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October 5, 2010

De Jong tackle devoid of intent

Posted by Rebecca Lowe on 05/10/2010

Hatem Ben Arfa broke his leg in two places © Getty Images

Nigel de Jong’s tackle that broke Hatem Ben Arfa’s leg on Sunday has generated a lot of controversy, but none of our pundits in the ESPN studio thought it was intentional. It was just one of those incidents.

I watched the game from inside the tunnel on a big screen. Newcastle assistant manager Colin Calderwood and midfielder Alan Smith, who was on the subs’ bench, ran in to see the replay of the tackle. Only one angle was shown due to the severity of the incident but they didn’t appear at the time to think the intent was too bad.

At half-time, Newcastle manager Chris Hughton seemed more angry with referee Martin Atkinson about the penalty than the tackle. I think the general consensus is that it was a bad tackle, but it wasn’t intended to break his leg. Undoubtedly it had an awful result though.

My sympathies of course lie with Ben Arfa, and it is a terrible, terrible shame because he was looking like such an exciting player. He could have been the difference between Newcastle finishing mid-table and Newcastle struggling, and now he has been sidelined for such a long time.

But Nigel de Jong now has a reputation - partially stemming from his challenge on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup final - and while it was not a good tackle by any means, I don’t think that he meant to injure Ben Arfa. As such, it was a harsh decision from Bert van Marwijk to drop him from the Netherlands squad as a result. How can he be a part of a team that reached the World Cup final and then be dropped for a tackle that has got nothing to do with his international career?

I think Nigel de Jong will now have a reputation that will be noted by referees and opposing managers. To drop him from the international squad is probably a step too far.

We have seen a number of reckless tackles already this season - and another at the weekend with Karl Henry’s lunge at Jordi Gomez - but it could just be a spate of incidents, a coincidence, rather than anything more sinister. In football, often we try to find patterns when perhaps there are none. I remember this time last year, there were substantially more goals than usual and everyone was asking what the reason was, but there wasn’t a reason. Karl Henry’s tackle was not good at all, but I still don’t think that any player would go in to break someone’s leg. Sometimes these unfortunate incidents do happen.

I think generally football has lost the art of tackling, though. In the 1970s and 80s, it was something people took a lot of pride in. I think two things have now changed. Firstly there isn’t the same pride there, and secondly you get booked so much that players can be afraid to make tackles, and when you are afraid to make tackles you don’t execute them properly.

Comments

Posted by Justin on 05/10/2010

Michael Bradley and Xabi Alonso agrees. De Jong is just so unlucky that all the people he tackles crumps up in heaps.

A lifetime ban would be too good for the guy. He's a disgrace to the sport.

Posted by mostonblue on 05/10/2010

A bit of common sense at last, but a little naive with the comment "....but I still don’t think that any player would go in to break someone’s leg". Roy Keane anyone?

Posted by HeavyRiffs on 05/10/2010

@Justin

Care to explain why he is a disgrace to his sport, oh enlightened one?

It was a well timed tackle, hard yes, but cleanly won the ball. Unfortunately his trailing leg is the one that's done the damage, after the ball was won no less. It's purely that, a trailing leg, not as though he went in two footed. You sir, are like the majority of foaming journos who take every opportunity to try and drive nails into the Man City coffin, we won't be buried though.

Posted by Random on 05/10/2010

It would be unfair to say that De Jong's tackle is malicious with ill intent. He was trying to get the ball and it was actually a legal tackle.
However, his tackle is still dangerous and he should get a ban of at least a game.
P.S. Hope Liverpool get relegated

Posted by Philly Red on 05/10/2010

OF course DeJong will have a reputation. In the past 6 months he's broken 2 legs and kung fu kicked Alonso. Players of that sort earn their reputation and have to live with it. Keane...Viera....VanBommel...Barton.....

Posted by Noel on 05/10/2010

intention or not, at least have the courage to issue a public apology and we haven't heard from him at all.

Posted by Kevin_Amold on 05/10/2010

I couldn't care less is he plays for City or not. You CANNOT just look at intent in the cases of players like De Jong who are fast developing a history of injuring with horror tackles. You have to start looking at results and developing conclusions. Holden and Alonso and Ben Arta are 3 incidents within about 7 months. This generally doesn't just "happen."

Posted by Jae on 05/10/2010

Unfortunately, De Jong has racked up such a rancid reputation, even if he slipped and fell, it'd still be deemed as a dirty tackle. In Ben Arfa's case, De Jong didn't go into it to break his leg. But he knew he went in hard. And he knew he went in hard as a warninng to Ben Arfa.

Posted by Tony on 05/10/2010

how many broken legs and ankles so far this season. No intent but unlucky - get a break - it is the old style Soccer, get in hard early and set the tone, no one is seeing a red card. How can you break someones leg on a tackle, the defenders are calculating that someone breaks the leg as long as they get the ball, so it is intentinal? Look at De Jongs action at the World Cup - kung fu non-intentioonal, it is absolutely calculated and therefore intentional. ESPN and Soccernet are not advocating the rules of Soccer here.

Posted by Stuart on 05/10/2010

Why make a public apology?
Apologise to Ben Arfa for winning the ball and accidentally breaking his leg by all means, but to issue a public apology for something that he didn't receive a card for let alone penalised for in the game is just an over the top reaction.

He will not get a ban because the man who makes the decisions in the middle(the ref) saw the incident and felt it was a legitimate attempt to win the ball(which he did).

