‘Confident with his club Newcastle, Hatem Ben Arfa confirms he is calmer and seems to have found his place on the football field. He hopes to be the in middle of the European adventure with “les bleus”’ (Thanks as always to Pierre for the translation skills)
Hatem Ben Arfa
“ …on the pitch I have retained my strong points and I have tried to eliminate my weak points…right wing is a position that I like very much and I am liking it more and more, it is true to say that currently at Newcastle I tend to play more in that position than at Marseille where I was playing more on the left but today I feel better playing on the right I think it is the position that I prefer these days…yes I have typical movement from the right side but with regards to the middle or attack I feel I can also play there but today following the last few months with my club I have a more natural play on the right…today with the break we have had I feel I have recuperated and have some good legs during the training , I feel I have “du gaz!”( some oomph!!!some gas!) yeah du gaz! As soon as I’ve got the ball…du gaz!”.
Great to see Hatem looking very relaxed and in a positive frame of mind, particularly when you bear in mind he has twice been called up for the initial squad for major championships only to not make the final cut. With his end of season form on top of the massive groundswell of support he has back in France, it seems most unlikely to us that he will find himself unlucky a third time when the squad is finalised next week.
Interesting to see that Ben Arfa sees the right wing as his natural place now and that is a huge tribute to Alan Pardew’s management.
Earlier in the season we interviewed Alan Pardew and he was adamant that Ben Arfa’s only position was the ‘Number 10’, playing behind the striker.
So it is hats off for him having the rethink and then getting the very best out of a player who has proved difficult to handle at his past clubs.