At the age of almost thirty-five, did Hatem Ben Arfa physically cooked for the first division?

At the age of almost thirty-five, did Hatem Ben Arfa physically cooked for the first division?

Everything is ready, only the details remain to be ironed out before signing. Hatem Ben Arfa arrives on Monday night and will become Lusk’s player in the next few hours until the end of the season. “He is there and training individually. We are waiting for the green light. I hope it will be resolved very quickly so that he can join the group, this was confirmed on Tuesday by Jocelyn Jorvenek, Lusk coach who welcomes Lorient on Wednesday (7pm) in a late Ligue 1 match.” .

At about 35 years old, the player is preparing to join the seventh French club in his career (Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Rennes, Bordeaux). Nice media stunt for the northern club, but it’s a real sporting question. Because Ben Arfa has not played an official match for nine months. Even if all is well because – he trains individually with a physical coach – don’t worry about him, the stubborn legend of all left behind on the field, as if personal preparations can replace the intensity of basic group training.

Fitness in question

“From what we have seen of him it is ‘decent’. They have been checked individually and they look good,” confirms Jorvinik. Good. The same opinion is on the part of his great friend Matthew Bodmer. “Hatem is sharp. I saw him not so long ago, he is in great shape. He trains once or twice a day, so I don’t have much doubts about the sports part,” the consultant from Excellent video. Candy.

It is impossible for his future coach and great friend to say that Ben Arfa is on the street physically. However, the question clearly arises for the player who did not make any group preparations pre-season for five years and his last season with Paris Saint-Germain, when he was already a 3D player. Whether at Rennes, Valladolid or Bordeaux, the French football genius signed his contracts each time after recovering, dodging foundational cardio sessions to keep up. It just happened in Brittany, not to mention Spain and the Gironde where Ben Arfa suffered after two respectable months. Suddenly, it’s hard to ignite before landing in Lusk.

Explosion decreases with age

“It all depends on what he did in the meantime. In order to work physically, you have to do exactly what you do all season at the club: make an effort all the time and then play some play as well. You have to reproduce what is done in the regular season “explains Fabian Richard The coach who revived Ben Arfa then missed playing time in Lyon.

But that was in 2007, when the striker was still a child. Fifteen years later, it is no longer the same story as physical trainer Alexandre Dellal admitted. Hatim needs size to make a difference with above-average technical quality. His explosiveness, and his high-intensity speed changes are of paramount importance to his game. But the qualities that decline most quickly when you are over 30 years old are explosive strength and the ability to repeat high-speed sprints,” explains former OGC member Nice Staff Ben Arfa (2015-2016).

He hasn’t played for eight months

Another obstacle for the former international: the lack of land. Even if he had already emphasized doing 5 vs 5 to keep pace during these periods without a club, as when he was waiting for his signature in Nice to be approved by FIFA, nothing replaces the real floor. “You lose speed, that’s obvious. What often happens is that players are good in the first two or three matches before they have a little physical gap in their stride,” explains Fabian Richard.

However, his former physical trainers assured him that Ben Arfa did not finish thanks to particularly unusual technical qualities. And contrary to what he can sometimes show, the attacker is a hardworking worker. “He has a healthy lifestyle. He watches what he eats and is very conscientious. He is a smart boy, well surrounded and has a maturity that allows him to know what he has to do and what Ligue 1 requires for a player in his position,” explains Alexandre Dellal.

“In order to work physically with Hatim, you have to tell him that you love him.”

Perhaps it was Ben Arfa’s luck. Often a regular fixture during his earlier spells in Ligue 1, the 34-year-old comes above all else to be a Losc complement, the kind of player capable of making you shake up a match by going into the last quarter of the hour. A logical situation in a club that does not need to be the French champions or qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

It remains to be seen if the transplant will take place quickly with Lille’s locker room, because Ben Arfa needs the head for the legs to turn. “In order to work physically with Hatem, you have to tell him that you love him. Hatim needs to be very likable. If you know how to take him, he will go too far. When he wants, it’s cool, and when he doesn’t, it’s more complicated. He really is a cyclical person. Fabian Richard supports.

Arrived at night on familiar land

Fortunately, these wonderful feelings will be in good hands at Lille. In the dressing room, Benjamin Andre is well known, with whom he won the French Cup in Rennes. In the offices, his proximity to Olivier Letang, the main reason he came to Lille, would also be an advantage. The same applies to his relationship with Martin Bouchet, Lusk’s performance chief, whom Ben Arfa had already grappled with at PSG.

“He is a huge player who can surprise an athlete if you trust yourself. And in Lille, he has reached a field in which he already has directions, which is very important “concludes Alexandre Dellal. It remains to be seen whether the core will succeed in making up for the lack of legs in these five months in the North.

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