By the same thought processes on here surely Brian Mclair & Dennis Irwin should of received bans for the tackle on David Boost, which ended his career?

Posted by Andreas on 05/10/2010

"It was just one of those incidents."

How many times will we hear that one until this problem is addressed? I guess he's just "not that kind of player" either.

Posted by martin@pearl of Africa on 05/10/2010

... old man Van Bommehl has just lost a 'kid bro. in faith'.... how is he probably going to make it alone!

Posted by Mike on 05/10/2010

has this supposed dirty player ever had a red card i wonder? a large history of yellow cards perhaps?
2 incidents in the players career have created a reputation? - last week after the Chelsea game the pundits, players and media were all celebrating the tough but fair tackling midfielder. He has done the same this week - a tough yet fair tackle but now they are turning against him. Such hypocrisy but to be expected from the media.

Posted by donaldo (boston) on 05/10/2010

How do you prove intent -- de jong's body language? Seems like a mute point. The fact is, it was a hard tackle that resulted in a break... and it's happened before with this player. He has a history. The danger in NOT putting a hard stop to this kind of play is that the sport could come to favor brawlers over skilled players. What if Messi is the next victim? That would probably get our attention. Physical play is expected but de jong's version of it is going too far.

Posted by Mikey on 05/10/2010

No intent doesn't mean not guilty. De Jong didn't need to use that much force in that tackle, as Tevez was already pressuring Ben Arfa, he could've won the ball without even sliding in.

I could drive my car recklessly at 100 miles per hour in a 40 zone, if I hit someone I'll still have to be held accountable even if I didn't intent to hurt anyone.

Posted by jacko on 05/10/2010

There was nufin wrong wat so ever wiv this tackle as clearly seen the ball is won n the trailin leg does the damage, there was no intent wat so ever there. What do people one see a fairy tackle. He shouldn't have to change the way he plays look at keane, scholes, viera. They all tackle the same waygo on about them. Just get over it the tackle was fair.

Posted by John on 05/10/2010

You miss the point, Rebecca. It doesn't matter a bit what his intent is. The fact of the matter is that De Jong makes a habit of reckless play, and has several needlessly violent tackles (and flying crane kicks) on his track record. The longer he continues this manner of playing, the harsher the penalties should be for each successive incident.

Posted by Gordon on 05/10/2010

"... it was a bad tackle, but it wasn't intended to break his leg."

I am tired of hearing how the player that breaks someone's leg did not have any "intent" to do that, or there was no "malice." I have no doubt De Jong (and Henry) did not intend to break another player's leg. That is not the point. De Jong and Henry have shown reckless disregard for other players when they tackle. They should be held responsible for the consequences of that reckless disregard. The result should be a straight red card in that match and then a suspension for the duration of the consequences of their actions on the player harmed.

Posted by jim on 05/10/2010

you bad boy nigel your not supposed to tackle hi m you should have stood to the side and let him score a great goal like he did at everton get a grip media

Posted by max on 05/10/2010

If he did this the first time, then i can agree may be it is just an accident. However, he already did this 3 times in last few months, and it seems to me he is not at all remorseful, nor intends to change his way...If this ciontinues, he is going to totally end a footballer's career

Posted by JAHJAH on 05/10/2010

It was a hard yet fair tackle, nothing more. De Jong is a world class defensive midfielder with no ill intent to injure anyone. His only purpose is to win every ball he can, protect the City backline and distribute the ball. Im sick and tired of all journalist, fans of other clubs who wish they had the same revolution at their club happening at City, and any person with 2 cents TRYING to derail what we are doing. Give it a break. Jealousy is such a weak emotion. By displaying it you are only showing how WEAK you are. GET OVER IT!!!!!!!! Really though.....

Posted by City Slicker on 05/10/2010

Max

Are you mad?

Three times in the last few months? What are you talking about.

The tackle in the World Cup final was without a doubt a foul. There are referees that would have sent him off for that mistake. Have you never made a mistake in your working life? Then again you have never performed at the highest levels in anything have you? Other than excelling at pointless comments.

As for the tackle on Ben Arfa it wasnt even a foul and I suspect you havent even seen the incident. You are just seizing the opportunity to spout off about something you know nothing about. Foamer.

I expect your idea of a contact sport is Chess.

Posted by Mystikal_Gooner on 05/10/2010

Please! Please! Please! Spare me the drivel about, "a tackle not intending to break a leg". What do you expect if you go into a tackle with reckless abandonment? It is a simple case of actions and consequences.

When driver is speeding, he does not intend to hurt or kill anyone, but if he hits anyone at breakneck speed there will be casualties and he will pay the price. Hence the need for speed limits, it enables the driver to stop quickly if he needs to.

Players nowadays are a lot stronger and fitter than 15/20 years ago and should not be flying into tackles at 100 miles an hour where they have no control of themselves. That, coupled with managers telling their players to "get stuck in", "get in opponents faces" and the like, mark my words, this is the beginning of a lot of broken limbs in the premiership.

Referees are supposed to be the speed limits for footballers but they let too much go in this couuntry.

This is also not good for the Premiership's reputation.

Posted by Jdavids on 05/10/2010

One thing this writer doesn't heed is De Jong's track record. Stuart Holden AND Ben Arfa's leg in one year. Both tackles didn't need to be made and resulted in SIDELINING players careers for nearly half a season. Also, Xabi Alonso's rib and the audacious nature of such a tackle in a world cup final solidifies how much of a thug De Jong is.
He goes in to maim psychologically or physically if he has to.

