Hatem Ben Arfa is widely regarded as an indanely talented footballer by many across this country, but most of us would also readily admit that the midfielder likes to talk about himself quite a lot. Well guess what? The little man is at it again.
Now free from Newcastle Uninted and playing for French side Nice, Ben Arfa clearly feels ready to discuss the “hell” that he experienced on Tyneside as a consequence of Alan Pardew’s management techniques. Self-indulgent to the end, were you to take the diminutive midfielder solely on his word, you’d assume he’d been the victim of a calculated bullying campaign, with no blame placed at his own doorstep.
It’s convenient, throughout Ben Arfa’s whines, that he neglects to mention the fact that Steve Bruce also washed his hands of him very quickly after attempting to reform his character; such was the chaos he caused. Much like a spoiled only child, the Frenchman maintains a startling inability to understand why he is more to blame than anyone for his failures.
The midfielder’s consistent digs at his former boss worked well alongside the negative narrative that so many Newcastle fans were keen to push in Pardew’s final months in charge, but it’s worth noting the appreciation Palace’s players have shown for the gaffer’s man management skills in the 13 months since he took over as a direct contradiction to that.
The entire interview from Ben Arfa reads like the ramblings of a power-crazed teenager, desperate to speak about their own importance in the world, without realising that their self-aggrandisement simply provokes others into feelings of pity over the levels of delusion they are misguidedly spouting to whoever is willing to listen.
He may be a cult hero at St James’ Park to this day for the things he did on the pitch, but I simply can’t take him seriously in the aftermath of this interview. No wonder Pardew wanted rid of him.