Newcastle United has become an exciting team to watch under manager Alan Pardew, mainly due to the heavy French contingent he has assembled at St. James Park.
With about half of Pardew’s key players being French Internationals, it is understandable that Newcastle United has a French style of play to them. No Frenchman or any other player on the Newcastle squad has had a bigger influence on the team than Hatem Ben Arfa. The French International is a tremendously wonderful soccer player, oozing with class and quality that any manager would love to coach.
Once considered a troublemaker, unprofessional and immature, Ben Arfa has grown up a lot in the past year and has become one of the bright lights in the English Premier League. When Ben Arfa is unfit, he leaves a massive void in the attacking third of the pitch for Pardew’s side.
Ben Arfa is extremely gifted. He is blessed with pace and superior athleticism; the Frenchman leaves defenders in his wake consistently when he gets on the ball. Ben Arfa loves to take defenders on, creating havoc all over the final third of the pitch, as he will go anywhere to receive the ball and feels comfortable playing as a winger, striker or in a No. 10 role.
Newcastle has the ambition to get into the top four of the Premiership and secure a Champions League place. Ben Arfa’s form and fitness will be the major determination in achieving that goal. He is an irreplaceable player in the side and if he continues on this path, he will most certainly have a starring role in Brazil at next Summer’s World Cup for France.