Hatem Ben Arfa’s brief return to old ways

Benny causing a headache for France?
It seems as though our reformed “enfant terrible” Hatem Ben Arfa may not be so reformed after all.

The papers are full of stories suggesting that our dynamic forward had a bust up with his international manager Laurent Blanc in the wake of France’s 2-0 defeat to Sweden the other night.

Apparently Hatem was less than impressed with being hauled off on the hour mark and feels like he was being made a scapegoat for the poor performance of the team insisting that there were worse performers than him on the pitch. In truth it would be hard to disagree as France were awful in a game that could have set them up to win the group and leave England having to worry about playing Spain at the weekend.

The row, apparently anyway, erupted after Blanc and the team returned to the dressing room after the final whistle to find Hatem chatting to his family on his mobile phone. This led to the row and Hatem, again apparently, telling Blanc to send him home of he doesn’t think he s worth a place in the team.

It’s well worth pointing out also that it has now been sorted and everyone has kissed and made up, but after all the arguments in the French game back in the World Cup in 2010, the last thing they needed this time around was more of the same. Florent Malouda even went as far as claiming that the row had “awakened demons” within him regarding the last major tournament France took part in.

There are a couple of things about this story which make me think…. The first one is just how true it all is to begin with. Nobody is going to know aside from those involved. Maybe there was an argument, but it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of reality for the press to make more of it than there actually was. Hatem does have form for this kind of behaviour though.

The second one, being dangerous and assuming it is indeed correct, is that it shows that Hatem Ben Arfa is perhaps not as reformed as some would believe. For Newcastle we’ve not heard a peep from him although seemingly old habits die hard and Hatem is that kind of player who can just have a sulky moment at any given time.

Surely that is a good thing from our perspective though? I mean if you were a manager that was looking at maybe trying to sign him, wouldn’t something like this set alarm bells off in your head? You never know, but perhaps it could be “good” enough to put any prospective buyers off of our talismanic Frenchman?

Fingers crossed!

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

23 thoughts on “Hatem Ben Arfa’s brief return to old ways

  1. Sell him and use the money to buy someone more stable…… like Ballotelli or Tevez 🙂 🙂


  2. Apparently Sammy Nasri was also supposed to be involved, allegedly there is a bit of animosity between them, for me Nasri is overated and perhaps Benny told him so, niether of them lack in self belief so possibly that could have been the spark, the press do seem to be more concerned with Benny’s role rather than Nasri’s, that could be down to previous, truth is they should be having a go at each other after their very poor performance, to many ego’s always brings the worst out of them, he’s better off at home with us, Alan Pardew does seem to handle the ego’s quite well, from a Newcastle point of view, I wouldn’t worry about it


  3. It’s just the French being French, sounds like it was Blanc who went “off it” originally and Benny gave some back, personally I hope there’s more to come, botha in the other teams camps suits England just fine…bring it on :mrgreen:


  4. Quotes from Laurent Blanc:

    “When there’s a victory, you accept things more and you’re happier,” said the France coach.

    “When you’ve lost, you’re more hot-blooded. It got heated, but we all cooled down after a good shower.

    “It kicked off a bit because all the players felt that everyone hadn’t given everything. To win matches, you have to play them and play them well.

    “I don’t know if it’s because we’ve got a fairly young squad. When you feel something, you have to say it, and it’s not just down to the technical staff.

    “They have to say things between each other, because it can be constructive. It shows that there’s a reaction, and a bit of electricity. I hope that there will be some against Spain, but in the right sense.”

    Doesn’t sound too bad to me, just some players naturally peed off that the team played badly.


  5. Storm in a tea cup stuff… Take Richie for example, he says what’s on his mind, that’s why he hasn’t been posting anything for a few days 🙂 🙂 🙂


  6. Rich – Agree with the French being French comment. See it every week now. Quite funny really. Really highly strung people 😆

    However it still casts a shadow over Ben Arfa which is great for us in my opinion 🙂


  7. This just goes to show how good Pardz is at man management. We saw none of this even though Benny spent a fair amount of time on the bench.. Handled the frenchie very well 🙂


  8. Well if the players wern’t giving there all then they should be having words.
    As they shouldn’t have been happy with that performance, so it shows there is a bit of fight in them.


  9. Hes just an easy target 😉
    and does anyone else think that de jong for £12m seems a lot when alan carr confirmed we got cisse for £8m?


  10. Sounds like they had a good old french scrub down in the shower.

    “It got heated, but we all cooled down after a good shower.”

    Maybe they just had a French kiss and make up session. 😉

    Bloody french.


  11. LST. I think the Cisse deal was a great bit of business for £8mil, we all know he’s worth more than that now.

    I think that £12mil is a lot but he’s banging them in and only 21. Suppose you pay a premium for top young players.

    Still think it could be smoke screen to bring in someone like Guidetti.


  12. Liam thats something I find strange about a lot of our supporters now,
    They all seem to want to look after Jabbas money.
    Yeah Cisse was only £8 mill, but that doesn’t mean we’ll always get players cheap, and some we’ll have to pay the going rate to get them.
    I would understand if they were wanting crazy money ala Carroll or Torres but its not that type of money. 😕


  13. Big Dave – Your right, a year or two ago we were demanding 20mil to be spent of strikers, no matter who it was. Now we get all flustered when sums over 6-7mil get mentioned. Maybe MA has been hypnotising us somehow at game? Must be th blue and red everywhere!


  14. Probably typical team recriminations after a bad performance the French being French and a large dose of media inflating things.

    One quick observation: I feel like a different person in a 2nd language & culture. Maybe HBA does too, at NUFC. When he’s around his compatriots, he reverts to his old habits and ways, which make him more volatile. But, again, it’s probably the press blowing **** out of proportion from a small kernel of a story.


  15. I think this story shows, how good a job Alan Pardew has done in regards to managing Ben Arfa. He left him out of the team for months, eventhough most people were screaming for him to play every game. Pardew kept his cool, and he managed to get the very best out of Ben Arfa during the second half of the season – and Ben Arfa didn’t moan or go on a public riot at any point ..
    Pardew’s man management skills are there for all to see, I think. Now get us Yoann Gourcuff and let Pardew rejuvenate another massive French talent who seems to have lost his way a bit, but could turn out to be a world class player – here’s hoping 😉


  16. dave

    Maybe its the thought that ashley will try and sell someone to balance the books after a big spend.


  17. think the french are bad,dont think the dutch are any better imo,could be worse we have RICHIE to try and deal with 😆


  18. CC says:
    June 22, 2012 at 11:59
    Maybe its the thought that ashley will try and sell someone to balance the books after a big spend
    That’s part of it. But also, the club has said we will remain sustainable. That means the more that is spent on a striker the less we have to spent on defence.


  19. Ben Arfa recently stated that he wasn’t prepared to join a bigger club if he didn’t feel that the manager was 100% behind him (and strongly implied that this is how he feels at NUFC). The bust-up with Blanc shows that the old insecurities are still there – in other words, Ben Arfa is still the same man, but we have come to understand him better.

    To be clear, I don’t see any problem in this for Newcastle. Hatem knows that the fans love him, feels valued by the club, enjoys the confidence of the squad, and doubts that he will get the same treatment elsewhere.


  20. Wellington…Agree, the lad is unlikely to change completely. We all have character “flaws” and I daresay we have all tried to change them and most of us will have been unsuccesful, we are what we are. Benny has his flaws but so do most flair players, they’ll help make him the players he is, do we really want to change that? Pards has found a way to deal with him that works to the advantage of both sides, good on them both.


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