Nigel de Jong’s inability to tackle has left Newcastle United without much needed flair

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

Ben Arfa was recklessly tackled by Nigel de Jong which resulted in a broken leg

Ben Arfa - Brave fella who wants to play in a Black and White jersey again

Three minutes in, Newcastle United with possession and looking threatening. The ball is on our right wing, and Ben Arfa picks it up. He dribbles inward showing a tad of pace before Nigel de Jong slides in to dispossess him. All seems fine, but the Frenchman is on the floor, and not looking very well at all.  Five minutes later he leaves on a stretcher carried by three Manchester City medical staff and a Newcastle United representative to their credit. The crowd clap him off the pitch as he departs after only three minutes of action, with an oxygen mask attached. he salutes the fans, acknowledging their appreciation and sympathy for what seems a very serious injury.

We end up losing the game 2-1, in a game we should have never really lost to be perfectly honest. We gave away a debatable penalty, and were denied a stonewall one in the final minutes of the second half. Did I also mention that ref Martin Atkinson didn’t book de Jong for his challenge that broke Hatem Ben Arfa’s leg in two places and in fact didn’t even give a foul?

Well the story now is that we’re without Ben Arfa for a solid 6 months thanks to a needless challenge from Nigel de Jong who simply cannot tackle. His challenge on Staurt Holden in a friendly against the US that also broken the American’s leg springs to mind, never mind the tackle the whole world saw - his lung into Xabi Alonso’s chest during the World Cup Final.

Of course he’ll always defend himself by claiming he got the ball and that it was a perfectly legitimate challenge. Indeed he did get the ball, but in the most reckless and careless fashion. He could’ve simply stoel the ball off Ben Arfa without even grounding the Frenchman, but no, he had to be the hard man and crunch his opposition as well.

It’ not just me and the Newcastle United fans who are angered and outraged at this challenge. Dutch boss Bert van Marwijk also showed his disgust at the tackle by dumping de Jong out of the Netherlands squad or their upcoming Euro 2012 Qualifiers. Credit to the manager for this, as he clearly realised that de Jong had been doing this all his career, and will indeed continue to do so unless there’s drastic changes.

NUFC have written to the FA over this tackle and are looking for a ban for the Dutchman. If we can get de Jong banned, it would signal to the footballing world, what tackles you will and will not get away with, even if the referee sees it, and decides against giving a foul.

We really hope to see Ben Arfa in a Newcastle United shirt again, and indeed wish him a speedy recovery. He has already said that he’s overwhelmed by the support and good wishes shown to him by all the Newcastle United fans and hopes he can pull on a Black and White Shirt again. Get well soon Hatem, and get banned de Jong.

Comments always welcome 🙂

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Johnscarre: ⏱ 06/10/2010

Signalise ????? What sort of rubbish word is that? Signal would be perfectly correct. This is football you are writing about -- not American football.

SDKHJ: ⏱ 06/10/2010


Alexxx: ⏱ 06/10/2010

I am a hugh NUFC fan and am absolutly shattered from the injury that wor Benny has received, but I don't know how you can say "Three minutes in, Newcastle United with possession and looking threatening" followed by "a needless challenge from Nigel de Jong" thus resulting in stopping a 'threatening' attack. It was a very bad, almost inexplicable challange that could prove to end the career of a player dubbed France's best player of his generation, however it was more exsessive and full bodied, rather than ''needless''. Here's to a speedy and 100% recovery to HBA. the toon will miss you this season

Doocey: ⏱ 06/10/2010

Joey Barton is a pretty good tackler yes, Nolan doesn't tackle a whole lot anymore. It was a reckless, needless tackle. Utter stupidity from de Jong - Simple as.

hels1: ⏱ 06/10/2010

What a load of tosh. I'm not even a City fan and the tackle was hard but fair. The Newcastle hysteria is baffling to me, but then again it would not be Newcastle if you did not have something to bleat about.

The Pope: ⏱ 06/10/2010

Talk about back and white specs ! Or just joining in with the media witch hunt? Turn the tables and if De Jong played for you would you be talking all this rubbish? No, you'd be saying what everyone with half a brain have been saying that is was a hard but fair challenge and that it was an unfortunate accident. The ref called in exactly right - no it wasn't a foul! He won the ball ! How are you supposed to make that sort of challenge carefully? Put some slippers on? Sorry you've lost a player for 6 months but thats football ffs.

