Ben Arfa Should Heed This Savvy Advice

When football players talk about other players these days, you tend to take what they say with a pinch of salt,  but yesterday France’s number one striker  Karim Benzema had some very good advice for Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa, who is not only finding it difficult to make it into the Newcastle first team, but his International career has also stalled last season.

ben arfa france 99

Hatem Ben Arfa – in French colors

France were all over Honduras last night in the first half, but just couldn’t put the ball in the net,  so the referee Sandro Ricci stepped in, and sent off former Tottenham and Wigan midfielder Wilson Palacios for a second yellow card – as he gave away the penalty just before the break.

So up stepped Benzema and put the penalty away nicely – and France walked out 3-0 winners in the end.

Why couldn’t the referee have given an Italian two yellow cards on Saturday night, and then given England a penalty in the first half – we just have no luck. 😀

Just kidding, and in fact Italy looked a very good side and England also played well, but only in patches.

This is the rather sound advice Benzema has given his French colleague Ben Arfa:

“If Hatem had followed the path that was promised to him, today he would play in Barcelona with Messi.” “Technically, he is identical.”

“Hereafter, he has other problems.” “He needs to work in his head not to drop off.”

Karim is right about Ben Arfa, and the lad is loaded with skill and talent, just like Messiu, but because of temperament issues and a lack of discipline, he seems to be nowhere in the football world – at least at the moment.

We know it’s in vogue to blame Alan Pardew completely for what happened to the Frenchman last year – but that’s not the whole story.

The player himself didn’t do the job, and Ben Arfa would do well to heed the advice of Benzema and get his head straight – and be more disciplined – as he was early in his Newcastle career.

And we’d still like a miracle to happen and have Ben Arfa stay at Newcastle and turn things around.

But we just cannot see that happening somehow.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • tequilamag

    Jun 16, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #1

    The Journal says transfers on back burner because of WC and Charnley on holiday.
    The Chron says we are cranking up the transfer activity and Charnley is not on holiday.
    Toss a coin take your pick

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jun 16, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #2

    Slank, on previous thread. I actually liked that the commentator brought up about how £3bn or whatever it was could have been spent on welfare on the country. The local Brazilians would probably thank him for highlighting it as well.

    I know of a Brazilian who has just gone back over there (not football related – she lives there) and there is a lot of unrest and anger that huge amounts of money have been poured into the World Cup yet millions still live in absolute poverty around the country.

    There is most definitely something wrong with that and good on the commentator from highlighting it. A lot of the unrest is just not shown on media outlets to keep it all happy clappy and oblivious. It is swept underneath the carpet.

  • thepict

    Jun 16, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #3

    Careful Ed , you’ll upset the regime on here . You know everything is Pardwws fault.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jun 16, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #4

    When dead brain scapegoats flair for workman-like sloggers, Hatem will tend to nose-dive a bit.

    However, “Hatem’s right, Pardew’s sh…”

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 16, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #5

    They both are done by the same company, so I guess Thomson towers are just hedging their bets so at least 1 paper can say I told you so!!

    Similar sentiments were held by many South African’s. The biggest scandal isn’t that the governments spend all that cash, but that FIFA take most of the revenues out of country. The tourism obviously provides a boost, but all the concessions are Fifa organised, and money made just goes with those companies and FIFA. I remember reading that during World Cup’s Fifa sponsors and affiliated companies, such as Coca Cola aren’t subject to normal tax rules as they would be during any other period of the year.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 16, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #6

    Pardew does not help himself !

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Jun 16, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #7

    On topic, Benzema has got it pretty right here. HBA does have immense talent, but his head isn’t. Either for team play, or attitude. Huge shame for the lad. As Ed says, this isn’t entirely Pardew’s fault, he has had similar issues everywhere he has been, and under each manager.

    Sadly, I just don’t see it happening for him now, he is around two thirds of the way through his career, and judging by the transfer interest no one is really willing to take a chance on him finally fulfilling his potential.

    Incredibly sad really, and a massive waste.

  • Davies

    Jun 16, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #8

    On a related note, I’ve just seen a headline with Pardew say Hodgson is playing Rooney out of position. Had a little chuckle at that.

    Maybe he should be England manager.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jun 16, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #9

    Lilongwe, yes I’m sure it was like that in South Africa. Propaganda merchants like governments talk of racism and the like being unfair, and rightly so, yet the elite led capitalism structure is stronger than ever. That in turn breeds poverty, structural violence and more. I really hate it.

    Anyway, that is not for on here. Back to football.

    Like Ben Arfa, Messi also loses possession at times. It happens a number of times in Barca games as well. That’s just the outcome for dribblers on occasions.

  • lesh

    Jun 16, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #10

    There comes a time when no matter how good a player is, if he’s not gelling with his colleagues then he has to move on.

    A broken relationship with a manager is repairable but when that extends to his team-mates then that’s a much bigger problem to fix.

    If the stories about fellow players not wanting Ben Arfa alongside them, then it’s up to the manager to try to effect change in attitudes and forge effective relationships on the pitch – and ideally off it. Especially hard if the manager has a relationship issue too.

    Maybe there’s a need to introduce a third party to try to get to the bottom of and try to repair all fractures – including the manager/ Ben Arfa issue. I wonder whether that’s been considered and tried?

    If that fails and the problem lies with Ben Arfa, then he has to go, sadly.

    A man of such talent though is so valuable and it’d make sense to try to play to Ben Arfa’s strengths – assuming his heart and head are fully committed to giving his all.

    Use Ben Arfa as a game-changing sub by all means but that would only work if he wanted to contribute to the game as a team-member rather than an indiviual playing his own game.

    The alternative of course is to adopt a different approach if Ben Arfa comes on, adapt to suit his game.

    But whether our manager is able to do as Bobby Robson did – tolerate troublesome attitudes yet exploit troublesome players’ talents on the field – is debatable. I think not but it’s something that Charnley and Ashley need to challenge Pardew to do during the close-season.

    Too late or futile I suspect for in Ashley’s eyes, Pardew’s done what he’s been paid to do – avoid relegation – and he won’t be replaced over his inability to manage Hatem Ben Arfa. That only leaves the club with one alternative before Hatem runs his contract down.

    A shame but….

  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 16, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    Comment #11

    A friend of mine ( serious guy) was at a social function last week and was chatting to Kevin Keegan who told him that Ashley has found a buyer and that the deal will be completed within-two weeks. Apparently he wants to pursue his involvement in Rangers and feels they there would be a clash of interest . This would explain the lack of transfer activity and the apparent loss of interest in our club. I was told that Keegan appeared totally convinced about this. Lets all hope and pray.

  • jak_whatculture

    Jun 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #12

    Totally agree with lesh.

    Pardew doesn’t grasp that Ben Arfa is a player that needs a singular focus to thrive. He’s an attacking player so make his remit to attack. Play to his strengths etc.

    Don’t see the benefit of forcing him to track back into an area of the field where his impact is diminished. It’s counter-productive in the extreme.

    To my mind it was Pardew making a point more than anything else

  • Ericles

    Jun 16, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #13

    It is about time people stopped knocking Ben Arfa when he needs the guidance of a quality manager and not the second rate buffoon we are lumbered with!

  • widowmagandapoke

    Jun 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #14

    I reckon Kevin Keegan would ne the last person Ashley would confide in.


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