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Why Persecution Of Hatem Ben Arfa Is Making Newcastle United An Even Bigger Joke

6 years ago
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I totally understand why some people see Hatem Ben Arfa as a luxury player that Newcastle can’t afford to carry.

Not that I’d agree with them of course.

It’s not like this is a new topic, we have lived through it with David Ginola, Laurent Robert and a number of others.

Back in the seventies, Supermac would never be seen near his own box defending in open play.

As he has said many times since, his job was to hurt the opposition using the qualities he had – outstanding pace and the single-minded determination to take the most direct route to the goal. If he was using all his energy chasing back all of the time, how could he then be successful in what he was in the team to do?

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This doesn’t mean that Ben Arfa, or indeed any other player, can then get his deckchair out until Newcastle get possession back, but it does mean we have to have a sense of perspective.

Players such as Cheick Tiote and the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran, are in the team because of what they give physically and the stamina they possess.

Ben Arfa, when he is the team, is in it to produce moments of quality that can lift us above the mass of teams outside the handful at the top.

Some fans have fallen victim to the club propaganda and rather than seeing Hatem Ben Arfa as a player with good and bad points, just like every other member of the squad, are now happy to join in with the Ashley/Pardew bullying. This means that history is rewritten and Hatem’s history at Newcastle is one of a couple of meaningless goals in a United career of next to nothing else.

We are all supposed to believe that Ben Arfa is this fat and unprofessional layabout who Newcastle would do well to get rid of by any means.

Yes he has always been high maintenance at other clubs, but managed correctly he can be a massive asset.

No disrespect to players such as Yoan Gouffran, but if you had a team of his kind of player then what you get is what we saw throughout the second half of last season.

The team were all trying but when they got so far up the pitch they were clueless and Newcastle are always going to concede a goal.

The bullying/isolation of Hatem has now reached ridiculous and embarrassing levels.  The refusal of Newcastle to play him in any kind of public arena is plain evidence of the spite behind the treatment of him.

Second string public friendlies at the likes of Gateshead and Blyth (3-2 win on Friday night) are played without Ben Arfa, only behind closed doors friendlies against the likes of Barnsley reserves and Queen of the South see him allowed to play.

I believe the club are desperate for there to be no groundswell of support for Hatem Ben Arfa and use their distorted relationship with the press to ensure they get their propaganda out.

Any normal club would have included Hatem Ben Arfa in the pre-season schedule with the aim of either integrating him back into the team/squad, or giving him a profile to attract a buyer.

As always, things happen at St. James’ Park for all the wrong reasons and the fans suffer far more than even the isolated highly paid Hatem Ben Arfa.

The Thomas Cook Sport Newcastle United Match Breaks are now on sale from only £89 per person.

These official Premier League match breaks include match ticket and overnight hotel stay for all games at St.James’ Park – limited availability so book early.

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