The Truth – Ben Arfa´s Story Is A Sad One


Hatem Ben Arfa is in the news at the moment because of the two great goals he scored for Nice against St. Etienne yesterday, a game in which Nice went on to win 4-1.

It was an excellent away win for them against second-placed St. Etienne and they are now in 8th position in tthe French league and they finished with only nine men in that game.

ben arfa in nice colors

Ben Arfa in Nice colors – 6 goals in 8 games this season

Ben Arfa is having a resurgence of his career at Nice and he is top of the goal scoring charts in France with 6 goals in eight games and of course, there´s never been any doubt this lad has extraordinary ability – there has never been any question of that.

We always thought he had as much ability as Lionel Messi, but where he didn´t match the Argentine was in application, temperament, and plain hard work on and off the field.

Before he arrived at Newcastle in the summer of 2010, after falling out with then Marseilles manager Didier Deschamps, he had a history of falling out with his managers.

But after suffering a terrible double break of his left leg in October 2010 at Manchester City, he showed tremendous bravery and courage in returning from that blow.

While at Newcastle when he was playing his best in 2012 he scored two of the greatest individual goals ever seen at St. James Park against Blackburn Rovers and Bolton as we finished 5th in the Premier League that May.

He ran half the length of the field for each goal and they were something to see.

But after that season things begin to go wrong for Ben Arfa and in his last full season at Newcastle from 2013-2014 he lost favor with Alan Pardew.

It seemed like Ben Arfa wouldn´t follow the directions he had been given on the field and certainly he was poor at tracking back to help out the defense.

It all ended up with him being sent out on loan just over a year ago to Hull City, but manager Steve Bruce also tired of his lack of discipline and work-rate and cut short his loan and he then signed full-time for Nice in January.

But because of a screw up that said he had already played for two teams last season – the Newcastle U21 side being one of them along with Hull City he was not allowed to play for Nice last season.

To his credit, he has come roaring back this season and he looks fit.

But Ben Arfa should be playing for one of the top clubs in Europe and while it´s great he´s doing so well this season, this lad should now be one of the best players in Europe with all the ability he has.

Newcastle fans don´t have to be reminded of that innate ability.

But we will always think that with Ben Arfa because of his great ability it was an opportunity lost, a career unfulfilled.

If he had the temperament and work ethic of Lionel Messi he would be where Messi has been for the last seven years or so – one of the best if not the best player in world football.

That´s why we feel it´s a sad case with Ben Arfa.

But hey, like  anything else in this life there is always opportunity and time for Ben Arfa to rise again – become more consistent and mature – and finally fulfill his tremendous potential.

We hope that happens and even if it doesn’t, some of the goals he has already scored including those two for Newcastle will show what great ability Ben Arfa always  had.

That´s even if he wasn´t able to become a world-class player when he had been blessed world-class ability.

Here are his two great goals for Nice yesterday – they are really something.

If a message comes up saying it´s not allowed – click on ¨Watch on YouTube¨ and the video comes up in full-screen mode.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xCFnSQ58F8

Comments welcome.



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75 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #1

    Oh good, now at least the deabte will be relevant to the thread, or are we going to move on to another discussion?

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  • manxpie

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #2

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh jesus christ!!!!!
    Andy Carroll next is it? he had a good 10 mins the other day

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  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #3

    In January 3 players to sign

    Ben Arfa
    Carroll
    Austin

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #4

    manx…10 minutes? In other words a season for Carroll?

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  • Jib

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #5

    All those clips prove is there are some shyte tacklers in France.
    Jail for Ashley calling someome’s posts “pointless offerings” takes irony to a new level .

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  • JackButler

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #6

    “If he had the temperament and work ethic of Lionel Messi he would be where Messi has been for the last seven years or so – one of the best if not the best player in world football.”

    For the love of God Ed, really???

    If he had the right work ethic and mentality he’d be a top four player, but one of the best in the world?

    Yeah and if Colo had the right mentality, work ethic, pace and could jump higher than a matchbox he’d be the best centre half in the world as well.

