Hatem Ben Arfa offers frank account of his personal Newcastle nightmare

St James Park

The former Newcastle United star, now with Nice, has been speaking about his difficult final few months at St James’ Park.

Hatem Ben Arfa has described the final few months of his time at Newcastle United as “hell” during a fascinating interview conducted with France Football in his homeland.

The 28-year-old endured a difficult final few months at St James’ Park, having been frozen out of the first team picture by then Toon manager Alan Pardew.

Loaned out to Hull City for the 2014/15 campaign, Ben Arfa’s spell with the Tigers was eventually cut short after he failed to impress manager Steve Bruce with his attitude.

Now back in France and thriving with Nice, Ben Arfa offered up a frank assessment of those final few months during an interview with France Football, translated and republished by The Chronicle.

“It was a very, very difficult period. The worst of my career. It was as if (my) hell began (at) Newcastle,” he said.

“There, on the first day back in August 2014, I was placed directly with the reserves. A terrible humiliation. Weeks passed and I was always with these young 16 and 17-year-olds on land away from those pros. I did not understand. They gave me a nightmare. It was full of little cheap shots.”

Worse was to come following his release by Newcastle, however, as FIFA rules prevented Ben Arfa from appearing for another team, meaning his move to Nice was put on hold for six months.

Describing the situation, the 28-year-old admitted: “I had the feeling of being locked in a dark room without a door, or in an endless tunnel.

“I saw hell and especially no solution to my problems. At that time, I was wrong, I did not see any light. I was a prisoner.”

He eventually did find a way out of “hell” signing with Nice, who kept faith with the troubled French star and have duly been rewarded with a return of seven goals in 10 appearances so far this season.

Called up to Didier Deschamps' latest France squad for a series of friendlies, Ben Arfa will now be looking to move on from the disappointing end to his Newcastle career and potentially earn a place in Les Bleus’ squad for Euro 2016.

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