Rennes vs Arsenal: Hatem Ben Arfa can get revenge on former boss Unai Emery as his wild career continues

Arsenal travel to Rennes in the Europa League on Thursday LIVE on talkSPORT and Unai Emery will come up against a player he is very familiar with.

Hatem Ben Arfa was managed by Emery during a spell at Paris Saint-Germain, but neither man saw eye-to-eye and had a tumultuous relationship.

GettyImages 1127820778 - Rennes vs Arsenal: Hatem Ben Arfa can get revenge on former boss Unai Emery as his wild career continues
Ben Arfa is Rennes’ star man

A mercurial talent, Ben Arfa was and is capable of producing moments of magic and the Gunners will hope he is not on song tomorrow.

talkSPORT.com takes a look at the chequed history he shared with Emery.


In the dictionary, the term maverick is defined as an individualist, an outsider, eccentric. Ben Arfa perfectly encapsulates the phrase.

Having played for seven clubs throughout his career, perhaps no spell best summarises the enigma that is Ben Arfa better than his time with Paris Saint-Germain under Emery.

Now in charge of Arsenal, Emery will face his former foe when the Gunners take on Rennes in the Europa League round of 16 first-leg on Thursday.

GettyImages 601090322 - Rennes vs Arsenal: Hatem Ben Arfa can get revenge on former boss Unai Emery as his wild career continues
Emery and Ben Arfa had a rocky relationship at PSG

It is safe to say the two men did not have the greatest of bonds and their remarkable falling out resulted in the ex-Newcastle midfielder being dumped in the PSG reserves and not featuring for the whole of the 2017/18 season.

The stories incredibly range from Emery telling Ben Arfa to stop acting like Lionel Messi, the Frenchman eating a kebab at training and sarcastically celebrating his one-year expulsion from the first-team with an anniversary cake.

The pair joined the club on the same day in July 2016, Ben Arfa initially impressed, but this quickly changed and he was not afforded the regular playing time he craved under Emery, featuring mainly from the bench.

GettyImages 611800688 - Rennes vs Arsenal: Hatem Ben Arfa can get revenge on former boss Unai Emery as his wild career continues
Ben Arfa was mainly used from the bench

According to Get Football News, a French media outlet, Ben Arfa’s frequent bouts of indiscipline led to his exile.

He would do impressions of Emery attempting to speak French when around other players in the dressing room and also told the former Sevilla manager he would never get past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, even if he had the best team in the world following their exit to Barcelona, who overturned a four-goal deficit to record the biggest comeback in the competition’s history by winning 6-1.

Live Sport on talkSPORT

Thursday, March 7

Rennes vs Arsenal – 5:55pm – talkSPORT 2

Saturday, March 9

Sheffield United vs Rotherham – 12:15pm – talkSPORT 2

Crystal Palace vs Brighton – 12:30pm – talkSPORT

Leicester City vs Fulham – 3:00pm – talkSPORT 2

Manchester City vs Watford – 5:30pm – talkSPORT

Sunday, March 10

Birmingham City vs Aston Villa – 12:00pm – talkSPORT 2

Liverpool vs Burnley – 12:00pm – talkSPORT

Ben Arfa also showed a lack of professionalism, when he was seen by coaching staff eating kebabs in the car park at their training ground.

GettyImages 626766762 - Rennes vs Arsenal: Hatem Ben Arfa can get revenge on former boss Unai Emery as his wild career continues
Ben Arfa was banished to the reserves

Dani Alves named him ‘The Phenomenon’ and he had the support of his team-mates in the dressing room, but player power was not enough to change Emery’s mind at the end of the 2016/17 campaign and he was banished to the reserves.

A year later, the 31-year-old would mark his exile from the team with a cake complete with candle and a thumbs up pose.

His humour clearly not affected.

After a miserable two seasons in the French capital, Ben Arfa moved on to the more modest surroundings of Rennes and has revived a career that has always carried with it plenty of talent and promise.

Should Rennes prevail against Arsenal, it would be a perfect measure of revenge for Ben Arfa to get one over his former boss.

2 thoughts on “Rennes vs Arsenal: Hatem Ben Arfa can get revenge on former boss Unai Emery as his wild career continues

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *