Friday, August 13, 2010

It's like 2005 all over again

According to reports, Hatem Ben Arfa's transfer to Newcastle is currently experiencing more ups and downs than a pair of Peter Crouch's pants.

With suggestions that the deal was virtually done on Monday, with Ben Arfa due to arrive on a season-long loan, the French club have suddenly seemed to back away from the agreement. Ben Arfa himself scored a belting 30-yard goal for France on Wednesday, and now looks to have gone in to a Gallic sulk, staying away from training for the last two days and reportedly missing a meeting with manager Didier Deschamps today.

While in one sense it's heartening to see a player apparently so desperate to join Newcastle that he'll do all he can to engineer the move, I can't help but feel slight reservations about bringing in a player prone to sulking and potentially a disruptive influence on the dressing room. While we've undoubtedly enjoyed watching a succession of moody French left-footers over the last few years (Ginola, Robert, the Zog), should he arrive will he throw his toys out of his pram if things don't all go his way, and start mouthing off to the press?

On the subject of players mouthing off to the press, the Times is apparently reporting (I would check, but can't due to the pay wall) that we're being linked with Man City's most unwanted: Craig Bellamy. As Ben mentioned in his preview, I don't think we can argue that the no-necked text pest wouldn't improve our team, but would he (a) want to come to us and take the wage cut which that would inevitably mean; (b) do we want him back; and (c) would Shearer pop out from his box and knock his block off?

With other clubs, notably Mark Hughes' Fulham circling, I suspect Bellamy won't be heading back to Tyneside anyway, but it's worth just wondering whether signing either player, talented though they may be, would actually be in the club's best interests. As you've probably worked out, I haven't yet made up my mind - whether Chris Hughton has remains to be seen.


Anonymous Supertramp said...

Just wanted to leave my two cents.

It would not be in the clubs best interest to sign Bellamy because he would be toxic to the dressing and after getting our house in order after a year in the Championship I wouldn't want to risk that on someone like Bellamy.

But that's just me

2:33 pm  

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