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Laurent Blanc – ‘Ben Arfa – A Huge Team Spirit’

8 years ago
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Once again it is hard for those of us on this side of the channel to fully comprehend how big a story Ben Arfa is, back in France.

He was the massive talent who lost his way and now he is back on the up and up the anticipation for the Euros is massive.

Along with Nasri and Benzema, that generation who came through looked destined for greatness but it hasn’t quite hit the anticipated heights yet.

If both Cabaye and Ben Arfa are in the French team it might be a hard chaoice whether to watch them, or the loveable John Terry and cultured stars like peter Crouch and Gareth Barry strutting their stuff…

Here is part of a statement the French manager gave on Hatem Ben Arfa after selecting him on Wednesday: (As ever, our utmost thanks to translator ‘Pierre’)

La Conférence De Laurent Blanc

Laurent Blanc ‘s comments in a  statement to the media on Wednesday night at the headquarters of TF1 (French equivalent to BBC) after communicating his first pre-list of twelve players playing abroad for Euro 2012.

Why have you called Hatem Ben Arfa?

“It’s a boy who has had a serious injury. I spoke with him when he was in rehabilitation at Clairefontaine. He has rebuilt himself back and kept his talent. He has grown into a more mature man, which allows him to use his talent as a team player. This is the big change in him. Taking into account his current performances, it seems logical to include him in the list. If he has shown to be a team player at Newcastle, I do not see why he could not do it in the French team. In a team sport, you have to show talent but above all a huge team spirit”.

Do you not fear for the fact that he could be unmanageable?

“Not at all. First, because I was not able to be next to him regularly, I have made some enquiries and he has had trouble with coaches but I have read and heard that he has matured, thoughtful. It is for him to prove it and show us that it is not difficult for him to be part of a group and that he has a great motivation for the Euros. Otherwise, it will show that he did not get the message”.

Is there not the fear that your group has a number of individuals?

“The talent, it is expensive. You never have too much. After, you have to manage them and that they remain part of the team”.

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