 4 ? Thats the real debate.

    Its interesting to see what exactly ambition means for everyone.In terms of exact targets for the next 3-5 seasons.

  • jimmysmith

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:39 AM

    Comment #34

    ST why are you so convinced that Ashley will have the club making money and that the profits will be ploughed back into the club in a manner that will allow us to be the competitive force a club of Newcastles’ size and support should be.

    I think we’ve had a pretty duff 6 years up to now. Some good signings, some not, the loss of some great players despite claims by some to the contrary and erratic often uninspiring football. Ashley will have to narrow the gap, armed with only the experience of having overseen the widening of it.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    Comment #35

    How is Rodgers the “ultimate project/developing club manager? What are you basing that on?

    He merely continued the good work done by several managers before him, and Laudrup has taken them on from there so he would be the ultimate if you are using Swansea as an example. At Liverpool, he has spent a bucket load of cash.

  • Santon03

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #36

    Regarding English players, I think the best way is to produce them. When PL teams trying to buy English players, the clubs tend to set the price high.
    Teams like Hull, individually their skills are not great but the players determination to exist in EPL can beat any players with talents especially when they work as a unit and they are not that young. When transfer window was open so many people here naming foreign players to buy, probably only one English player Tom Ince. I was quite happy with only signing Remy, hopefully we can play more home grown talents because if we signed 3 more foreign players, the chance of playing our youngsters is gone.

  • Sydney Toon

    Sep 24, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    Comment #37

    Because he put it in writing 6 years ago. I know with MA that is worth of a large amount of laughter, but he has nothing to hide behind. It was a 5 year plan, but I remember Llambias saying that the plan had to restart because of the financial losses. I believe, given the impact of that relegation, was more than 1 season, I believe we are still paying for that relegation season. The lost opportunities in profits etc. Yes, MA handed a loan to the club and like all loans they must be paid back, only benefit with that is that it worked, we got back up straight away, kept the players that wanted to stay and it is interest free and paid back providing there is profits made, but not all profit will go back to the loan, I read somewhere a while back it was 10% of profits was the repayment.
    There is a gap, it has to be closed and I think this season will be that season that closes the gap. In my opinion MA still has not settled on whether he wants Pardew to stay on. Again, MA’s model needs a consistent and successful squad to reach the goals set. The goal set is Top 10. Reach that, you build to Top 8, Reach that Top 6. We finished Top 5 well ahead of schedule. Should we have spent and got a few more players, definitely in a fans opinion, but reading the interviews from Pardew and Llambias at the time, MA was told by them that the squad was good enough to be Top 8. MA can only go off his advisors, Janaury comes along and MA has to step in, something he does not want to do. A CEO should never have to step over his MD and make things happen. He had to and got some extremely great players, unfortunately Pardew could not gel them in well enough and we scrapped through. My point is this, MA does have a lot to answer for, agreed. However, he can only do so much and needs his employees to do their job well. I think that was the message in the summer. Do your jobs well, reach the top 10 target and the profits this season will be used. If not, you will be gone and I will find somebody else who can reach the targets set.

    One last point on Southampton, for the outlay, surely their target is Top 10. If that is not reached, the manager will have a tough time keeping his job!

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 24, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    Comment #38

    It would be great to produce our own players, and I think every fan of Newcastle would love to have us producing players that can slot in the first team, but the current crop aren’t up to task, and the next crop need loan experience before playing for us. We needed players signed to cover the 2/3 year gap

  • Sydney Toon

    Sep 24, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Comment #39

    Rodgers at Swansea took over from Martinez, who had a great attacking philosophy but they leaked goals. Rodgers came in and turned them into a complete unit. Plus the amount of work he does off the pitch and having his squad follow his philosophy. Did you not see the report on him giving each player a 150 page book on his philosophy. They play a great brand of football, he does a lot of work with the academy as well, he is a manager that will come in develop strategies across a number of areas that bring success to the club on the pitch.
    Laudrup took on Swansea with a Rodgers built squad, added some Spanish players and some astute buys and they are playing very well. From what I saw last season to when Rodgers was in charge, their is not a lot of difference other than a little more flair.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Sep 24, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Comment #40

    The 10% of profits to be repaid can’t be right. Not sure where you read it, or the source but given he took out £11million according to the figures in the previous financial year, and it is expected another £18 million this year. WE aren’t actually making anywhere near the profit that would suggest.

    Thinking about it, could it be 10% of revenue, that wouldn’t work off too far out I don’t think.


You must log in to post a comment.