Leon Best and Hatem Ben Arfa

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Leon Best believes Newcastle fans could see some special performances from Hatem Ben Arfa between now and the end of the season, thanks to the Frenchman's growing self-confidence.

Ben Arfa netted his second goal of the season last weekend as United triumphed over Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup third round, and it was a stunning individual strike which saw the forward carry the ball from the halfway line before firing home.

After spending nine months sidelined by a double leg break last season, that goal was a big boost for Ben Arfa, who is still finding his feet following the horror injury.

And Best - who is a close friend of the former Marseille man - reckons Ben Arfa is looking more assured every time he steps out onto the pitch.

"It's a matter of Hatem believing in himself, as well as people getting on him and keeping him in a happy mood," Best told nufc.co.uk.

"He's a funny character, but a lovely guy and I get on very well with him. It is sometimes a matter of confidence within yourself, and it came out against Blackburn last weekend.

"That will help him progress and show his talent even more this season."