Posted by Paul on 05/10/2010

Everyone knows he's not intentional. But can he at least show his sympathy and say he's so sorry to see that thing happen to Ben Arfa. That's what exactly Shawcross did when he broke Ramsey's leg. De Jong is a disgrace not becuz what he did on the pitch, it's becuz what he didn't do off the pitch.

Posted by Dami on 05/10/2010

I was appalled listening to people making a case for de jong.T hey said its non intentional and was a committed challenge. In law the word is duty of care. All players have a responsibility to exercise this to their counterpart. They need to weigh the consequence before going ‘hard’. The notion that as long as a player gets the ball then it is fair is not right. I think the football community especially the coaches and manager should look into this .I wonder why such challenges are not made in training since it was fair, committed and non intentional.

Posted by Michael on 05/10/2010

De Jong might not have intended to hurt Ben Arfa, but he is regularly making headlines for poor challenges. While he may not be guilty of deliberately injuring opponents, he is guilty of poor technique, clumsy tackles, bad timing. 3 major incidents in a year, The Dutch coach is right to drop him. The fact that it took place in a league game is irrelevant. I don't believe the author is actually defending De Jong.

Posted by JB on 05/10/2010

So as long as you don't intend to hurt someone, you can do pretty much anything you want in an attempt to win the ball?

Posted by Quietbelow on 05/10/2010

"He's not that kind of lad." "He doesn't have a malicious bone in his body." Right, so it's okay that you potentially ruin a person's career because you can't be bothered to exercise a little restraint in your "perfectly innocent" tackle?

Get a grip, people. Recklessness is recklessness, regardless of whether you get the ball or not. The speeding analogy is apt; someone going at double the speed limit deserves his punishment when he "innocently" runs over someone. Nobody but hooligans watch soccer thinking, "Oh if only there were a few more crunching tackles." If you need that to enjoy the game, you're a thug.

And the writer of the post gets something badly wrong by claiming that players don't want to go into tackles because they fear a card, and therefore their tackles, when they do make them, are bad. This is logically ridiculous; bad tacklers go in because they don't fear the consequences, or, as here, because there are no consequences. Good tacklers simply do it right.

Posted by David on 05/10/2010

How can you say
quote:
He was trying to get the ball and it was actually a legal tackle.
However, his tackle is still dangerous and he should get a ban of at least a game.

If it was a legal challenge - which it very clearly was then there is no way he can be penalized.
It Newcastle felt so strongly about it - they should have raised it immediately - not days later by deciding as an after thought to complain to the FA - no doubt based on the back of the ridiculous action of the Dutch National Coach.

Posted by SoccerFansEverywhere on 05/10/2010

Only fools would believe that it's a clean tackle when your legs scisors the opponents legs while playing the ball. It's not OK. It is too harsh even if 1 in 10 of these tackles result in severe injury (broken leg). They odds are too high.
Intent does not come in question. We know it's not intentional. But It is reckless. If such tackle is made with intent to injure, then the perpetrator should be served with a lengthy ban.

Posted by Chanter La Pomme on 05/10/2010

He won the ball. His trailing leg did the damage. He didn't go in late, high or two-footed. All he did was commit to the tackle, and frankly, there is nothing wrong with that. All these people ragging on de Jong seem to forget that football is a contact sport. This isn't figure skating. It's unfortunate that Ben Arfa broke his leg, but it's just unlucky. If de Jong haters actually watched the replay instead of just jumping on the anti-de Jong bandwagon created by the hyperbolic media, they'd see that the tackle was clean. Hard, but clean. Nothing wrong with getting stuck in. This is football, not badminton. Not a place for dainty little fairy dancers. He's a defensive midfielder. It's his job to win the ball and he does it well, as he did on this occasion. All the de Jong haters are watching the wrong sport.

Posted by Anonymous on 05/10/2010

In the United States judicial system, we have a principle called "willfullness." Basically, willfullness means that if your act in such disregard for whether a result will occur, you have the equivlaent mindset of intending that act to occur.

De Jong's tackles on Ben Arfa (and on Bradley) previously, were clearly willful. He went in with two legs and slid straight through the shins. The idea that some people think it was clean is just mindboggling. The fact that another (who challenges me) says he "cleanly" won the ball seems to not understand what the word clean means - Ben Arfa didn't break his own leg! The fact that he also got ball is sometimes relevant to whether a tackle is a red card or even a foul, but not here. Those claiming otherwise just lack knowledge of the rules of the game.

If this was the first incident, a short suspension equivalent to the missed red card would be warranted. But this is the third strike, and De Jong has not been seriously punished once.

Posted by HeavyRiffs on 05/10/2010

God some of the goons on here make me mad!
Forget the intent, only one person knows what was intended, the person that made the tackle. It was a fair tackle, foot on the ground, crunching stuff. Unfortunately his trailing leg did the damage, if you've ever played football, you'll know that is often the case and very hard to control the outcome.
He's a physical player and won plaudits for the same kind of display against Chelsea.
OK, you say about the World Cup incident and Holden's one, but this most recent one was a fair tackle!?! So why are you comparing all things from the past, with things that aren't relevant to what has just happened?!?
As for all the idiots saying why doesn't he make a public apology, why should he? Surely he can make his feelings known to the injured player and may well have already done so?

Constant witch hunt of City in the media, blogosphere and general goon comments on articles, you can't keep a good team down, we shall overcome...