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  • Tsunki

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #7

    Ha ha it just had to happen. Bring Back Ben Arfa! 😀

    Well done Ed!

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  • welshgeordie9

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #8

    Jib

    I was thinking that, pot kettle springs to mind.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #9

    He’s sh1te!

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #10

    Jib & Welsh…Not wanting to get in the middle of anything, but Jail offers this blog a hell of a lot more than “Ashley Outs”.

    Jib…Have to agree. The level of defending in that video was shocking. You could even argue that the club have recruited well if the instruction was to put together a French league standard defense.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #11

    JB…And if Obertan….actually, scratch that, he’s beyond help, even in “if” world.

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  • eaststandgeordie1982

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #12

    Just goes to show how poor the french league is we would benefit more getting players from the championship than from france, at least they will give us more passion and will see us as going to a better club not just a stepping stone to bigger clubs that imo are not good enough to play for.

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  • JackButler

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #13

    The reason that HBA is having a resurgence with Nice is the simple fact that French league football is nowhere near the standard of the PL. Cabella, Marveuax, Thauvin, Rivière, Mapou etc etc etc have all looked great over there but have all failed to do a single thing over here, Christ, even Colo would look half decent if he was playing over there

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  • JackButler

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #14

    Ibiza

    I can’t believe you even began to think that haha, Obertan is just a lost cause

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #15

    JB…It was worth try, but I quickly realised the error of my ways.

    Oh alright, I’ll chip in on the HBA discussion. Is it fair to say that it’s simply because he’s back in the French league?

    He did do it for us at times too, in the PL, his issue was consistency.

    I think it’s fair to say the following contributed to it:

    1) Pardew and Co’s training and tactics
    2) His own commitment / attitude
    3) His leg break

    Then through the fact it’s the PL in to the mix.

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  • croftus5678

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #16

    no offence but even obertan would look good in france !

    it’s a different league and arfa has been toughened up by the prem.

    it was best for everyone that he went a but like the tiote/obertan/marvaux situation atm.

    i would add river to this but i’m keen to see if macca and co can do anything to change him to be more like mitrovic.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #17

    However, you may not want to go through that fact, instead you might want to throw that fact in to the mix.

    Whatever makes you happy, I’m not fussed.

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  • Toon-Prodigy

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #18

    His attidude was shocking, he dosn’t look after himself either.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #19

    Jail from earlier…no doubt he has an attitude problem and he’s troublesome…we bought him while he was still young and we knew what we bought!

    …it’s just that alot of football clubs treat players as objects instead of human beings. Benny needed help (even before he came here).

    When you treat kids in the real world (especially those who tend to get in trouble) like we among others treated Benny those kids don’t tend to come good…you loose them!

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  • Brian Pinas

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #20

    Nice goal from HBA. Could have done with seeing it from a couple more different angles though.

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  • Thump

    Sep 28, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #21

    @croftus: Obertan did look good in France, mate; that’s why Fergie signed him 😉

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  • JackButler

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #22

    Thump

    Fergie signed him when he looked good, we signed him when he was well and truly crap.

    Speaks volumes really

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  • Ian Toon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #23

    Jib- I have only just seen your post to me. It is a collective term and I would not label him with it. The ganging up on a blog of an individual over a particular incident is not of my liking because invariably it results in many playing the man and not the ball. Personally, confronting tiresome individuals is too much trouble and I do try to avoid it – I don’t want to be seen as simply a professional controversialist.
    Do you really want to waste your time arguing with people who won’t listen or don’t understand what your getting at. They simply end up by accusing one of harbouring an unpleasant prejudice.
    I have no quarrel with you but I like and respect some you appear to have. That does not influence my football blog thinking towards you but it does impact on the range of permissible opinion which can become narrower.

