To say that Hatem Ben Arfa’s career has been full of ups and downs would be an understatement.
Once seen as a prodigy, the former France international has enjoyed a decent time as a footballer, but it hasn’t gone anywhere as smoothly as it should have done.
Spells in England with Newcastle United and Hull City weren’t the springboard he hoped they would, and the general consensus is that the attacking midfielder hasn’t had the career he could have had.
Now with Girondins de Bordeaux, the former St James’ Park resident put in a rather dismal performance against Marseille at the weekend, which was too much for French pundit Daniel Riolo to bear, as he lost his cool on RMC Sport.
Relayed by Web Girondins, he said: “They didn’t create a single opportunity because they have a muppet who thinks of himself as an international star, who as soon as he gets the ball, doesn’t give it to anyone, wants to dribble three players and shoots in the stands. It’s a shame! And the guy doesn’t even run. Did you see him on the pitch, his attitude? He’s not running…”
Then, his entire career was brought up: “We’ve been pissing about for 15 years with this guy in French football, and you still have people who are saying ‘yeah, he’s a great player, he’s a real genius’. And our fellow journalists have been saying the same for 15 years.
“Just shut your mouths, you all suck. You don’t understand anything about football. It drives me crazy that this guy has been considered a genius for fifteen years. But when? A genius is Messi! Besides an idiot, there is no one who can say that he is a genius.
“They can put me on trial in the world, the guy who tells me that Ben Arfa is a genius is an idiot, a guy who does not understand anything about football.”
While his time at Newcastle might have gone better than at other places, it still wasn’t the best part of his career, as he only managed 14 goals and 16 assists in 86 appearances for the club.
It was a mixture of invisible performances and moments of excitement, like his solo goal for the Magpies against Bolton, but for the most part, many would agree it was rather underwhelming.