Posted by Justin on 05/10/2010

Apologies. Twice I have said Michael Bradley when I have meant Stuart Holden.

Posted by HeavyRiffs on 05/10/2010

Loving all the comments that compare his tackle to breaking the speed limit in a car, in a woeful attempt to find some sort of link to intent, or malice too, comedy gold...

Posted by Stephen on 05/10/2010

D truth is dat dj culd hav won dat ball witout usin as mch force,wether d tackle was fair or nt,d issue is d disregard 4 d oda players well being.

Posted by HeavyRiffs on 05/10/2010

@ the enlightened anonymous American bloke, with the so, so highly rated judicial system!
The only thing wilful about De Jong's tackle, was the will to win the ball. Eyes on the ball, full steam ahead, crunching tackle that clearly won the ball. No studs high, no two footed lunge, no lateness, just eager to and succeeding in getting to the BALL first.
Now, the unfortunate end result was a broken leg for the poor lad, he did CLEANLY win the ball, his trailing leg unfortunately did the damage.
Stick to baseball, American baseball and other such stat laden boredom. Don't speak on subjects which you are either ill-advised, ill-informed, or both...

Posted by HeavyRiffs on 05/10/2010

@Stephen
Can you pick me 6 numbers for the lottery this weekend please, seeing as you're so sure that he could have won the ball with less force. Maybe we should start berating players for winning the ball at all, or for shooting too hard at the poor keeper...

Posted by mac on 05/10/2010

It is a FACT that he has broken TWO players legs in the past year, and Karate kicked another in the chest. Who cares if he didn't intend to injure the player. Does he actually have to end player's career before he changes his style of play...

Posted by Lee on 05/10/2010

Bad intention or not, he left two players severely injured and he should be banned for at least a few games as a warning and he should apologize for his reckless tackle!!

Posted by HeavyRiffs on 05/10/2010

@Mac
That doesn't make sense, if he didn't intend it, then it was an unfortunate by-product of a clean and perfectly legal full blooded challenge.
Why should he change his style of play, he's a defensive midfielder, his job is to get the ball back from the opposing team.
I wasn't a fan of the Holden tackle, or the World Cup one, I'd have sent him off personally for the latter. But the FACT remains, his most recent tackle was fair, clean, robust and legal.

Posted by HeavyRiffs on 05/10/2010

@Lee
So you'd have us banning players based on the level of injury they accidentally, or unfortunately inflict, not as to whether or not it was a bad tackle? The only thing reckless is that you're allowed near a keyboard, which may well have sharp corners...

Posted by king diamond on 05/10/2010

Let someone break his leg then and let's see how he feels. You won't believe if that happens to another of Man City players then you will hear the City people crying foul. I agree, if it was Messi on the receiving end of this tackle, there would be a huge outcry.

Posted by Goon-Tamg on 05/10/2010

Karl Henry issued an apology for his reckless tackle on the weekend that resulted in his sending off. Is it so difficult for De Jong to do the same? Have some class...

Posted by lockdown12 on 05/10/2010

As many others have pointed out, intent is irrelevant. It's time to get these sort of reckless challenges out of the game. How many broken legs is it going to take?

Posted by Dre on 05/10/2010

People telling De Jong to change his way of play is like telling a pitbull to act like a poodle. He was signed to make hard challenges and control the midfield. I don't mean to say that he has his history because he does. I think the Ben Arfa was the least controversial tackle of his three. He went in with the ball and unfortunately Ben Arfa broke his leg. If he would have got up and shaken it off, we would have been like that is a great tackle. Sad to say that you can't stop hard tackling players because they make their money tackling hard. Ban them from the sport? Then you might as well get rid of defenders in general because every single one of them has had one questionable challenge in their career. With that being said, you can't ban De Jong for this challenge, hell the referee DIDN'T EVEN SEE IT FIT TO CALL A FOUL. And telling him to apologize is telling him to apologize for every single challenge he has made because I'm sure that he's made much harder tackles than that

Posted by andrew on 05/10/2010

"We have seen a number of reckless tackles already this season - and another at the weekend with Karl Henry’s lunge at Jordi Gomez" While this is true...Henry has seen the tackle and apologized to everyone involved and agrees that it was a reckless challenge and he deserved the punishment that he got. That is the big difference between De Jong and Henry. Acknowledgment of harshness.

Posted by Brian Walker on 05/10/2010

There's a lot rubbish been talked about De Jong's 'trailing leg'. But it wasn't trailing it was scything, taking with it Ben Arfa's standing leg. He'd already won the ball so this part of the tackle was pure malice, just to make he didn't get up.

Posted by Scooby Dude on 05/10/2010

That was a fair and legal tackle. It was not even a foul. No one should ever be punished for a fair and legal tackle. Stuff happens. The Holden tackle was similar. He probably should have gotten a lengthy International ban for the World Cup Final incident, which was thuggery. But he's the finest defensive middie this side of Michael Essien, and hard tackling is part of the game.

I hate watching the Spanish Premiera. I hate watching Barca play. Can't stand watching Spain play. It's boring. Man up and get stuck in. When you go in hard, you'd better get the ball. If you get the ball, studs not up, not two-footed, good on you. If not, you risk being sent off and suspended.

Posted by Stuart on 05/10/2010

It's how you approach the tackle. If you plan on going 'through' someone, regardless of whether you win the ball or not, then it's dangerous and therefore should be punished. Trailing leg of not, there's a sizable chance your momentum/inertia are going to cause something to bend the wrong way ... and possibly snap. It appears he knew what he was doing.

