On his day, Hatem Ben Arfa is untouchable; no one else in the world can ghost past players like the enigmatic Frenchman, and that includes Lionel Messi. Ben Arfa’s greatest strength – in that he believes he can do anything – is also his greatest weakness. Too often he can lack motivation his ridiculous talent requires. He wants it all his own way and if he doesn’t get it, his head goes. He is the ultimate maverick of a player; the flawed genius.
It’s a crime that the player who came from the footballing scrapheap, single-handedly dragged a tiny club like Nice into an inch of the Champions League last season, but can’t get a place in the starting line-up at PSG. Look at what Nice are now achieving this season, off the back of Ben Arfa getting rid of his fat and cobwebs he built up from being disgracefully ousted at Newcastle & Hull; they could become French Champions.
In the 2015/16 season, Ben Arfa averaged four successful dribbles-per-game, which is ridiculous. He scored 17 goals in 34 games; magnifique!
His time at Newcastle, on the whole, was a positive one. The fans loved him as he gave them goals and performances they had never seen before. The skill the man possessed was frightening. Almost unbelievable; he was totally underappreciated throughout his time in England, as typically the pundits that control English football tagged him as lazy and untrustworthy. Total nonsense. He was a genius that just loved to play and express himself.
Ask him to spend most of his time covering his full-back and tracking back and you’re the moron, not him. Would you ask Messi to do the same?
No doubt, Messi is unbelievable and many would say the best player on the planet. What a player like Ben Arfa can do are things that are out of this world. Things you couldn’t even imagine. The type of goals and moments script writers try and think of to make a footballing hero come alive; Ben Arfa is that player in real life.
You don’t know what he is going to do next but you know it will seem impossible. Dribble past four or five players with Fifa type skill? Easy. Score in the last minute with either foot, right in the top corner? Done. Blast a free-kick in from 40 yards from an impossible angle? Just watch:
Benny is a dreamer. That’s why he is special:
“I know some will still take me for a fool, but I still dream for example of the Ballon d’Or,” he told France Football. “I am convinced that this is still possible.
“It is forbidden to dream?”
Hatem Ben Arfa
The sooner Ben Arfa finds himself a new club that will allow him to express himself and we can all go back to sitting back and watching his unmatched genius, the better! He is an underrated and underappreciated genius that the game needs. He is one of a kind that will end up retiring and remembered as a ‘wasted talent’. This can not happen. It mustn’t be allowed to happen.
Newcastle United’s all-time best Premier League players