Since Newcastle United lost out to that Fabio Borini wonderstrike in the Tyne-Wear derby at the Stadium of Light, they have gone on a superb run of three wins on the bounce.
Alan Pardew’s side have beaten the likes of Chelsea and Norwich City at St James' Park and also triumphed over Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham side at White Hart Lane.
Newcastle’s burgeoning French contingent has been instrumental in the wins, with Loic Remy scoring for fun and the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Mathieu Debuchy, and Yoan Gouffran all performing splendidly.
The weird part is, though, that Newcastle's most-talented Frenchman has played just eight of the 270 odd minutes of this impressive run. Hatem Ben Arfa has been left on the bench for the last three games and results and performances alike have vindicated Alan Pardew’s decision.
However talented the 26-year-old is, he does not like to contribute to the so-called 'agricultural' part of the game - tracking back, pressing and defending from the front are not Ben Arfa’s strong points on the football field.
In terms of pure flair, he is certainly the best player at the club, but flair alone will not get results, it needs to be married with a decent work ethic. The truly great talents in world football always manage to do that.
It is not being implied here that Ben Arfa should give up what he does best - producing individual moments of brilliance.
Individualism is tolerated if it isn’t to the detriment of the team. Ben Arfa needs to put in the hard yards, otherwise the Frenchman will always remain a luxury player.
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