Doocey: ⏱ 06/10/2010

It was a needless challenge. It just wasn't needed - simple as. There was no necessity to lunge in like he did, or indeed follow through with his right leg, that inevitably did the damage.

jackblue: ⏱ 06/10/2010

What was wrong with the tackle idiot? Instead of witch-hunting De Jong get rid opf that racist thug Barton.

Foxy: ⏱ 06/10/2010

The reaction to this unfortunate incident is not consistent with the tackle itself. I ask you, would the tackle have even been mentioned if Hatem Ben Arfa had got up and continued the game? This witch hunt is on because of the nature of the injury sustained, that it was De Jong who made the tackle and because it adds more hypocritical media hype to anything current involving City. Challenges like this one are seen in every premiership game each week. De Jong job is to make tackles and I believe he has the highest tackle/success ratio of any premiership player this season. The decision of the Dutch manager beggars belief considering the way he set out to kick his way to victory over Spain in the WCF. Like most genuine City fans, I feel for the kid and I like Newcastle as a club but please, don't jump on the media bandwagon and kid yourselves that is was anything other than a hard tackle where the ball was there to be won. Ask yourself honestly - if Barton or Nolan had made the tackle would your reaction still be one of disgust and horror?

Mister Know It All: ⏱ 06/10/2010

Ben Arfa needs to be playing at a Top Four club anyway, rather than one flirting with relegation.See - we can all right (sic) bollox too!

Chris: ⏱ 06/10/2010

Newcastle was in possession in Manchester City's half - you say looking threatening?? Are you suggesting that Newcastle are that sh!te in a threatening position that the opposition should just let them get on with it rather than making needless tackles upon their players!!!! Get real. Ben Arfas standing leg wasn't able to ride the challenge from De Jongs Trailing leg after he had cleanly and fairly won the ball because his studs were caught in the turf (Synthetic weaved playing surface). Either that or he was on the same school milk as Djbrel Cisse who had a knack of snapping legs

footyfan94: ⏱ 06/10/2010

the first part of the tackle was fine it was after when his second leg came trough that did the damage. and yes as any fan would you are standing up for one of your own players. also if it was joey barton everyone would be calling for a ban. also it was unfortunate tackles like this shouldn't go unpunished even if there isnt an injury. i also like to see hard tackles but it is hard to draw a line between hard and unfair for some efs especially when it is influenced by being at a home ground and one of the top sides in english football.

Johncat02: ⏱ 06/10/2010

i agree ive herd shouts of give de jong 6 month ban they make me laugh what about kevin nolans challenge on victor anichabi hewas 18 months out of the game if he got the same time out they would not be in the prem get over it

Doocey: ⏱ 06/10/2010

To be perfectly honest, I can't really understand anything you've said in those lines.

It's Grim Oop North: ⏱ 06/10/2010

Hope the lad recovers quickly with no long-term ill effects. We all know it is the job of the "hardman" on each team to clatter the opposition's best, poncy player in the first five minutes, to quiet him down, and get him to sulk for the rest of the game. This tactic worked rather well with Elano and Robinho, to name but two recent City players, famous for going missing when the going gets tough. So why the shock - horror when Dejong does it? It's really sad Ben Arfur suffered such a bad injury, but to pretend it's one or two players that do this hatchet job in the whole of football is hypocritical at best, as we all know just about every team from the Sunday League to the World Cup Finals does it. And it's not as if they're not well paid to take the risks of serious injury is it? Again, I wish HBA a full and speedy recovery, but please can we have some perspective?

Pleb: ⏱ 06/10/2010

You lot are a bunch of sad & biased gets. Just wait 'til it happens to one of your players cos it isn't clamped down on right now. Your pathetic excuses make me sick. So it's ok cos he 'won' the ball? Or managed to touch the ball, a bit like the 'pen' you got that was outside the box? I always had a lot of time for manc fans & certainly don't begrudge them their new found wealth, always thought is was good that a club like yours got the chance to shake up the 'top 4'. After all the crap your club has been through in recent years. I guess i'll have to reappraise now. Obviously the cash has spoiled you & you don't seem to care how you 'win' a game now. A sad reflection on how you're playing & what big money does to one's attitude. Barton breaks Tevez leg in the next game, fair dinkum then hey? Sad sacks. It's grim in the north midlands. (manchestoh)

manc is the north midlands: ⏱ 06/10/2010

It's a lot grimmer in the north midlands though, isn't it? manchestoh is not up north. :) Midlanders.

Brucey1970: ⏱ 06/10/2010

just cause he signed for the toon dickhead take your heead for a shit

toonarmy: ⏱ 07/10/2010

wow whats with the mancs flooding this place. i suppose you need your own legs broken before you get your own sense of perspective