69 minutes on the clock, Bolton Wanderers 0, Newcastle United 1 – This the moment that tingly feeling swept from head to toe in the bodies of Newcastle United fans around the country; the moment when Hatem Ben Arfa bagged his first goal of the season after his lengthy and somewhat stagnant comeback!
On signing ‘Barfa’ from Marseille on loan initially, many believed he was to be the ‘saviour’ of the black and whites; the creativity and flair that lay dormant in the Magpies post Keegan & Robson. Cue his first start on 18th September 2010 away to Everton and and cue nothing short of a breathtaking goal!
But, the optimism around SJP was short lived as, mid-game against Manchester City, Hatem Ben Arfa suffered a devastating double leg break as a consequence of an over zealous tackle by Dutchman Nigel de Jong.
It would take 11 months and 21 days before the Frenchmen took to the Premier League field again, coming on as a sub in the 3-1 win at home to Blackburn. A few cameo appearances and some stints on the ’90 minute bench’ later, Ben Arfa has given Alan Pardew some food for thought in terms of the team selection for Liverpool.
The question is; ‘Has Ben Arfa done enough in his cameos to suggest a start?’. NUFC_Stats took a look at the numbers and put them together for you in a different way!