January 9 2019 "ligue 1" french soccer diagram "Brendan donley"

#60 // Ben Arfa → Bourigeaud Rennes 1 – 0 Monaco

Quarterfinals of the Coupe de la Ligue, in France.

An occasion to bear witness…

To long lost Hatem Ben Arfa—reawakened.




You wonder if they planned it out like this.

The free-kick takers whispered to each other before the whistle.

Ready to unleash a trick they’ve kept up their sleeves—the faux-botched decoy set piece.

Performed not for a goal, a good chance, but with one ulterior thing in mind:

To set up for the highlight reel a familiar face—vintage Ben Arfa.


Here it is again, from another angle:



It’s a Messi-esque sequence, and it’s for plays like this that people still remember the name, years after his stint in the EPL.

He never quite put it together, Hatem Ben Arfa, but he’s got that gift.



So how about a proposal, seeing he’s still in form?

A return, a reunion, a realignment of the planets.

Newcastle are 18th in the Premier League.

Ben Arfa is 31, without much current renown.

For this relegation fight the rest of the year, with this transfer window open…

It’s time to bring Mr. Ben Arfa back home:



But for now, as he’s in France, enjoy a throwback:

To the good old days in Newcastle upon Tyne.