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Hatem Ben Arfa on UEL exit: “We got a bit carried away by the increased media intensity.”

Speaking in an interview with L’Équipe, Rennes attacking midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa discussed his side’s Europa League exit against Arsenal

“The Round of 16 2nd leg against Real Betis should be our reference point in terms of a collective since the beginning of the season, everyone was keeping in check, nobody tried to shine for themselves. I was spoken to recently about the 2nd leg against Arsenal and for me, if we had shown that same spirit that we displayed at Betis, I am certain that we would have gone through. Aside from that, we had players without much experience, who got a bit carried away by the increased media intensity. That is where the club needs to go to the next level. Expensive players, in those moments, know how to deal with it all. We showed that we had talent in the 1st leg against Arsenal, but for the great players, it is not only a question of talent, but a question of controlling the event, which we failed to do.”

“Against Betis, we had that effervescence that pushed everyone to their limits. We became narcissistic, produced a self-sufficient attitude (vs. Arsenal). We paid for not battling in those moments. That is why the club needs to go to higher levels, by signing players who can manage moments like that, which will allow players in turn to grow.”

 

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