But Newcastle, who are in 14th place, have failed to reach those dizzying heights this campaign, beating Wigan last week following four consecutive Premier League defeats.
Despite a disappointing start, Ben Arfa, who was accustomed to playing Champions League football at Lyon and Marseille, maintains he is happy at the club.
“I feel very happy in Newcastle, I feel welcome, I feel loved here,” Ben Arfa told the Independent.
“I love the city, I love the place. I love it when the fans come to meet me, or they come to see me.”
Ben Arfa suffered a broken leg following a challenge from Nigel de Jong in 2010, and the playmaker believes the injury aided his development after making an eye-catching comeback last term.
“I think there is a reason I had that experience, maybe to learn more,” he said.
“I am happy to have had that experience today but not then. I can be philosophical about it now. It is a very good thing. I have learned from the experience.”