Hatem Ben Arfa – Getting there?

Is Hatem Ben Arfa beginning to find his feet?

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!


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30 thoughts on “Hatem Ben Arfa – Getting there?

  1. Nice vid but stats dont tell a lot at this stage of his career really – he’s still just finding his spot on the pitch. What it does tell you is that he’s always prepared to have a go – a player we have missed for some years I think. For me the flashes of quality show he can turn games, and the natural eye for a shot like the goal at Bolton speaks volumes about his promise. Dont think he’ll start but not far off now.


  2. Good work on the vid mate πŸ™‚

    Chances created is pretty impressive considering his limited game time. Its an important thing for him given his role imo so its good to see it looks like it will pay off.


  3. Errr.. looking at my post I didn’t mean to sound dismissive of the vid it was really good and sheds light on some interesting aspects of his game – for example Coyle was whining about how he wasn’t marked and slipshod defending etc, but isn’t it just that a player like him does have the ability to ghost into spaces where defenders lose track of him? We’ll see, no doubt!


  4. Tsunki – I wasn’t having a pop at you or nothing. Just giving fair do’s for making the video. Its something I have no idea about you see πŸ™‚


  5. Really good way to present player stats that! Only one minor moan (I am British after all!) The ground duels is a bit misleading. 21 battles won out of 63 with a figure of 63% makes it look like that is a success rate but actually it’s not.

    Anybody can work that out though and I have just slapped myself for being so picky when you have taken the time to compile a most excellent little video for us. Ta Statto πŸ™‚


  6. Nice one Statto, appreciate your work, but I’m with Tsunki on this one, as in it’s a wee bit early for his NUFC stats to give us an accurate measure of his ability. It’d be interesting to compare these to what he has at the end of the season, I’m sure there’d be a noticeable improvement.

    I’ve got faith in him, and I personally think he offers a lot more in terms of goal threat than Best. I believe he’s not far off 100% now, and should start against Liverpool tomorrow. I can’t wait for the game, and shall be geeing myself up with a quick blast of ‘The Rivalries’ DVD that mi mutha goriz for Christmas, before KO. I reckon it’ll be another 4-3 type game, hopefully with us on the right end!!!


  7. Shamrock 😯 πŸ™‚

    …dunno mate, sort of let that one slip. I guess if I get an idea for a theme I might approach the Toonelton. Sort of prefer being on the ‘other side’ really, but dare say I’d probably like it if I let one rip, as it were. πŸ˜†


  8. Haha fair do’s mate. Reckon you would produce blinders once you got yourself going… πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, this is a bit early for you isnt it?! Thought you was a night owl…


  9. When he put Ba through against City away, he did class, 9 times out of 10 Demba would have scored that chance.

    I thought he was great against both Manchester clubs. After his goal against Bolton he has to start tomorrow night especially after Bests dip in form.


  10. cheers 😎 – yeah, up early today cos am at mi mam’s in Tynemooth, got to assemble a table for her and do some silicone work in the bathroom before a gan up te Toon te meet Fatha at 2, then off back to Sheffield. Normal service should be resumed from Friday πŸ˜€


  11. :mrgreen: This the moment that tingly feeling swept from head to toe in the bodies of Newcastle United fans around the country; …………… Not around the country but AROUND THE WORLD…… Cause the moment the ball hit the back of the net I went APE infront of the TV …… My wife thort I went MAD.


  12. I feel sorry for Besty he kinda looks like he’s trying to keep out of Demba’s road, and as such keeps finding himself offside in a bid o create his own space. He may well be a different player if Pardew fields HBA and him up front during the ACN, I dunno. Am I right that when Oba put the ball in for Ba (correct choice) at Bolton, his 2nd option was HBA stood back in his own space (again) in the box. Owen Coyle can say what he likes, whoever go that ball it was going in!


  13. Rodz πŸ˜†

    SoutAfricanToon – I got up in the front room and gave him a standing ovation. My mrs just said “have Newcastle scored” πŸ˜†


  14. you guys read the story about the 23 year old striker we’re taking on trial from Bognor Regis? Jason Prior, bit of a goal machine by the sounds of things.

    Odd situation like, but others have made the step up


  15. It’s a piss take man – Pryor’s only just signed for conf south Eastliegh FC, it’s on the official bognor regis fc site


  16. Stevep read that on an Eastleigh forum, said there was some agreement in place but they wouldn’t stop him but would probably want compo…..”if” there is any truth chances are he’d come on trial, not be good enough and sent back πŸ˜•


  17. That Prior lad seems a bit old to be making the step, if its true of course. Seems odd that he’s gone so ling without being picked up. Mind you, it does happen and sometimes players slip through the net. Look at Ratman Phillips for Sunderland, Chris Smalling, even Alan Shearer with us…


  18. I know you said “shearer with us” but don’t think he could go on the late starters list as he was scoring top flight hat-tricks at 17yrs….Ian wright could maybe be counted as one though πŸ˜›


  19. Les Ferdinand and Stuart pearce were both in non league until they were in their early 20s and Ian wright signed for palace at 22 but it seems strange that its between us or eastleigh and no conference or lower league clubs are sniffing if hes that goof…


  20. I predict we’ll sign this Prior kid, he’ll come up and probably get together with Anna Friel, then after one 1 season Real Madrid will come in and sign him….. They might even make a film about?!
    I know it’s nothing money, but really?! were on the cusp of a transfer window and our big news is offering a trial to a none league 23yr old striker. We can be satisfied with that man!!
    We have Graham Carr grafting his arse off identifying young talented players across Europe and were saying “yeah, thanks for the recommendations Graham but were going to ignore them and buy no one instead”!!

    4 things will come of that:

    1. Graham Carr will get sick and bugger off somewhere else where he’ll be listened to.

    2. The players he identities will be picked up by other clubs.

    3. The top players already in our team will see a lack of ambition and bugger off.

    4. Ashley will not only balance the books but will turn a profit.

    I know that may sound dramatic, but we only have 2 opportunities a season to strengthen our squad. We brought good players in in the summer but got rid of players, leaving our squad short on numbers. If we don’t buy in Jan, then we will slip backwards, we’ll loose more players in the summer when their contracts run out and will have to bring about 10 players in to have a decent stregth in depth. I know some teams bring that number of players in during the summer, but when was the last time did? and how long will it take for them all to bed in?!

    It’s a big mistake not buying in Jan, and Im annoyed that Pardew is not kicking up more of a fuss about this!!!


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