Hatem Ben Arfa’s move to Paris Saint-Germain had the potential to be a pivotal moment in the French club’s attempt to become a true contender in the Champions League.
On his day, the winger is an outstanding talent; very often unplayable.
But when it goes wrong for Ben Arfa, boy does it go wrong.
A lack of effort. Disturbing weight gain. An individual approach to the game. It’s no wonder he’s failed to stay at one club for too long.
He arrived at the Parc des Princes after an impressive season at Nice but two months in and things have quickly turned sour.
After scoring on his debut, it soon became apparent to PSG boss Unai Emery that Ben Arfa doesn’t provide the hard work and dedication that he longs for in his players.
A recent video of the former Newcastle man performing half-hearted press-ups in a training session proves that he doesn’t share Cristiano Ronaldo’s attitude towards the game.
You're not Messi
Emery has since left Ben Arfa out of his team for four straight games, including tonight’s encounter at Toulouse.
The former Sevilla boss is also said to have served the 29-year-old a wake-up call by telling him that he isn’t at the level of Lionel Messi.
“You’re not Messi,” Emery is quoted as saying, per the Mirror. “If you were, I wouldn’t say anything to you at all… You’re not capable of winning a game all by yourself.”
But the PSG boss will be pleased to see Ben Arfa respond to the criticism by posting an inspired video on Instagram.
It’s a clip from the 1982 film “An Officer and a Gentleman”, showing Richard Gere’s character, Zack Mayo, being forced to do push-ups by Sergeant Emil Foley, played by Louis Gossett Jr.
Ben Arfa added the message: “Paris was not built in a day. Determined. #challengeaccepted”
The former Hull City player has deleted all of the other posts on his Instagram page, to perhaps prove that working hard for PSG is all that matters to him right now.
Whether he’s willing to go through with this “challenge”, however, is another matter.
Can Ben Arfa turn a corner? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!