Lyon President – Ben Arfa One Of The Very Best – Video

Newcastle’s Ben Arfa could find himself back at the club he started at back in 2002, after he graduated from the French Clairfontaine Academy and joined Lyon, but if he is to do that he would need to take a cut in wages.

ben arfa arsenal at home 1-0

Ben Arfa – such a talented player

Lyon President Jean Michel-Aulas has been talking about possibly taking Ben Arfa  back to Lyon and he had this to say in the French press this week:

”If he is willing to make the financial sacrifice that would allow him to return, then we would have him.”  

“Technically he is one of the, if not the best player that I have had in 27 years as President.”

”Hatem may have been difficult in terms of managing him,  but he is a boy with a very good record.”

Hatem Ben Arfa’s agent Michel Ouazine has spoken of the possibility of the Newcastle midfielder returning to Lyon in an interview this week with French website Foot Mercato, – here’s some of what he said:

“It is an idea which is the subject of discussion with Hatem”  “We have talked about Lyon and their super project. Contrary to what people believe, Lyon is not a club in demise but a project which is in line with that of Arsenal.”

“Hatem has told me that it is the club of his heart because he has a great relationship with Bernard Lacombe and an enormous amount of respect for President Aulas. Who doesn’t dream about coming back to the club where it all began.”

“It is a bit like a child going back home. With the great stadium project, there is something positive that can be done there. The group is young and Hatem is a competitor, enormously so.”

Ben Arfa has some great skills, and while at Newcastle he scored two of the best individual goals ever seen at St. James’ Park in 2012, against Blackburn in the FA Cup in January and against Bolton in the league in April.

But as we all know one of his Achilles heels is his inability to work hard and his inability to get on with his manager, and that happened at Marseilles with Didier Deschamps back in 2010, and it happened earlier this year with Alan Pardew.

It doesn’t look as though that rift can be healed with Pardew, and we’re sure Newcastle will be trying to use Ben Arfa as bait to get either Clement Grenier to Newcastle, or more likely to get striker Alexandre Lacazette on board, probably towards the end of the transfer window.

It’s just a pity that Ben Arfa’s temperament does not match his talents, which are as good as Lionel Messi of Barcelona – but he just hasn’t got the work ethic of the Argentine – and he has a name for being difficult to manage.

It means he will probably end his career in a few years time without having reached his full potential, and that would be very sad.

But we also have a feeling that Ben Arfa will not take a wage cut to move out this summer – either on loan or permanently – and will want to become a free agent next summer.

We’ll see what happens in the 26 days left in this transfer window, because it looks like Newcastle want to move Ben Arfa out – one way or another.

To end on a positive note, here’s that goal against Blackburn, and notice the four defenders around him when he finally slams the ball home:

And here’s the goal against Bolton three months later:

Such fantastic talent – gone to waste?

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33 comments so far

  • beermonkey

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #1


    sky always have cameras at games it seems

    riviere seemed to get in a good position for his goal and cabella’s was a lovely chip

    hows your young one not to itchy I hope

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #2

    High praise indeed.

    He would have been magnificent under Sir Bobby or Kevin. I have no doubts.

    Under a defensive and inept manager like Parduped, he has little chance at all unless he wants to play as a second right back.

    “Ben Arfa’s right, Pardew’s shi..”

  • Rainrix

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #3

    Markaccus…. I know right? Its easily the best in the country. Apart from last night, and against malaga, and oldham, and the 2nd half of last season. But apart from those one offs its still the best in the country. Why are there so many haters?

  • Markaccus

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #4


    hes not too bad cheers. They dont seem to be bothering him much at the moment.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #5

    JimmyXavi, nice little review of the game you went to. Although as you said, bit of the same old same old creeping in if Cabella was a second left back for most of the game.

    If that continues to happen his motivation will drain and performances will be affected. Hence, Pardewed. Where he isn’t playing the game to his strengths.

  • Markaccus

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #6

    On this strory

    “Blah blah technical skill. Blah bl-blah Bobby Robson. Bl-Blah bad attitude and unfit. Blah blah blah Greggs. Blah poor little Benny-poo. Blah blah blah blah blah blah.

  • Slank

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #7


    Yes, Keegan is probably not the best example of bringing young players through the ranks, cheers !

  • Markaccus

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #8

    According to the match updates on twitter we created loads of chances. Yet the Mag says there was no creativity at all. Did NUFC play two different matches last night?

  • Slank

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #9

    ‘ ”Hatem may have been difficult in terms of managing him..’

    May ! Was and still is.

