Ben Arfa Can Still Be A Big Player For Magpies

There were some surprises when it was revealed that Ben Arfa was not part of the squad for the trip to Abu Dhabi  for a January warm weather break for the Newcastle first team squad, and the lads traveled immediately after the great 3-1 win at Upton Park on Saturday night.

ben arfa runs wirth ball

Ben Arfa – permission to miss mini-winter break

But the news today is that Hatem has been given permission to miss the trip,  so he could visit with his family, and this is not the first time Ben Arfa has been allowed to do that.

Ben Arfa has returned to Tunisia at other times, but it’s not known if that’s where he is at the moment, but there’s nothing wrong with giving the lad a little bit of  time off.

Indeed Ben Arfa could still play a big part in Newcastle’s run-in to the season, and we are now on 36 points from 22 games, and that’s exactly where we were two years ago after 22 games played and we managed 5th place that season.

And we are 15 points better off than we were at this time last season, after we had drawn 0-0 at Norwich City – and we then lost the next game at home to Reading 2-1. 🙁

Ben Arfa can still have a big impact at Newcastle, but it will probably be as a substitute, but if Ben Arfa can come on in some of our tough close games, and either score or make the winner, that would be a great contribution from  the mercurial French International.

For the record, Ben Arfa has 22 appearances this season with 3 goals and 7 assists, and since joining Newcastle three and a half years ago from Marseilles, he’s made 77 appearances with 14 goals and 19 assists – and that’s not a bad record at all.

Comments welcome.

Note: There is a special MJK Sports event coming up like we’d like to publicize.  On May 9th there will be an evening with Kevin Keegan at the Lancastrian suite in Gateshead. You can get the details about the event and buy your tickers here.

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10 comments so far

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Jan 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #1

    “There’s nothing wrong with giving the lad a bit of time off”

    Nothing wrong with it Ed no but given the season he’s having he should if wanted to be the first on that plane

    Seems appropriate for some re post action!
    158toonarmydownsouth // Jan 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    There’s definitely something going on like, i mean out of all the squad It would be fair to say that the one who need to go on a camp to improve there conditioning would probably be are little mercurial chubbster!
    I think given the fact this is a break away, at a training camp for a few days solid with the gaffer it would be an opportunity for some of the fringe lads to really try and impress so imo to pass that over and request a leave of absence suggests something non football related is happening with Benny
    Not saying it’s something sinister or he’s forcing a move like, just saying there’s more to it this season than simply “he’s been Pardewed and doesn’t track back”

    161toonarmydownsouth // Jan 20, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    There’s under one % in Poyet’s and Pardew’s career win percentages, keeping in mind Pardew has managed a lot more games in the top flight it really doesn’t back up your arguement

    If you prefer his style that’s fine, but don’t try to manipulate stats in to backing your point

  • mag

    Jan 20, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #2

    He’s not the same player since he broke his leg and discovering the food outlet Zaza bazaar has filled him out!

  • Markaccus

    Jan 20, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #3

    I think he must have stolen Nile Rangers Nandos loyalty card

  • Markaccus

    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #4

    Hey, fatty bum bum, A sweet sugar dumpling. Hey, fatty bum bum, Let me tell you something. 

  • beddersmag

    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #5

    posted this yesterday to no interest which might explain. my pal met kinnear at jesmond dene house last week. told me he was generally mouthing off as usual but one thing he did say was that him and pards both want rid of cisse and hba as none of the rest of the squad like them. Sounds weird but trust what he says. Also seems to fit with this story. feel free to ignore it though 🙂

  • Mister Tuff

    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #6

    Somebody posted last night a report that old Joe was at a drinking outlet in Jesmond recently and was spouting that the Toon wanted to sell Cisse and Benny because non of the other players liked them.
    Then we learn today Benny is not at the training camp – it does make me wonder whether anything is going on. I’m sure the Chronicle said he was working on his fitness -and we also hear he will be visiting relatives. Quite frankly it’s difficult to work out whether there is anything going on or not.
    As for Cabaye – really cannot see him moving this window -potentially too much disruption leading up to the WC.
    As for PSG – someone suggested earlier that if he went this window -it would gaurentee CL next season. I think as PSG are top of the league by 5 points and have only been beaten once this season their CL spot for next season is just about sorted. So that argument probably not relevant.
    Still think we’ll be getting a couple of players in this window and that all the cautionary tales form Percy and JFK were just in case there are cock ups ( ie nobody will accept our ultra low offers).
    Three additional quality players -might, just might, allow us to make a determined effort at a CL spot. This season, with some weird results from all teams -might have given us the best chance.

  • jimBOB

    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #7

    still think if he was played in his correct possition we would see a difference any way, he isnt a winger, never has been IMO, he has bags of talent but I think he can sometimes be his own worst enemy – if he gives a few balls away or misses a few tricks his head drops lower than Redknapps face. he is a core player, the type of player you build a team around,


    I agree with you in regards to the leg break, he isnt the same player, he has lost a bit of determination, just needs to get that back.

  • Sanddavids

    Jan 20, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #8

    Benny is a most over-rated Newcastle players. He is a big dribbler, but he lose balls too many times after made many unreality dribble attempts instead of pass. He kept thinking he is a Maradona ever time he received a ball.

    Now he isn’t with them at this trip. How would this improved his team-working ability, when he miss the bonding session that he really needed?

    Newcastle played lots better without starting him, because everyone else pass the ball more than he does, simple as this. We don’t win when we start him. Sell him for profit! I hope we will sell him soon!

    I can see why Marseille sold him. I can see why Pardew put him on wing, instead of centre, and keep his selfish arse on bench most of the time.

  • Jeff from Benwell

    Jan 20, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #9

    You have to understand the Arab world
    Ben Arfa’s cousins were involved in the arab spring in Tunisia 2 years ago , the last place he would want to go is the UAE.
    It’s a bit like when Kazimierz Deyna the Polish international who played for Man City refused to travel to East Germany to play against Lokamotif Leipzig.

  • Sav

    Jan 21, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    Comment #10

    Ironic that Hatem is used mostly as a DEFENSIVE sub lately. For all his flair and skill, its been to hold up the ball and give the rest a breather that he has been brought on in recent matches, not as a game-changer.


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