Quick links

Newcastle United

Newcastle's star player speaks like a true fan

Even Hatem Ben Arfa's interviews leave Toon fans smiling.

The French wing wizard talks the talk and is slowly backing is up with performances too. 

Ben Arfa has been Newcastle's star performer this season, with a two goals, a few assists and some mesmerising runs and trickery. He is Newcastle's matchwinner, the Geordie Messi who you feel at 26 doesn't want to be anywhere else but Tyneside. 

Sylvain Marveaux summed him up perfectly when he said: "When he comes onto the pitch, for him, football is not just about taking the ball and passing it.

"He wants to dribble, he wants to enjoy, you know. He wants to play like he was playing when he was with his friends when he was young."

The St James' Park faithful love an icon. They love players who play for the shirt and put in a real shift. Steve Harper, the veteran keeper who spent 20 years at the club recently told the Daily Telegraph: “I've said to an infinite amount of players when they signed, just make sure you give everything you’ve got.

"It doesn’t matter which country you’re from, what colour your skin is, they want you to be committed to the shirt. That’s the minimum they ask for, but you also have to have a certain character to succeed."

Ben Arfa has the character and the quality to succeed at the club. He gets what football means to the Geordie public and is eager to write his name in black and white folklore.

He told the Chronicle: "I watched the legends play in front of 50,000 people. I want to be like Ginola and Asprilla and entertain every week.

"We hope we can fill the stadium out and do something similar. That would never happen in France for a legends game, but we want to entertain the people now. There is such a big culture here and we want to continue it."

The 26-year-old also enjoys a special relationship with fans. He described it as an "ideal marriage" last season, because the supporters motivate him to take risks.

Last week on Match of the Day, one sound bite said it all: "When they [the fans] say go, go, go, take him on, take him on, I can fly ... because its a pleasure to play in front of our supporters."

The feeling seems mutual. 

How excited are you about Ben Arfa's talent? Can he consistently deliver for Newcastle this season? 


image: © mickyb59

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch