When you see the best club teams in the world, what is very apparent rather quickly is that the players work their socks off for the side, and even more so when they don’t have the ball, and a great example of that is the world’s best player – Argentine Lionel Messi, who has world-class skills, but that doesn’t stop him from working like hell for both Barcelona and Argentina.
Hatem Ben Arfa – Newcastle’s Lionel Messi
And one criticism of Hatem Ben Arfa when he plays for Newcastle, is that he doesn’t work hard enough, especially in tracking back for the side.
Alan Shearer has been interviewed on talkSport today, and he talked about Ben Arfa currently being out of the Newcastle side, that has done so well in the last couple of games:
“I understand because he is not going to give you 100% work-rate and when you go to Tottenham and play Chelsea, you understand you are not going to have as much possession as those guys, and you have got to have 11 guys who are going to work very, very hard for you.”
“He won’t work hard for you.” “He will give you other things when you are playing the lesser teams, and he will produce fantastic finishes and goals and passes, but work-rate is not what you can associate with him.”
“You should never praise anyone for hard work because it should be a given.” “He doesn’t work as hard as others but he has got other skills that others haven’t.”
Alan is spot on about Ben Arfa, and certainly with the best European sides, working hard is a given – otherwise your are not in the team – it’s as simple as that.
And all you can do with Ben Arfa is to get him to work harder than he used to – and Alan Pardew has already done that – but as Alan Shearer says – in very tough games, he can be a bit of a liability.
But we are not writing Ben Arfa off at all, don’t get us wrong, and he still has a big part to play for Newcastle, and he can score those amazing goals, when class is the difference in a close game.
So we do expect Ben Arfa to get a run out in our next home game against Norwich City, because he could be the difference in say the second half.
What you have to do is use the ability that players already possess, and to an extent turn a blind eye to some of their deficiencies.
For instance you don’t want to tell Gareth Bale (or Ben Arfa for that matter) he cannot touch the ball with his left foot from now on, because his right foot is the weak one, and the goal is to make him better with his right foot.
Use the skills the players have naturally – and with Ben Arfa we’ve already seen some magnificent individual goals from this lad, and he’s the type of player who can get fans to the games and then get them out of their seats.
And he’s a Newcastle player too. 😀
What do you think?
Ian Begg is a reader who recently found out that his Mom was very ill, and he has to return to Australia. Ian has a Platinum Club season ticket that has £700 left on it, and he is willing to sell it for £650 or a best offer.
Please see if you can help Ian out, and you can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks.
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