This incident seems to have polarised the footballing public and professionals in England with the vast majority heavily condemning de Jong and the rest (mainly ex footballers and City fans) backing his actions. Even Newcastle's assistant Colin Calderwood came out with some ridiculous comments defending de Jong on national radio through the week - totally contradicting the clubs official and commendable stance. He has received the backing of graceful beautiful game players like Mark van Bommel and Graham Roberts - I'm just waiting for Graeme Souness, Roy Keane and Osama Bin Laden to come out and plead his case.
Man City coach Brian Kidd is adamant that de Jong is "not that type of lad". I'm not sure Yuto Nagatomo, Stuart Holden, Xabi Alonso or Hatem would agree....
The Dutch FA have taken a highly commendable stance and he will not be considered for selection. If only the English FA had some backbone too - I know they are dictated to by FIFA and UEFA, but challenge it! van Marwijk was disgusted by the tackle and was quick to condemn his actions - this makes a farce of those arguments defending him. What do van Marwijk or Holland have to gain from this? They have more to lose as de Jong is a decent player when he is not inflicting serious injury on opponents.
I don't think that de Jong went in to that tackle to deliberately hurt Hatem (I hope he didn't) but as one Dutch football journalist put it - "That's not the point. If you are driving a new sports car and decide to drive through a village at 200MPH you aren't doing that to deliberately kill a child, but you would be responsible for your actions if that were to happen."
"It used to happen all of the time in the 70's" said Alan Brazil (repeatedly) when sticking up for de Jong. Ah well, that's OK then. Lets bring binge drinking and horrific tight shorts back to the game too.
I love watching highly competitive games with tough tackles - do not confuse that with de Jong's tackle. His tackle was excessive in pace and force. Arsene Wenger has turned down numerous jobs abroad because he loves that side to our game too - the competitiveness is the attraction, but that has to be distinguished from the ugly. It wont be long before the best foreign talent that we have in our league head elsewhere just to prolong their careers.
I am focussing on the de Jong tackle because it was one of our players that he crippled - Karl Henry is another one who looks like he's been trying to maim players all season long. Not happy with regularly hoofing Joey Barton (some ex pro's, including Alan Shearer actually seemed to find that quite amusing) he went on to break Zamora's leg in another 'unlucky fair tackle' and only by the grace of God did Jordi Gomez escape a fate similar to Hatem's.
I wonder what Brazil, Waddle and co would have had to say if it had been Joey Barton breaking a City players leg with a similar tackle? I think we all know the answer to that.
I am also bemused by the sympathy that the perpetrators of these tackles often get from ex pro's. When Shawcross smashed the leg of Ramsey I literally heard and read as many people saying that they felt sorry for Shawcross as, again, "he's not that kind of lad" as I did hear people declare sympathy for the lad lying in the hospital bed. At least Shawcross realised the consequences of his actions in that example - he left the field crying. de Jong seemed entirely indifferent about the whole thing and escaped any form of punishment. That is a bit too cold to then suggest "he is not that kind of lad". Some footballers do seem to live in a parallel universe though - Karl Henry's pathetic 'apology' is decent proof of that.
Are we over reacting?
Will this all blow over soon having only been given the airtime because of so many incidents in such a short space of time?
Will the ref's start showing red cards at every opportunity?
There have been similar clampdowns before - such as the raised arm clampdown in the 90's. What is the solution?
IS there a solution that can be implemented without there being an agenda by the judges?
Do we need to change things? I really dont buy the suggestion that the player should be banned for as long as the victim is injured.
And, as Newcastle fans are we being hypocritical? Remember Danny Guthrie's leg breaker on Craig Fagan? I for one slaughtered Guthrie for that stupid challenge.
Where do we go from here?
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