  • Graeme

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #10

    There are some good Part Ex deals to be done using Benny me thinks!!

  • Markaccus

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #11

    Where else are we going to find a player who can guarrantee us a goal every three months?!?!?

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #12

    Lee Clark, Steve Watson, Robbie Elliot all got games under Kevin.

    Scrapping the reserves wasn’t a good move. However, the identification of the standard not being competitive/useful enough has been highlighted by many.

  • Slank

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #13


    The Mag is a miserable load of horse manure. It tries to do all it can to discredit the club. I’m convinced it is run by Sunderland supporters !

    I read the Huddersfield local paper online and they said it was a good match. From todays Journal:

    ‘ For the first half-hour Newcastle played some really good stuff. Then fell out of the game. Those of a black- and-white persuasion will hope that fatigue played a part, which it probably did.’

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #14

    Seeing out is contract is his right – he has sign a contract (both parties have)

    …it will probably mean Lyon would be able to afford his wages seeing as they doesn’t have to pay a fee.

    *People keep saying he should leave to get his career on track – like the Ukraine or a club in the Middle East will help that.

    I think Newcastle is going to loose this one – both the great player (who won’t be replaced) and the money. He will either leave on a free in the summer of go out on loan – either way Newcastle will loose this one…

    All this for a power struggle – hmm!

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #15

    Being difficult to manage is no reason to shun a player. Some of the best players we have seen at various clubs have been difficult to manage. It’s usually the flair players and it kind of goes with the territory.

    It is a manager’s job to deal with that. Just like Sir Bobby did with the likes of Romario, Bellamy and Robert.

    Souness failed miserably at man managing Bellers and Robert. Sir Bobby excelled.

    That’s what helps to turns good managers into great managers.

    Scapegoating and the blame game is an easy way out of managing them.

  • expatmag

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #16

    Of course Ben Arfa has been replaced.

    Aarons, Cabella, Riviere can all play that roll. Perez as well

  • Our Toon

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #17

    Seems like we are getting conflicting reports….I’ll take Ron Knee’s word for how we played seeing as he was there. For those that missed it:

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #18

    From The Fiver: A very balanced view.


    Listening to all the cliches that football produces could make you as sick as a parrot. Even a tea-timely football email with standards lower than a hippo’s coffin finds itself wincing at some of the reflex utterances that football folks barf out like a bad pint. Take the view, which is expressed frequently with a knowing tone and a sad shake of the head, that “contracts don’t mean anything in football any more”. If that were actually true, at this very moment Hatem Ben Arfa might be wearing a wounded look and a thick layer of grime as he clambered back to his feet after being gleefully dumped in Blaydon Quarry landfill by Alan Pardew, who would be driving back to St James’ Park with his roof down and Kool & The Gang’s greatest hits blaring as he congratulated himself on getting rid of an unwanted player without so much as sticking the head on him.

    But instead Newcastle must abide by the terms of their contractual relationship with Ben Arfa, who can stay at St James’ Park for another year if he so chooses, collecting his salary before leaving for nowt. It’s a scenario that must push Pardew close to nutting point. So, in turn, Pardew seems intent on pushing Ben Arfa, though not in a way that would make the player empathise with linesmen, more in a way that might make him empathise with the Fiver when the owner of The Flailing Arms starts turning off the taps, stacking up the chairs and pointing to the door, with a hammer. Pardew seems to have made it clear that Ben Arfa is one Frenchman who has little chance of featuring again in Newcastle first team, as this summer the 27-year-old has been been ordered to train with the development squad, left out of the New Zealand tour, denied a shirt number and fined for being overweight despite his claim, so familiar to Fiver readers, that the extra bulk is all muscle.

    It all seems such a shame, as Ben Arfa is one of the most gifted players in the Premier League and the best in Newcastle when he’s in the groove. But his ability to make fools of opponents is matched by a propensity to make enemies of his employers, which suggests he either is one of the most wronged players of his generation or just one of the most wrong. Ben Arfa has so far rejected opportunities to leave Newcastle to join clubs he doesn’t fancy but, happily for Pardew, there may still be one who might just appeal to him. “If he is willing to make the financial sacrifice that would allow him to return, then we would have him,” chimed Jean-Michel Aulas, president of Lyon, the club Ben Arfa left on typically bad terms in 2007, when he was younger and less wis … old. “Technically he is one of the, if not the best player that I have had in 27 years as president,” continued Aulas before adding: “Hatem may have been difficult in terms of managing him but he is a boy with a very good record.” Guess that depends which way you spin it.

    Mark- And now for something entirely different.

    Calamine Lotion and mittens to stop the scratching. Oh and good luck.

