The problem maybe with a ‘Hatem Ben Arfa’ is that unless you are a top top team, maybe you have to be really brave to accommodate him, then if it goes wrong the move looks reckless.

The statistics say that Ben Arfa has scored twice in the last 145 minutes, one a cracking finish (Bolton away) and the other a goal of the season against Blackburn.

So on current form he is averaging a cracking finish/goal of the season every 70 or so minutes!

Obviously these are ‘selected’ statistics but the other extreme is like today when Hatem at times was taking players on and maybe losing it to the second or third defender and then bringing out moans from knackers in the crowd.

Over to the manager;

“It’s the greatest goal, in my opinion, I have ever seen with my eyes because just the technical part of it – to beat six players, to skip past people, left-foot, right-foot, cut-back, accelerate, everything that was involved in it, it was an unbelievable goal. I am absolutely chuffed for him.

I didn’t have to clear the air with him. His comments this week, I read them and I thought they were spot on.

He understands that this is a big agenda for him – he needs to do well here. At some other clubs, it hasn’t gone so well and he is doing everything in his power to make it happen here, and that’s good for us.

He’s had situations in France where his talent hasn’t come to the fore as much as it should have, perhaps, and then he has had a terrible injury here. He knows this is a great opportunity at this football club. He probably feels that he could play for France, and I know the French Federation look at him very closely.

Is he going to emerge because he has got the talent that he showed today? We are all hoping he does, of course”.

I still find it does my head in when I come across people who still think Laurent Robert was a liability.

Robert’s goals and assists statistics are there for all to see, just like Alan Shearer’s heroic goals total.

Ben Arfa has had a difficult start to his career in England with a shocking injury to overcome as well, I feel privileged to have been at inside St.James’ Park when he scored that goal and I look forward to seeing many more from him in black & white.

Keep the faith.

  • MrMojoRisin

    His potential is that of david silva in my eyes, if he gets a good run of games and his confidence grows he will be immense for us, he was one of the hottest properties in world football 3-4 years ago and has shown if only in glimpses so far that he can still hit them heights, just hope he keeps his head down and works hard.

  • Anonymous

    The potential is definitely there and as Mr.Mojo says, if he shows that kind of goalscoring ability there are no limits.

  • Anonymous

    I think the manager is doing canny in handling Ben Arfa but I think we have to get him into the team whatever it takes, it’s a bit like getting the bus even though you have a rolls royce in the garage.

  • Anonymous

    He needs time to adapt to English football especially after that horrendous injury, the crowd need to be patient with him, yesterday proved what undoubted talent he has

  • Anonymous

    As magphoto says Ben Arfa needs time and not have loons shouting like I had around me yesterday when he lost the ball sometimes, if you want players to take the opposition on you have to accept they won’t beat them every time!

  • Mal

    I thought he looked a lot more dangerous when moved to the wing and his goal was truly unforgettable. He seems to have got over his injury as he certainly didn’t shirk any tackles. I think Pardew has handled his situation well and he may come to appreciate the fact he has been nursed back – I think he’ll start a lot more games in the next few weeks, particularly at home.