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Tyne Talk

Ben Arfa – ‘Working To Be The Best At Newcastle United’

12 years ago

Speaking to connections we have in France, it is hard for us in Newcastle/England to realise just what big news he is back in his home country. He is seen as THE most talented player of his generation but one who lost his way and now has had a shocking injury to overcome. There is massive interest in Ben Arfa in France and his forty five minutes against sunderland reminded us all just how talented he is.

The illustrious ‘France Football’ magazine asked 22 important figures to ask Hatem questions (Thanks to our translator ‘Pierre’);

Ben Arfa: “I still have lots of dreams”

Interviewed by a number of ‘acquaintances’, Hatem Ben Arfa confides to the world renowned ‘France Football’ magazine.

Yohan Cabaye  “Since your return from injury you often compare the muscle mass of your legs in front of the mirror in the changing room. You seem very concerned about your left quad to see if is as big as your right, are you back to 100% of your ability?”.

Ben Arfa “It’s true that I often look at it, I had lost so much on the left that I feared it would never come back. I worked and worked but it was not improving. It was worrying me but now I am at 90% of my left leg. Soon I’ll stop looking!”.

Gilles Grimandi (Arsenal’s chief scout in France) “I think you have an obvious talent, the best of the famous ’87 generation, however, you are regularly criticised from your coaches, the media, and the public. Do you think we are too severe with talented individuals?”.

Ben Arfa: “Since I am 12 years old, I am constantly reminded that due to my talent I must be the best. I will therefore never be the same as others but it is always because I want it to be that way. I have always tried to stand out, to come out of the pack, to show I am different.

To be on the pitch to do 2 metre passes that achieve nothing like a lot of players do because they do not want to take risks, then pfff…. it does not interest me.

I have to accept that more is expected of me and if I have not yet managed to come through it is surely because I need to make more progress in many areas. At the moment I am struggling physically and it is linked to my return from my injury but if they have not shown faith in me it’s because I did not deserve it.


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