  • Slank

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #19

    Laurent Robert

    I believe it was Ardiles who brought these players (Lee Clark, Steve Watson, Robbie Elliot) through. Perhaps someone can confirm / clarify.

    I agree that scrapping the reserves wasn’t a good move. It probably did a lot of damage to the club.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #20

    Guess we all see that one differently

  • cestriasteve

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #21


    Have to disagree there should be no power struggle, there is only 1 manager and his word goes. I actually don’t see Pardew as that type of autocratic manager but clearly he has to be respected in his judgement by all the players and their agents!!

  • Tinman

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #22

    Ben Arfa, it seems, will struggle to be successful under this regime. The style of play just does not suit him. It is a real shame as he is one of the most talented footballers I have ever seen in a Black and White shirt. Whenever he had the ball at his feet anything was possible. Never say never in football, but I think his time here is done. It’s whats best for the football club and him right now. A friend of mine bumped into Benny in town a couple of days ago, his words were ‘Pardew doesn’t like me’. As a manager you should do your best to make sure no player feels like this, whether you like the way they play or not.

    Optimistic about the new season, signed some handy players. But can never get overly optimistic with Pards in charge.

    p.s people are already getting at Siem De Jong! Pretty sure the lad just has a bruised toe, can happen to anyone, he has had only one season which was ‘plagued’ by injury and he still played 28 games. He established himself as a first team starter at Ajax midway in 09/10 season – 35 games, 10/11 – 52 games, 11/12 – 39 games and 12/13 – 47 games. He is certainly not injury prone. Learn the facts.

    Sorry for the long post, I guess.

  • Mr Funk

    Aug 6, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #23

    @ Jesper

    So if Ben Arfa wins the power struggle and plays poorly, what then?

  • saliba91

    Aug 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #24

    I think on his day benny is magic and excites and gets everyone off there seat. But he wants to create everything by himself. Which frustrates the players around him. The best players in the world have moments of magic. But work with there team mates to make it all happen. Which in my opinion benny lacks. Is that down to poor coaching only time will tell if benny leaves.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Aug 6, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #25

    Whether you rate Pardew or not, it’s a shame he spent his best years under a manager who doesn’t have much time for his type of player. Imagine if Messi had spent most his career under George Graham or Sam Allardyce.

    I hope after we get rid of Pardew, Ashley brings us a brave, intelligent, attacking manager. There were plenty of them at the world cup. It’s such a shame England only seems to produce players who are good grafters or big aggressive guys who usually lack a brain – who then go on to become our stupid managers and coaches who can’t think beyond 4-4-2. I can’t see this changing for a long time as the guys at our FA are clearly from the same ilk as our players and coaches.

  • Whumpie

    Aug 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #26

    “his talents, which are as good as Lionel Messi of Barcelon”

    Joking, right?

  • saliba91

    Aug 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #27

    At one point benny was our messi. Obviously not in the same class. (We all wish) He would flourish under martinez at Everton. not many want to take a chance on him as he may cause disruption within a squad.

  • Mag52

    Aug 6, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #28

    HBA, unquestionably a top talent and a player who, at his best, could push us up the table to a point where we might even be challenging the big spenders.
    But, and it’s a big but, unless he backs down and fits in to the way the team are set up and in particular to the way the manager wants him to play, it would be the best thing for him and for NUFC if he moved on in the quest for a team in which he had the last word on the way the team plays and his own contribution. Player manager somewhere would suit him fine, and good luck to him.

  • dazza

    Aug 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #29

    Love all this ‘sublime chip’ talk about Cabella. Boy do we want him to be our next start!

    Surely, anyone with a bit of objectiveness noticed the serious deflection that took the ball over the keeper? Decent goal still but not what it has been made out to be.

    Grenier over Lacazette anyday for me. More creativity from the center of the park. Better freekicks. We have plenty of short speedy strickers and I recon Chucky is a better player.

  • gazzaforever

    Aug 6, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #30

    Here we go, all the benny s haters are here again.why are you so pathetics? Show some respect you miserable ccksuckers.

  • saliba91

    Aug 7, 2014 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #31

    Give your head a wobble will you. Nobody hates benny. But as a team going forward and parsnip unable to handle him. It makes sense to try ship him out. So there’s no disruption within the squad.

  • gazzaforever

    Aug 7, 2014 at 3:13 AM

    Comment #32

    Speak for yourself, many wnkers here seriously hate him.

  • saliba91

    Aug 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #33

    We might not all agree on benny. But we can never forget the great Titus shambles. Pure legend lol.


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