Posted by cody on 05/10/2010

i am still lost as to how people think this is a reckless challenge. people who say he could've won the ball without the tackle, i will point to a moment later in the game where adam johnson was being pressured by two players, neither of which tackled him and he broke through and scored. just because 2 players pressure you doesn't mean you lose the ball. in soccer when you have a chance to win the ball, you do your best to win it. it was a legal and fair tackle. what you cant see is that ben arfa's foot is planted which is why the injury happened. it was not a scissor tackle. the trailing leg hit him square in the planted leg causing the break. stuff like that happens, its unfortunate but it does. and for everybody who claims the kung fu kick was horrible tackle, watch the replay and you'll notice de jong is trying to bring the ball down and doesn't see alonso at all. he lifts his leg to bring the ball down (dangerous play yes, but strikers do it all the time)

Posted by Ryan on 05/10/2010

I get sick of hearing the people defend the tackle by saying he got the ball, so it was a fair tackle. Yes, he did get the ball, so technically it's fair, but people need to realize that it's possible to have a fair tackle and get the ball, YET STILL commit a foul on the follow through. If a player slid in and got the ball cleanly, then stabbed the player with a knife, would you people still say the tackle is fair because the ball was won?
Again, it's possible to win the ball yet still commit a foul in the same tackle. It was De Jong's trailing leg that did the damage to HBA. It was a scissor tackle, which is extremely dangerous and should be carded, regardless of whether the ball was won. And for those defending by saying the ref. that it was a clean tackle so then it clearly must be, get a life. If you watched this match, the ref. gave a bad penalty kick and completely ignored an obvious penalty that should have been given. Can't really believe his tackle judgment after that.

Posted by Jimmy on 05/10/2010

How was Joey Barton's tackle on Xabi Alonso any different from de Jong's tackle on Ben Arfa? Barton got the ball as did de Jong but the difference was Barton earned a red card, a fine and a suspension and Xabi wasn't even injured. Somehow, the FA and the referee (who showed obvious favouritism towards MCFC throughout the match) handed down no punishment on de Jong. I think England has no idea what constitutes a good tackle anymore. I'm glad van Marwijk does.

These type of tackles have no place in football and should be punished accordingly. A tibia and a fibula do not just snap themselves. It takes a hell of a lot of force to break them.

Posted by Sam A on 05/10/2010

Maybe there is a middle ground for this debate of " it's a legal, clean tackle" or it's malicious, "he should be banned".

So he did, by the laws of the game, win the ball. This, despite breaking a players' leg is not only legal but a show of good technique and tackling in football. Well, we wouldn't know what goes in the barbaric brain of De Jong's, which is made worse by the fact that he play s for Man City, so once and for all stop this debate about whether it's intentional or not. Give him the benefit of the doubt as after all, he did win the ball, with a "great' tackle.

So what about us who are concerned of the safety of the players?We all know that this is not the last time he is going to launch into another" good,clean" tackle which will send someone to hospital or a " I will win world cup at all costs" kung-fu kick. So give him the benefit of the doubt here and judge the situation in isolation from the past offences. Hammer him the next time it comes - and by god, it will

Posted by Al on 05/10/2010

You are forgetting that De Jong has also broken Stuart Holden's foot back in March.

Getting a reputation for being a dirty player after breaking two players' legs and kung-fu kicking a player in the chest in the frame of 6 months is very much deserved.

He should be banned for as long as Ben Arfa is out. Players like him, Karl Henry and the likes, who use the football pitch to dish out their aggression should face the consequences, just as if you'd break a man's leg in the street you would go to jail.

Posted by Thugs on 05/10/2010

The Man City fans here are priceless. He didn't mean to do it. There was no intent. LULZ! Wait til someone does it to Tevez and then let's see what all you citeh fans think.

Here is the only important point: He did it! He's also done it a lot recently. Holden's leg got broken in a FRIENDLY! You earn your reputation in life and he's earned his with NO help needed from the media, jealous fans of other teams or the blogosphere. To suggest some crazy bias is absolutely ridiculous.

Mascherano is as tough a tackling CDM as there is in the world, where are his leg breaks? Where are his kung-fu kicks in the WC? Exactly. De Jong is a thug and HE earned his reputation alone. Now I look forward to him getting straight reds on questionable calls in the future. He made his bed and now he needs to lie in it!

Posted by Dan on 05/10/2010

I love the people chalking this up to "Stop hating Man City ROAAARRRR". What does Man City have to do with this WHOLE argument? When has it ever been brought up?

Ugh, regardless... this is clearly a fine-line incident. You're on one side or the other, and both sides have their valid points.

My two-cents - there's a difference between true accident and a recurring theme: Look at Zamora, when he broke his leg. That was a fair challenge, came in awkwardly, no one can blame the tackler - it was a freak accident. Same with Valencia.

This was a HARD tackle, no matter what side you're on. This was a (slightly) reckless tackle. This was done by a player who has been in the headlines for doing this EXACT thing to others before.

Intent is irrelevant; de Jong, clearly a good player, is also a very rough player, and he will always risk others players careers/seasons when he's out there. It's the player he is, to disgust or joy. Personally, I could do without the risk and needless tackling.

