Hatem Ben Arfa looks set to be given a starting role in the FA Cup 3rd Round tie against Blackburn later today.
It’s the chance that Hatem has been waiting for having spoken to the press recently about his disappointment at missing out on a first-team starting spot and now it’s up to the fiery Frenchman to show everyone that he is ready to take his chance.
He’ll need to as we are now without 15 goal Demba Ba who is away at the African Cup of Nations. He’ll be a big miss, a huge miss in fact, but if Benny can find some consistency and produce his brilliant best for us then we may not miss Ba as much as many of us feel we might.
“Hatem has already stated in the Press that he wants a chance. And obviously, in this period, I’ve always thought he would get it,” Pardew told the Chronicle. “He now needs to show us what’s he got and show us his ability.”
Sounds easy doesn’t it? It won’t be. Ben Arfa simply cannot replace Ba in my view. He may chip in with a goal here and there, he may even find the net fairly frequently, but he’s not an out and out striker and won’t be the man who gets on the end of things just in time to put the ball in the back of the net. That task is ultimately going to fall to Leon Best or Shola Ameobi. Yes, I know…
However panic not. Well, try not to anyway. I’m sure we’ve all see signs of Hatem Ben Arfa and what he can do at his peak. As said earlier, he’ll chip in with a few goals, but he’ll also create a lot more chances for the strikers, or striker. Law of averages dictates that they will be able to convert a few of them. I’m using logic here which is a dangerous thing to do when talking about football in fairness.
Whatever happens, happens, but for Benny himself it’s up to him to make it happen. He can prove a lot of people wrong, as can Leon Best, by helping us through what is going to be a difficult period without our main striker.
He’s been gagging for a chance, and now he has it. Now he must take advantage of it!