Hatem Ben Arfa certainly isn’t on Unai Emery’s Christmas card list.
The two famously clashed during their time together at Paris Saint-Germain, so seeing them face off in Arsenal’s trip to Rennes this evening was certainly interesting.
The midfielder was outstanding in the game at Roazhon Park, helping his side win 3-1 against the Gunners in the first-leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie.
Bossing it in the final-third, the former Newcastle star didn’t once lose possession for his side, and certainly showed the world why he’s still considered one of the most technically gifted players of his generation.
Of course, amongst all of the skill and bravado is a player who’s seriously frustrating.
It’s often said that Ben Arfa could’ve been a world class talent, if it wasn’t for his appalling mentality and attitude.
That much is evident from his ill-fated spell at PSG, when Emery was his manager.
The two fell out numerous times between 2016 and 2018, with the Spaniard eventually banishing him to the reserves, with the feud finally ending in a court case.
The 32-year-old reportedly mocked Emery’s grasp of French, and once claimed the coach would never make it past the Champions League last 16, even with the best team in the world.
Other stories include Emery telling Ben Arfa to stop acting like Lionel Messi, the Frenchman eating a kebab at training and even sarcastically celebrating his one-year expulsion from the first team with an anniversary cake.
The pair finally left Paris in the summer, with Emery ending up at Arsenal and Ben Arfa at Rennes – where he’s been in fine form, helping the Ligue 1 also-rans with seven goals and five assists this season.
We imagine he enjoyed getting his revenge tonight.
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