Posted by John Doe on 05/10/2010

If a person has a few too many drinks, gets behind the wheel, and crashes into someone and kills them, then they are liable, though they undoubtedly did not intend to kill anyone. Perhaps one of the reasons for the "lost art of tackling" is the increased speed of the game when compared to the previous eras. In any case, though de Jong (and Karl Henry, among many others) probably did not intend to break his opponent's leg, they are still responsible for the consequences of their reckless challenges. Indeed, this is not the first time that either have been noticed for the recklessness of their challenges.

Posted by Phil on 05/10/2010

There's an episode of the Simpsons when Homer isn't allowed to eat a cake or something, so he just opens and closes his mouth all the time and IF the came happens to get too close then he won't REALLY be eating it in the true sense of the word. It's the same with these defensive midfield players. They go sliding in for the ball and IF the other guy's legs get in the way, that's just his fault, isn't it? I'm a City fan, but I don't like it when creative attacking players have to jump really high to avoid serious injury.

Posted by Gordon Woods on 05/10/2010

Professional sports are contact-intensive. The adrenalin of the performers is matched by the audience in intensity. Theater in the round, so to speak. Robust challenges and commitment are to be applauded. A few bruises and sweat are to be expected.
That said, willful neglect and excessive force are anathema to what we wish the best of our athletic competitions to be. Defending such acts of recklessness by demeaning your opponent's masculinity is in the same vein. In Canada, similar debate is occurring about charges into the board and blind-side challenges to the upper torso and head by hockey players. Defenders of these practices use much the same arguments, blaming the victim and claiming that removing this edge would be a detrimental to the Canadian style.
The key in all this is about decision making and risk evaluation. About position awareness and proportional force. Tackles from behind and lunging challenges highlight deficiencies in the players' field strategy and conduct.

Posted by The Ginge on 05/10/2010

Two broken legs (Ben Arfa and Stuart Holden) and Xabi Alonso was lucky to not be seriously hurt.

This is called a pattern. De Jong is at best a bad tackler, at worst a very dirty player.

Posted by Tony on 05/10/2010

I'm so tired of these pundits saying there was no intent in these tackles. De Jong has broken legs, sprained ankles and drop kicked a man in the middle of the field. He has no concept of proper tackling and has caught 'the red mist' more times than we can count.

Intent to injure a specific player? No, probably not. But an inability to control himself? Absolutely. How many times has he hit someone similarly without injury? I doubt it would be a small number.

Gaining a reputation for being a hardman, being reckless, and so on does not require intent to injure a single person. It simply requires poor tackles, poor timing and poor result. And I think even the most ardent of Oranje supporters can concede that this chap is an absolute fool when it comes to tackling.

Stop making excuses for him. He's earned the rep.

Posted by colin on 05/10/2010

I had my fib/tib broken in a football match last September, and it is the most painful thing I have ever endured and hopefully will ever endure (that includes getting my foot ran over by an suv in june, 3 metatarsals completely separated off the tarsals and 3 broken).

I don't care that there "was no intent". Not a single person who has had their leg broken for them in a manner such as this would say "cut the man a break". It's despicable, and if any of you were suffering through what ben arfa is suffering through right now you would detest de jong as much as I do.

Posted by gooner in canada on 05/10/2010

This isn't hand ball the referee is deciding here... intent has nothing to do with it. it was reckless and used EXCESSIVE force. the question is why aren't referees using this law to send off dangerous thugs like de Jong, Henry, Davies etc.. is the FA going to start imposing some guidelines for referees or do we have to wait for a big name player to have his career ended and sue them to make it happen??

Posted by otownballer3 on 05/10/2010

People need to stop excusing De Jong because "his trailing leg did the damage." How does that get him off the hook? How was his trailing leg able to break both bones in Ben Arfa's leg in the first place? Because the tackle was reckless, ill-timed, and far too aggressive.

Also, people need to stop assuming that "there was no intent." How do you know what De Jong intended to do? Are you De Jong? Maybe he absolutely intended to break his leg! No one can know.

In the absence of any definite proof of intent, I believe that the tackling player must be banned for the equivalent amount of time that the tackled player serves as a result of damage done in the tackle. In the absence of any damage, the normal rules of the game stand -- in the form of yellow cards and red cards and suspensions therefrom.

Posted by Cris DC on 05/10/2010

I am horribly dissappointed that the media continues to use this argument. "I think the general consensus is that it was a bad tackle, but it wasn’t intended to break his leg" How about we make the intention to win the ball.. and anything outside of that is violent conduct!! He may have only intended to send a message... that is still not playing or winning the ball. id like everyone who comments further to also mention if they have ever played the sport before. Ive played all my life..and I know when i go in to send a message and to win the ball. De Jong is wreckless, and dangerous. He is no Mascherano, or Gattuso.. 3 wreckless plays in 7 months. 2 broken legs because of it. If he was a driver, his insurance company would drop him as a liability..

Posted by skippo on 05/10/2010

i strongly disagree with lowe's view point on the aforementioned subject..Going by your standpoint, you are using "intent" as the basis..ok!
If a player or offence is booked on intent, then the beloved game would be a mockery..The referee would have to be a shriek to read a player mindset..
Also, brandishing of cards based on football's thumb-rule is not based on the player's intent to commit the foul..The mindset does not have to be intentional for fouls to be committed or players to be booked..The rule says book players regardless of intent..So,going by the topic in question, nigel's tackle was bad regardless of his intent...yes! it can happen to anybody.On that, its practical but how apologetic was nigel after the tackle; none...We know the game, and balls can be won with the least effect on the opposing player...Every tackle can never be perfect!!! But be discretional when going-in for one..

