Considering Unai Emery isn’t a particularly big fan of prima donnas - he likes players who are prepared to give everything during matches and on the training pitch - it was a surprise when Paris Saint-Germain announced the signing of Hatem Ben Arfa this summer.
Although it’s easy to see why Emery was tempted to sign the player - Ben Arfa, a boyhood PSG fan, was superb for Nice last season, scoring 16 goals and registering five assists in Ligue 1 - this didn’t feel like a match made in heaven.
And so it’s no great surprise that the relationship between Emery and Ben Arfa has already turned sour, after less than three months working together in the French capital.
Article continues below
The former Marseille and Newcastle United star has been left out of PSG’s last three match-day squads and it’s patently clear that his manager is rapidly losing his patience.
“I expect more from him,” Emery said of Ben Arfa, per the Daily Mail, earlier this month. “I want him to play more for the team and less for himself. At Nice, he was making differences on his own. At PSG, he needs to combine more with his teammates.
Article continues below
“I expect him to do more work defensively. He must improve his work, wait for the opportunity to play and do well when it comes. If he plays 10 minutes, he should do well over those 10 minutes, and the same over 30 or 90 minutes.”
Video: Ben Arfa's half-hearted press-ups in training
As well as his work ethic during matches, Emery also expects to see more from Ben Arfa on the training ground.
However, a video showing Ben Arfa producing some rather half-hearted press-ups - brought to our attention by 101 Great Goals - has gone viral today.
The footage shows several PSG players putting in a lot more effort than Ben Arfa, who also finishes before everyone else.
A couple of the PSG players, including Marquinhos, also look a little unimpressed with their teammate’s lack of effort.
Ben Arfa's teammates back him to shine
Despite Ben Arfa’s recent problems at the Parc des Princes, however, PSG midfielders Thiago Motta and Adrien Rabiot have backed him to turn the situation around.
“I’m glad to see a player of his quality in the squad,” Motta told RMC, per the Mail. 'We are a lot of players and it's not easy for the coach to make his choice.
“For Hatem, the advice I can give him is to continue working. He is a great player, he demonstrated that last year and he will get opportunities.
“Everybody tries to help, in the field and mentally too, for him to again become the Hatem we saw last year. He was very good with Nice.
“We're a team, he is part of the team. We will support Hatem to the end.”
“He's a boy that works. When he has a chance, I am sure he will seize it,” Rabiot added. “It is not an easy situation to be discarded like that, not being able to participate with his teammates.”
Will PSG get rid of Hatem Ben Arfa - or will he turn things around? Have your say by leaving a comment below.