Despite only making five starts and being frozen out by Steve Bruce, the finger is still being pointed at Hatem Ben Arfa when it comes to Hull City having one foot in the Championship.
Even though it has been six months since the former Newcastle winger stepped onto a pitch for Hull, he is getting stick for not still being around to produce something that could have saved them from defeat against Burnley last Saturday.
Steve Bruce made Hatem Ben Arfa the scapegoat when his team went to Old Trafford and got hammered, subbing him during the first half and never giving him another chance, as well as publicly slating the Frenchman.
Now Hull defender James Chester has just done the same, calling into question Ben Arfa’s attitude and saying that if he’d put the effort in then Hatem could have still being around to score against Burnley in what could prove to have been a pivotal game in the relegation struggle.
Whatever Hatem Ben Arfa’s good and bad points are/were, surely it is a bit feeble to bring up the French playmaker as somebody to blame for the relegation problems.
He was only given five starts by Steve Bruce and after that last game he was involved in against Manchester United after only 13 games of the season, Hull were outside the bottom three, albeit it only fourth bottom!
In contrast to Ben Arfa, James Chester is a first choice player for Hull and has made 21 starts this season, maybe he should look a bit closer to home for where to lay blame.
Speaking ahead of Hull’s match at Spurs, James Chester:
“I think maybe the most disappointing thing was Ben Arfa. He showed an awful lot of ability in training, but you just wanted to bang your head against a wall.
“The ability he showed in training is the ability that only certain players have. He could turn a game on its head and get you a goal from nothing. That signing, you could see why the gaffer brought him here.
A bit of magic:
“I’m not sure his attitude was to the level of everyone else, so that was frustrating because he would have been the player that if you were struggling to get the goals, he could have got them against Burnley.
“He could have used a bit of magic and scored us a goal but again, you just wanted to bang your head against a wall.
The least you would expect:
“It’s the least you expect, for someone to run around, the most frustrating thing for us was you could see the ability that he had.
“For him to not really want to use it to his full potential….he is better than many of our players here and so, it was all the more frustrating.”
If the worst happened for Newcastle, I wouldn’t bet against John Carver bringing Hatem Ben Arfa up as a reason.
Probably accuse him of intentionally getting released by Newcastle so he wouldn’t have to play in our relegation struggle….
Alternatively, if Newcastle stay up because of Hull City’s failings, maybe John Carver should be thanking Hatem Ben Arfa for allegedly not trying in the handful of matches he played for them!