As a football fan I like to be excited. I like to be perched on the edge of my seat wondering what happens next.
I also like winning and having both is ideal, but at Newcastle we’ve had hardly any excitement or a decent run of wins for some time.
I think this is why I always look to go back to the excitement. Do we play exciting football? No, and we haven’t for a good few years now. Do we have a player who can excite and produce the extraordinary? The answer to that is most definitely yes. Yes we do. And at his brilliant best you’ll be hard pushed to find a more exciting player that has strutted his stuff at St James’ Park in the black and white for a good for years at least.
The problem is that the relationship between that player – Hatem Ben Arfa – and manager seems to have gone beyond the point of repair, which is a crying shame.
With clubs such as AC Milan and former club Lyon linked with the player it now seems just a matter of time before the talented playmaker departs, and although it pains me to say it, I think that moment can’t come soon enough.
A lot of fingers will be pointed towards Alan Pardew if or most likely when Ben Arfa departs, and I agree to a point. I do feel that Hatem was scapegoated by the manager especially towards the back end of last season.
As a manager it’s Pardew’s job to get the best out of a player. The strength of Ben Arfa is not in his tracking back or his work rate, his strength is making things happen in attack with his unpredictability. Pardew should have accommodated that, in my humble opinion at least.
However not all of this is Alan Pardew’s fault and the player himself must take his fair share of the blame. Are we just seeing history repeat itself?
In terms of performances we all know that Benny can win games on his own, but in all the time he’s been here you can count those types or performances on one hand and more often than not he drifts out of the game.
Apparently he’s come back to training not in an ideal state although the player contests this, he’s rumoured to have had arguments with team mates and he’ll throw digs at his state of affairs in interviews in his homeland. Not good is it really?
Thing is, I’d agree with him if this was the first time he’s found himself isolated at a club, but it happened at Lyon, Marseille, with his national team, us. You have to wonder don’t you? Maybe he is L’enfant terrible after all?
Maybe it’s time he was moved on, for the good of all concerned?