Hatem Ben Arfa
Watching Hatem is going to be an interesting business and a challenge to us, his team mates and the manager in particular. I suspect life will not be dull with him in the team, his history at Marseilles suggests a bit of a trouble maker, there is no doubt his demeanor could become sulky.
Having chased Rooney down to confront him at Old Trafford suggests a desire to be looking for bother (or is that part of our fabled team spirit). His performances on the pitch since his return have been largely anonymous but that is forgivable as he was out the game for more than a year.
On the flip side he is clearly immensely talented, adding a creativity to the team that is definitely lacking and playing in that position where the best players in the country are making their own; Mata, Silva, Rooney to name but 3.
Working with the excellent Demba Ba there are signs of a fruitful partnership and I am sure the manager has now told him to work on that and not bother too much about tracking back. Yes hound their defenders but in the opposition half. He may well turn into a Peter Beardsley, certainly his ability to pick a pass and run with the ball have many similarities and we can only hope he has the same phlegmatic character to match.
I love watching this type of player, to me it is what football is all about, those moments of inspiration and talent that the mere mortals on the pitch cannot achieve; I always remember the excitement of watching Tino Asprilla, knowing that his name on the team sheet will ensure at least one moment of genuine skill and excitement.
These players do not do boredom, let’s wait and see how he develops but one thing, hold onto your seats as it will be a bumpy ride.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]