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Ben Arfa On Why He Had To Join Newcastle

An excellent interview from our new signing Ben Arfa in the Evening Chronicle today, and we suppose even the hard copies of the paper will get a good bump in sales today, with the French lad’s excellent statements making  good news for the Newcastle United Football club.

Hatem Ben Arfa – why it had to be Newcastle

The French International has given a candid interview to the the local Newcastle paper:

“The time when I knew it was over at Marseilles was after Newcastle became interested in me.”

“The reason I didn’t go back to Marseilles was because they said in the end they had accepted the offer by Newcastle.”

“And all I wanted was to come here.”

Local Newcastle people may be a little surprised that Newcastle has such a big name in France, but we’ve found that over the last three years, while writing the blog, that it’s a lot more famous all over the world, than most Newcastle fans may realize.

I went into a local Chick-fil-A yesterday morning, with my new Newcastle shirt on – the white one similar to what Chris wears at the games – and the assistant said he knew all about Newcastle’s good start to the season in the Premier League.

And that’s over here in the US, where their new American Football season is about to start.

Ben Arfa of course caused a rumpus in the football world on August 12th when he got fed up with the situation at Marseilles, after discovering Newcastle were interested in him.

But his French club didn’t seem too keen to do the deal with Newcastle, and so Ben Arfa flew over to Newcastle from Paris, to try to force the move deal through, and was photographed in the Newcastle Airport.

Ben Arfa – the famous photo showing him at Newcastle Airport

The French international continued:

“What motivated me to take the actions I did at Marseilles  was because I felt let down by the club.”“Newcastle had made the effort to try to sign me and I wanted to come.”

“I had to force the issue to make sure I could come here.”   “I don’t mind turning down the chance to play in the Champions League to play for Newcastle.”

“They may not be in Europe, but I want to play in this league and for this club. It’s interesting to play abroad for me and in the Premier League.”

“It was a choice I made because I feel it can enhance my career in the long-term.” “My personal ambitions are to give everything I can for the team.”

“I am not thinking of positions just to finish as high as I possibly can.” “We have to finish as high as possible – it is stupid to think about finishing low down.”

“I will give everything during the time I am here.”

Good words from the youngster, and of course the player comes with a reputation of being hard to handle, but we think Chris Hughton will do just fine with his new player.

And if Ben Arfa stays at Newcastle next summer, which we hope he does, and he’s as good as we think he is, maybe it will not be too long before he’s playing European football – with Newcastle United.

Comments very welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Toon-Army

    Sep 3, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #1

    1st…just hope that he lives up to the pressure


    Sep 3, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #2

    Hope he will be a hit for NUFC.He have the potential to be among the world best players so lets hope he’ll be succesfull

  • Turkish Magpie

    Sep 3, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #3

    Have there been any interviews from Tiote yet?

  • Edd Case

    Sep 3, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #4

    Tiote is away on international duty.


    Sep 3, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #5

    yeah it’s all nice to hear and all…but let your football do the talking arfaboy

  • JaydanGeordie

    Sep 3, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #6

    Does he want to stay here long-term? I dont think he wants to

  • MacToon

    Sep 3, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #7

    “that it’s a lot more famous all over the world, than most Newcastle fans may realize.”

    Well not really, I have found on my travels a universal language shared by many ( a little like that old advert…. ah Nobby Stiles, Bobby Charlton…. one) that language was


    Alan Shearer, one of the main reasons Newcastle is so well known world wide. KK helped too though 😉

  • Doha Mag

    Sep 3, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #8

    The Geordie nation is well known throughout the world but Newcastle’s one year in the fizzy pop league did not do us good.

    I remember walking into a bar in Singapore two years ago to watch a Newcastle game live on TV when we scraped a draw against Derby County. The many Singaporean Newcastle fans were in full voice and after the game, they said it was getting difficult to be motovated by that NUFC side.

    I’m hoping they’ll be motivated by the current Newcastle team….

  • Dennis Twice

    Sep 3, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #9

    Before Alan…Finland –> 1992


    Sep 3, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #10

    Pity you can’t link on here, I just watched a compilation on this guy, its still a compilation, but he looks the part.

    Just search Hatem Ben Arfa in youtube if your interested

  • nicolnj

    Sep 3, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #11

    Ed, if you don’t know how famous is our club, dont be surprised. our club is well known all over the world of football.

    I am an Indonesian. did my high school in Siingapore and currently resides in Seattle, USA.

    Newcastle is HUGE in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia (prolly down to Big Al)

    I personally got hooked during the latter part of the entertainers era.

    seeing ginola, asprilla, alan shearer is just so much fun and it really grew a passion on you.

    I myself have never been to SJP, but even on TV
    you can see the passionate fans for every goal we scored. im just in love with the club.

    The kits, the stadium name, the club name, the passion, everything. we are definitely the best, compared to those prawn sandwich fans of manu

  • nicolnj

    Sep 3, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #12

    else how can we be top 20 in the world?

  • MacToon

    Sep 3, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #13

    During the ’96 season (I think) when we we’re 12 points ahead in the league I watched the Man U V us in deepest darkest Kenya at a friends house out in the sticks. About 20 people were there watching it and the support was 50-50, surprised me at the time but not anymore.

    The Entertainers were loved world-wide.

  • jimiley

    Sep 3, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #14

    There are many reasons why Wor Ben has joined the Toon. One of the reasons he did not join the Toon was to win anything. All credit to Ben for that!!! long may the empty trophy cabinet continue. Winning nowt and having great support is now a badge of honour. I would rather have MA than some insanely rich Arab guy demeaning my club chasing success. I pity us for never winning anything but I pity Citeeee more.

  • Brutooon

    Sep 4, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    Comment #15

    nicolnj : i m from Brunei myself but we got few hard core newcastle fans, all of them are passionate. Some ppl said one geordies is equal to 100 other football “so-called fan”

    Most of my friends (her, its typical Man Utd and Liverpool fan) did admit we got the most passionate fan in the world.

    They said last season Premierleague was dull becos NUFC were missing


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