How important is Hatem Ben Arfa?

Hatem Ben Arfa.

Hatem Ben Arfa.
Waiting for Arfa chance?
Last week I did an article about Dan Gosling, which featured a quick injury update and talked about what he will bring when he returns. I thought I’d do the same again, only this time I thought I’d write about our French wizard, Hatem Ben Arfa.

First off when we eventually signed Ben Arfa in August there was no one more pleased than me, and even though he has only played a handful of games you have to say paying a reported £5 million fee was an absolute steal and a great bit of business by the club.

We all seen the impact that he made against Blackpool when he came on, and one thing that sticks in my mind is him picking up the ball on the left and ending up on the byline on the opposite side of the pitch and then finishing it off with a good cross.

Of course who can also forget his first start against Everton where on the stroke of half time he hit a unstoppable shot into Tim Howard’s top corner from 25 yards. After those two games, Ben Arfa left Newcastle fans drooling at the prospect of seeing him play for the rest of the season.

Video created by our very davidtoon4life. Check out more of his videos here.

Unfortunately though, and typical for NUFC, it didn’t work out like that because with only two minutes on the clock on what was his third start against Manchester City, Citeh’s very own thug.. I mean midfielder… Nigel De Jong lunged into a reckless tackle on Ben Arfa and broke his tibia and fibula which ruled what should have been our star man out for around 6 months. Would you believe it, but he didn’t even get punished for the tackle! Joey Barton got booked for trying to keep the ball in play… but that’s for another time!

Now hopefully we get to see Ben Arfa return for one or two games before the season draws to a close, but I’m just going to concentrate on next season and how important Ben Arfa will be to us. Hopefully we will see some quality players arriving during the summer, but even if that does happen then Ben Arfa is still going to be one of our better players in my eyes.

One of the first things that springs to mind when I think of our team is the term ‘hard working’, and with the likes of Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, Cheik Tiote and Jonas Gutierrez in the ranks you can perhaps understand why. If you add Hatem Ben Arfa to that midfield instead of say, Gutierrez, then it suddenly becomes not just a hard working midfield but a creative one.

I’ve heard people say this on more than one occasion, and I have to agree with them as well, but if we had Ben Arfa available in certain games, Blackburn home and away come to mind, then we would have more points on the board. So next season when were playing a Fulham or Blackburn at home and its 0-0 with twenty minutes left, this is where Ben Arfa’s quality should show because he is one of them rare players that seem quicker when they have the ball at their feet. Lionel Messi and Ryan Giggs also have this gift.

Now I’m not saying that Hatem is on their level, but you see where I’m coming from. So how important is Ben Arfa? Well considering he can be a match winner on his day and proved this against Everton…

Very important!

164 thoughts on “How important is Hatem Ben Arfa?

  1. My 3 preferred leagues are English, Scottish (obviously) and German.

    I think the Bundesliga is the style in the same mould as the British divisions, but with a technical ability beyond what Britain offers. Not a Spanish level of skill, but “speed skill”, in that it’s often a fast tempo with ability beyond the standard of the standard Premiership skill like Fabrice Muamba or some fool like that.

    If you have ESPN on your TV set up, I’d recommend watching as many games as you can from Germany.


  2. Again great article dan mate, and the answer is very!

    If we sign Ireland permanently we don’t need to go anywhere near any other midfielders over the summer. All we need to do is get rid of some!


  3. Funky, I watch a few games on ESPN like. I would the two leagues I know best bar the Premier of course would be the French and Dutch 🙂

    Agree pearceet, maybe get a winger in but hopefully ship out Smith, Guthrie and Vuckic on loan.


  4. Sell. Pardew was right when he said that Routledge wasn’t good enough. The only thing wrong is that whilst he is only marginally better than nowt on right wing at Premier League level, that unfortuntely does mean that he would have been of use whilst Barton was out.

    Long term he should not be an NUFC player. Not in the Premier League anyway!


  5. Pearceet, sorry I didn’t include Routledge, just assumed he’d pretty much already left so defiantly sell. From what I’ve heard we will make a little bit more than we bought him for as well 😉


  6. Well we paid a reported 750k for him because he was running out of contract and they didn’t have a manager at the time to fight for him if memory serves right!


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