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Tyne Talk

Exclusive – Ben Arfa Interview “I Want Newcastle To Be Ambitious”

11 years ago

Hatem Ben Arfa has once again confirmed that he wants to stay at Newcastle United…if the club shows ambition.

In an interview with ‘Surface’ magazine over in France, Ben Arfa who is now back in training, says he sees Newcastle as perfect in the short-term and also in the long-term, if United …becomes much more at the forefront of football”. Thanks as always for the translation services of Pierre.

Hatem Ben Arfa;

“Last summer, we had a really good season and I needed to settle in a team where I felt great. I still had a lot to learn but also a lot to give them (Newcastle) back, as they gave me a helping hand when I needed it.

For me, it was impossible to leave last season even if I had several offers.

And this year, I did not want to leave at any cost.

It’s that I want the club to be ambitious, that in our heads, we want to get a title. This is one of the teams that has helped me to take responsibility. This club has helped me to impose myself.

Newcastle is perfect. This is a good compromise. This is not Manchester United nor is it a small team. It really is a club that has a history in England and is important in the eyes of everyone, but it is not in the Big Four. There is still a small margin and I am learning a lot by being here.

It really has helped me to prepare myself for if one day, if I have to be in the Big European Six or if Newcastle becomes much more at the forefront of football, I’m ready. This is an interim period, a step”.

While players such as Yohan Cabaye, Papiss Cisse and others are undoubtedly central to Newcastle United’s ambitions in the coming seasons, the best indicator of the health of United on the pitch is almost certainly going to be Hatem Ben Arfa.

Personally, I don’t see it as any kind of a negative when Ben Arfa hints at the possibility he may not be at St.James’ Park in the future. In every interview where he talks along those lines, he always says it in the context that he will only be leaving if the club don’t show the ambition that is so important to Hatem and of course to us, the fans.

The arrival of players like Debuchy, Mapou and Sissoko has been important on so many levels. There are the obvious ones such as the team instantly playing better football and giving everybody belief that the players can pull us back up the league and away from any relegation fears.

One other vital aspect of the new signings is that the quality of players such as Sissoko will surely go some way to convince Hatem Ben Arfa that Newcastle are looking to move up in the footballing world. Another quality striker and a few more squad players in the summer should tick many of the remaining boxes that need ticking.

Yesterday we featured a superb video montage showing [intlink id=”24767″ type=”post”]Ben Arfa\’s Skills and Goals For Newcastle United[/intlink] and what a reminder it gives you of just what a special player we have at our club.

If Hatem Ben Arfa is still at Newcastle United in a few years time then I think we’ll all have a smile on our faces.

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