Posted by Ian on 05/10/2010

So, a trailing leg in a tackle is kosher these days then? Red cards have been given for much less, and some in equally forceful tackles. Henry in the same week comes to mind. Just because Ben Arfa didn't do a backflip doesn't mean it wasn't a bad tackle.

Fouls and cards have been given for trailing legs. Getting the ball AND the man is a foul to some refs, they have been given.

And to those defending a 'great tackle', 'fair tackle' etc, be on the receiving end of one before you spout that. Being scythed down is no fun, especially with a full force tackle on your standing leg.

Posted by Geoff on 06/10/2010

He's just a dirty player. If thats what you want in the Premier League, then get used to elimination in the second round of the World Cup.
I don't think this an anti-Man City thing, its an anti-hooligan "bad old days" thing. Why would quality players want to come to England to end up with karate kicks and broken legs?

Posted by Roy T on 06/10/2010

How can you ban De Jong for a few games over a tackle where he clearly made contact with the ball first? The tackle wasn't from behind, his studs weren't up and both feet didn't leave the ground. If you watch the video the best you can do is accuse De Jong of going in a bit too hard.

Posted by ksei on 06/10/2010

Wow it is amazing how there are people still justify the tackle. Yes, good tackle is an art, not a bad one. And de jong tackle was completely unnecessary.

Posted by Deployment on 06/10/2010

I am just so disgusted at the argument that De Jong won the ball, or it is not bad intention. The fact is that his style of reckless tackles is putting his fellow professionals at a higher risk of being injuried.

FA should just make a stand on this and ask ManC to withdraw this menace voluntarily before he hurts more professionals, or just ban him outright for a few matches.

Posted by Zanzibar on 06/10/2010

C'mon lass... be realistic. The man has a reputation.. but do you think it was undeserved? Would your tune been the same if the reverse had occurred with Yaya Toure? Or Tevez? Or Johnson. Please...

Posted by AK on 06/10/2010

Another terrible challenge defended by clueless people.

Having played for many years you know as a defender how much force you need to put in to a challenge to win a ball and DeJong either doesn't know (which means he needs to learn and a ban would be a good way to teach him) or he doesn't care (which perhaps a long ban would change).

If his own National coach believes he needs to restrain himself during games then that is a good indicator that he has gone too far with his tackling.

Posted by Deployment on 06/10/2010

Andreas,
I presumed that you are a well manner guy who is a considerate and caring person. Even if you accidentally (no intention) pumped into someone and caused him/her to fall down without injuries, you will also simply apologise for the incident.

I cant understand why you think is so wrong to ask De Jong to say sorry for his tackle.

Posted by KING on 06/10/2010

I thought 'I was going for the ball ref' aka devoid of intent went the way of 'I was just following orders'

Check the LOTG-a tackle from any direction that endangers safety of the opponent is Serious Foul Play and red card must be shown.

Most people would consider a double leg break as endangering......

Real hard men past and present have played +10 years without getting close to the damage De Jong has inflected in the last 10 months.

Imagine the De Jong tackle was on Messi,Kaka or Ineista leg, I doubt anyone would be making excuses for him then.

Posted by Nashid on 06/10/2010

He should be a good buy for Big Sam. I guess an offer will be made during the January transfer window. These days there is no intent at all in any of the tackles that gets players seriously injured. Why? because the coach or some players will always come out of the players defence.

Posted by ryan on 06/10/2010

No one I've talked to or heard has said anything about De Jongs intentions..only that fact that another great player is now sidelined for quite some time. I personally don't care about De Jong's intentions, just the results of his "tackles" which usually turn out worse for the player on the receiving end. I don't think it's right to play down the tackle by saying he didn't mean to do it, (you don't just break two players legs in one year on accident though), we should be focusing on how to cut this rubbish out of football. I for one watch football to see teamwork at it's finest, not to see players get potentially career-ending injuries.

Posted by Jellohead on 06/10/2010

Football is supposed to be a game of finesse. Over the last twenty years or so it has become more physical, especially in Northern Europe, North America and Australia. The style of play displayed by butchers like DeJong is becoming more tolerated and if we don't reverse the trend, we are going to have all-out wrestling or kung-fu on the pitch. For the time being, the true masters of the game, Brazil, Italy, Spain, (South America and Southern Europe) where the style of play is based on real skills, are still coming out on top. But if we allow the butchers to impose their brutish style of play, we might as well change the name from football (the beautiful game, remember?) to rugby or American football.

Posted by Neutral party on 06/10/2010

Yes he got the ball. Yes his trailing leg got Ben Arfa. Is it a foul? Some might argue yes and no.

It does not matter whether it was intentional or non-intentional. As mentioned before by the speeding example, something non-intentional might lead to a horrific outcome.

Could we consider de Jong's actions to be fair play? For someone who manages to collect a load of fouls and incidents (in the span of just months) shows that he is a player who does what he wants to regardless of whatever the outcome might be. Yes he does know how to play the game. However, fair play is obviously not listed down in his book. Probably rough play is listed down instead.

Players will want to do whatever they can to help their teams win, but doing it too excessively results in incidents like this. Winning is important; but winning with good sportsmanship is even more important.

Just go reflect this question: do you prefer to watch a beautiful and fair game or would you rather watch an ugly and rough one?

Posted by Pat on 06/10/2010

You have to understand that crime can be committed with or without intent. The punishment is served based on the act itself. Imagine a case of traffic accident. Obviously no one intentionally drive their car into another. But reckless driving must be punished. It is the same with De Jong. I am outraged that in Ben Arfa case, the punishment was not served.

