When you read Ben Arfa’s long interview in the Independent today, you have to admit the 27 year-old seems to be really hurting, and he has said that not only does he want to stay at Newcastle United, but his dream is to help Newcastle finish in the top four next season.
Ben Arfa – in action against Stoke City
The Sunday People last weekend reported they believe Ben Arfa has played his last game for Newcastle, and that seems to be supported by the fact that Alan Pardew didn’t even include Ben Arfa in the travelling party to London last Monday night, for the game at the Emirates, which we ended up losing 3-0, which was our sixth league defeat in a row. :(.
This is some of what the mercurial French winger has said in the Independent today:
“If the manager doesn’t pick me, he doesn’t pick me. I don’t have any problems with team-mates. All I know is that I want to train and I want to play and that’s it. I’m just here to play football. I can’t be the only reason for the problem. I can only do so much and I am not on the pitch.”
“On the pitch I think I can offer my flair, my creativity offensively. I take initiative positively and I try every time to do something. I think I can give a lot for the club. I just want to play. I’m fit. I’m not injured. I’m ready to play.
“If the manager says to me he doesn’t believe in me for next season, I still want to stay, I want to stay but if the President [meaning owner Mike Ashley] wants to sell me, I have to go then. I want to stay here even if the manager doesn’t believe in me, because I will show him I can play here.”
“Of course my family and friends ask my why I’m not playing, but the people who are more surprised are the supporters here. They come up to me and ask me why I’m not playing and I say, ‘I don’t know.”
“My dream is to be in the top four next season with Newcastle, to get into the Champions League or to win a cup. That is my dream.”
Alan Pardew will hold his press conference for the vital Cardiff City game some time later today, and he’s bound to be asked what the current situation really is with Hatem Ben Arfa.
But if we don’t see the Frenchman playing again for Newcastle, it’s going to be a very sad end to a career on Tyneside that started sensationally in August four years ago.
That’s when Ben Arfa left Marseilles and took a plane to Newcastle – a club he was desperate to play for, like some of the great French players of the past.
And Ben Arfa knew all about Newcastle’s great history when he arrived, which isn’t always the case with players coming to Tyneside these days.
And at least one player seems to still love Newcastle United.
What do you think?