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  • Our Toon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #24

    So the french league isn’t as strong as the premier league yet the English champions got beat by the french champions last season over 2 legs. Arsenal got beat by Monaco over 2 legs last season, Anthony Martial only scored 13 goals last season yet he’s already on 3 in the prem. Payet was a good player in the french league but he’s looking like being a world beater here with Stella performances every week.

    People need to remember hba isn’t playing for one of the elite french clubs, he’s playing for a poor french team called Nice, yet he’s got 6 goals in 8 games. Make the excuse you want he’s doing his talking on the pitch.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #25

    Broen III has its premier on DR1 today ?

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  • swemag

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #26

    Bring back Benny.

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  • Our Toon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #27

    Fergie said obertan was the best player he had in training, his issue has never been ability but it’s a mental issue he has hence why he’s failed repeatedly

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  • cyprus

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #28

    3 dumbest moves by below average coaches / mgmt at NUFC:

    HBA

    Bellamy

    Ginola

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  • Jib

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #29

    Our Toon
    You using the Euro cups as an argument is falling into the same trap as others.

    No one denies the quality of the top teams in Europe

    It is the strength in depth of their leagues that makes the EPL a stand out.

    In the prem no match is a gimme in ALL the other leagues in Europe there are fixtures you could put your house on , the result is so foregone.

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  • Thump

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #30

    @JB: Pardew wanted to prove he could pick up the phone to the top manager in the league and… uh… buy… yep.

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  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #31

    The PL just have alot of money…the German and Spanish league are still much better!

    …the PL money would make up for the uneven aspects of those two leagues.

    How many English players are making it in Europe (or even sought after in Europe).

    When a watch a player like Perez running around in our defense as much as he does…I cringe!

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  • Our Toon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #32

    Jib

    I’m not confusing that at all, it’s a game played over 2 legs though and it’s used to measure which league deserves more spaces in big competitions. Made Uefa should have a rethink as well?

    He plays for Nice arguably the 15th best team in France, so he’s up against better quality players weekly. It’s not like he didn’t score goals like that here is it!! This league is competitive but that’s because it’s at a poor standard considering the amount of money being spent. The Spanish league is considered the beat because……They perform the best in the euro competitions

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  • Our Toon

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #33

    Jib

    Nice beat St Etienne away St Etienne were strong favourites as they are the better team. Dortmund drew at home to new promoted team yesterday. Juventus drew at home against fro something and they won the first point in there history in serie A. Freak results happen in every league

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  • GeordieTwo

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #34

    I think it’s more important who we have at the club and how they are playing. Ben Arfa is done with us. It doesn’t matter how well he plays in France. The past is gone. What we need is focus and effort from the players we have. Was the Chelsea effort a one off or will we see more of it? Because we simply must get points against Norwich, mackems, Stoke, and Bournemouth after Man City. Crucial matches which might determine McLaren’s future with us. Look at all this serious blogging I’m doing lads. It’s simply stunning! 😆

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  • Jib

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #35

    Our Toon
    The last time St.Etienne won Ligue1 was 1981 and Nice 1959
    Jesper
    I watched the much hyped Basque derby yesterday.
    David Moye’s Real Sociedad (San Sebastien) v Athletic Bilbao – it was a 0 – 0 crock of shyte.

    I lived in Spain for years , La Liga is average at best.

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  • GeordieTwo

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #36

    Gosling is playing well for Bournemouth I see. Happy for him. He needed a fresh start and got it.

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  • GeordieTwo

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #37

    Does Bigi still have a future with us? I tend to doubt it now. He seems to have fallen into the same pit that Vuckic fell into a few years back. We seem to be expert at taking the skill and quality out of young players. The injury rates are ridiculous. Look at Good as well.

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  • GeordieTwo

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #38

    The same was true of Gosling when he was with us. And Marveaux always seems to have groin problems. And look at Saylor’s track record.

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  • GeordieTwo

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #39

    Anybody have any thoughts on why? I’ve heard the training ground theory but surely there is more to it than that?

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  • Jib

    Sep 28, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #40

    I really hope they nail Michel Platini.
    He is a big enemy of English football.

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