Maybe the hardest thing we are all going to have accept is that fans will always be split on Hatem Ben Arfa.

It is enticing to dream that he might score goals like the Blackburn Cup one every other week, if he did though we’d have another Messi on our hands.

The reality is more likely to be a player who blows hot and cold, like most flair players. How often he is hot or cold will then dictate how many fans are in the respective camps, a bit like happened with the genius who was Laurent Robert.

Ben Arfa has certainly got the ability but the consistency and work ethic is what sets the likes of Messi and Ronaldo apart. When you talk about work ethic it isn’t necessarily about diving into tackles or chasing back to help the defence every time, more about making a nuisance of himself when the opposition have the ball and then always on his toes in anticipation of Newcastle getting possession.

We have a safety net of points and few (no!) options while Demba Ba is away, the next five or six weeks could be the making of him at St.James’ Park.

In an interview with Lee Ryder at the Chronicle, Alan Pardew gave an insight into what a handful it must be handling the undoubted talent that is Hatem Ben Afra;

“I think we saw all the sides of Hatem. There was some loose stuff, he was a bit cheap with the ball and I’d have liked a bit more intensity out of him defensively but there were some magical moments which no one else in our team can produce.

Every player has a different personality and character and Hatem’s a very different personality to most footballers in terms of the way he believes in himself, and the ability that he has.

It’s frustrating for him to have that sort of ability and not play because of other issues like his intensity when we haven’t got the ball and coming back from that injury but we’re getting there. We’re trying to get the balance of the team right.

When he came out on the right, it looked better for us. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s him – he can play a number of roles.”

  • Anonymous

    That goal was worth the entry fee alone! Simply brillian,we have the French Messi!

  • Anonymous

    Whether you have played five a side or sunday morning 11 a side or pro football, the ability to beat a player depends to a certain degree on losing the fear of what happens if you don’t go past your man. To a massive extent it must help at the highest level if the fans are behind you no matter what. Show your love for Ben Arfa and you will be repaid many times over.

  • Anonymous

    Agree with you entirely grantvp

  • Anonymous

    I reckon the guy is a genius,this was not a fluke- he has got pure talent. Let’s hope he has really turned a new leaf and this is the new beginning for him. I for one can’t wait to see the next match.

  • Anonymous

    The fans must support this players, he can make things happen. Yes he will lose the ball but it’s because he is trying to bring some entertainment. We would not have seen this goal if he did what we all keep telling him eg pass the ball. Let the guy play his game so he doesn’t become another predictable boring player.

  • Brister

    Technically our best player. I felt he was trying too hard on Saturday, and just needs to feel more relaxed in the team. This should happen if he starts every week. Look at how Ryan Taylor has improved through playing every game.
    He will produce the magic-even if his goals arent as brilliant as the last one.Worth being there just to see it-never mind rest of the game. Overshadowed brilliant goal by Jonas.