Ben Arfa lifts lid on Newcastle 'humiliation'
Former Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has spoken of his "hell" on Tyneside as his career in English football drew to a close.
The 28-year-old, who has won a return to the France squad after excelling with current club Nice, whom he was prevented from joining in January because of FIFA regulations, was left to train with the club's youngsters after then manager Alan Pardew finally lost patience with him and eventually sent out on an ill-fated loan spell to Hull.
Ben Arfa told www.francefootball.fr: "It was a very, very difficult period. The worst of my career. It was as if my hell began at Newcastle.
"There, on the first day back in August 2014, I was placed directly with the reserves. A terrible humiliation. Weeks passed and I was always with these young 16 and 17-year-olds on land away from the pros.
"I did not understand. They gave me a nightmare. It was full of little cheap shots. And when I believed in me [getting out] by signing for Nice, they were forbidden to hire me (until July)."