Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Too much too Jong

The fallout from Sunday's match rumbles on, with the news that we've asked the FA to take the "appropriate action" against Nigel de Jong for his tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa, described in a club statement as "unnecessary" and using "excessive force".

Meanwhile, PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has entered the debate, denouncing "reckless and unnecessary" challenges, and Dutch icon Johan Cruyff has backed Bert van Marwijk's decision to drop de Jong from the Netherlands squad.

Lest de Jong should feel himself the victim of a witch-hunt (and let's face it, he is - but when you're sat on a broom in a pointy hat with a black cat in your lap, what do you expect?), it's worth noting that someone has spoken out in his defence, insisting he's actually "a sweet guy". The person in question? That would be his fellow maimer in the Dutch midfield Mark Van Bommel. It's hardly a glowing character reference - more like Reggie Kray describing brother Ronnie as cute and cuddly.

And still there's no word of regret or remorse from either de Jong or Man City - shown up by Karl Henry's public apology for the tackle on Wigan's Jordi Gomez that earned him a straight red card. Maybe a career in South American politics awaits the pair of them?

The game continues to feature in the news for other reasons, too. Those looking to Sunday's performance for encouragement will have been pleased to note that we had our illustrious opponents rattled enough for tempers to fray between captain and manager in the dressing room at half-time...


Blogger Nicholine said...

My oh my, you lot are really struggling to get over this defeat aren't you. Look, sometimes you can play well and lose...get used to it (we have!). More seriously, De Jong is a full blooded player but in all sincerity he is not the psycho that the press are making him out to be. It was his trailing leg that caught your man. De Jong clearly got the ball (pleeeeeease watch the video and you will see). The conditions were very slippery and it was highly unfortunate that Ben Arfa's leg was still rooted to the ground when the inevitable impact happened. It is true that De Jong made a terrible tackle in the world cup (and he should have seen red for that), but he is no Roy Keane. He is not the kind of player to go out and deliberately hurt someone. It's interesting that someone like Englands golden boy, Stevie G and elbow another player and receive nowhere near the same media intensity! As a City fan, and moreover as a football fan I wish Ben Arfa a speedy recovery and I hope the Toon Army stay up (which I am sure you will do) but please do not jump on the band wagon. De Jong's tackle was hard but fair.

1:01 am  
Anonymous Blue said...

I'd be worried by the Newcastle team spirit if
I were you, judging by the way Ben Afars team mates lept to his defence after such a 'malicious' assault..... Or maybe like your assistant coach they realise it's part and parcel of the game and is seen week in week out on most pitches

1:05 am  
Anonymous Snozzablue said...

This is a complete over-reaction to a perfectly legitimate tackle. There was never any intent to injure the player and DeJong got the ball first. It was simply the momentum as well as the slippery conditions that contributed most to the injury. As far as DeJong not showing any malice, he's expected to visit Ben Arfa in hospital in the next few days. Newcastle need to get over it. You lost the match, fair enough a few decisions went against you but thats football and there has been plenty of those kinds of decision that have gone in your favour in the past.

2:21 am  
Anonymous Michael R. said...

I doubt the FA will give out any supplementary discipline seeing as the tackle wasn't even deemed a foul. Which is a ridiculous rule but don't get me started.

I was really disappointed with the amount of people defending de Jong after the match. These types of incidents won't go away until the media and fans start to denounce them as they should.

Lets hope it's sooner rather than later.

4:01 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

A more 'scientific' way of determining if de Jong is a witch..

Any news on how he's doing and how long he's out?

1:12 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

Nika and Snozzablue: If you'd bothered reading the match report, you'd have seen that I said quite clearly that de Jong won the ball - but also that that was no defence. Intent is very difficult to prove, and it may be that de Jong didn't set out to cause the injury - but all the same he knowingly made the sort of challenge which can and indeed does break legs. This isn't about us losing the game (or, rather, being cheated out of it by Martin Atkinson) - there's no way of knowing whether we'd have got a result if de Jong had been sent off. But it is about fair play.

Blue: Colin Calderwood's comments disappointed me - but he clearly wasn't speaking for the club, who issued the statement asking the FA to investigate.

Michael R: Agreed - I suspect our petition to the FA will be in vain, but only because of that daft rule.

Bob: Ben Arfa's undergone surgery and while they haven't specified how long he's going to be out, it's likely to be about six months.

1:37 pm  

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