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.
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.