Posted by Capt. Joshua on 06/10/2010

First off, CTID.

With that said, does anyone actually play soccer here? These players have been for years, meaning that they know the inherent risk involved with the sport. Soccer is a contact sport, 'nuff said. Do you see people in the NFL apologize for giving a quarterback a concussion during a sack? No, because obviously the intent to injure the person wasn't there, and when it is the league responds accordingly. Granted, it is unfortunate that his leg was broken, but the tackle was well within the rules as far as the ref saw it and as far as the FA are concerned. Now as far as previous concerns with De Jong's play in WC and Holden, one was clearly a mistake, the other was hard and called as it was, a clumsy challenge worthy of a foul. I am tired of people trying to change sports to "Protect the investment of the team", i.e. QBs in the NFL, Strikers in football, etc. It's a contact sport and INJURIES HAPPEN, even if you don't like how.

Posted by GoonerNC on 06/10/2010

Go back and read the laws of the game. It does not really matter if there was intent to injure. He deserves punishment for the trailing leg. And on top of that, again, who cares what his intent was in the grand scheme of things? It was a reckless, sloppy challenge. He may be the "nice, sweet man" that Van Bommel claims he is. But, apparently, he's not always the best of tacklers.

Intent has nothing to do with it. The results speak for themselves. Make hard, CLEAN tackles. But when you have a scissoring motion with the trailing leg... you deserve every ounce of criticism that comes your way.

Posted by robbie tannan on 06/10/2010

I am appalled at some of the arguements about "eyes down, no legs up, won cleanly", so what if the trailing leg follows through!

If A stands stationary with the ball on his feet, is it all right for "opposing B" to launch a full force tackle, knowing that it will surely win the ball but will also surely make a forceful contact on A? B's eyes are down, no legs up. Do we condone such play and intention?

It is obvious that the forecful tackle will surely make contact with A and have a high probability of maiming A. B should then have a "duty of care" for such obvious thing. His fellow players' career are at at risk with him around.

Mybe it is time to ask Roy Keane to execute JUSTICE !!

Posted by PostScriptum on 06/10/2010

So if someone ran over somebody with a car "without intent", let's call it quits? Surely there needs to be better defined rules like in any profession.

Mutu got banned for a year and is apparently in liability for +10m pounds for doping or what he calls "cold pills". De Jong has put two players careers on hold for extended periods, but only gets suspended from two nationals matches? Where is any common sense of proportion?

On-the-pitch aspects of football shouldn't be stripped of all its competitive spirit but there needs to be a clear line with proportionate liability.

Posted by John on 06/10/2010

As a player, if you dont go in hard you will get hurt. Thats the way of the modern game. De Jong's tackle albeit tough he went in the way he goes into every challenge: Hard.

Posted by Kennex on 06/10/2010

By no means the injuries are coincidents. De Jong's behavior has been very consistent - injuring opposing players from the World Cup to the Premier League. That's a track record which is formed with fact. Series of leg breaking incident caused by THE SAME player should raise the red flag. No other explanation should make any sense. Anyway, the fact that he did not apologise makes it even worse.

Posted by max on 06/10/2010

Mystikal_Gooner,
I am not mad. WHat i am talking about? Please check the facts before you call people mad. Everyone knows de jong broke TWO players legs in the past year, and Karate kicked another in the chest. You are the only one who does not know. Have you been sleeping, or playing with chess in the past few months?

I do make mistake in my life, but if these mistakes can ruin a person's career, I will definitely not make the mistake again and at least say sorry to the person. Looking at your comment, i believe you are the type who does not care if your action causes harm to another person, as long as it means you achieve your purpose.

Posted by max on 06/10/2010

Mystikal_Gooner:

By the way, do I know you? How you know that I have never performed at the highest levels in anything?
For your information, I am the CEO of a company in my country. And what highest levels have you achieved in anything in your life, besides making even more pointless comments before checking your facts?

Posted by Kon on 06/10/2010

I wonder why such challenges are not made in training since it was fair, committed and non intentional at all!

Posted by jhzzz on 06/10/2010

if de jong managed to break a leg of any Man City player during their training session then i got nothing to say.

Posted by Isaac Figo on 06/10/2010

De Jong thinks going in hard makes you a better midfield player[wrong!!!] He's a disgrace to the beautiful game and the FA should ban him for the period Ben Arfa is out.

Posted by Shravan Narula on 06/10/2010

Dear Rebecca

Your comments are rather irresponsible. The question here isn't whether he intended to hurt the player or not. Just that certain players such as Nigel de Jong and Ryan Shawcross have adopted a brand of playing that is risky at best.

The probability of these players causing serious injuries to others is rather high as a result. And as such, I completely agree with Bert van Marwijk's stand. It's a commendable stand to take.

And frankly, Nigel de Jong does not represent the art of fine tackling by any means. Look at the way teams like Chelsea, Inter (under Mourinho), Barcelona and Italy (not the recent vintage) tackle. That is the fine art of tackling we appreciate.

I think the FA needs to seriously punish this player. He should be banned for as long as the player injured is out of action (at the very least).


In my humble opinion.

Posted by max on 06/10/2010

Sorry Mystikal_Gooner, my posts are meant for the senseless City Slicker, not you.

Posted by Charles on 06/10/2010

Oh the hypocricsy! When Wenger criticized hard tackles, the media twisted it and said that he was against tackling in football altogether. Several months down the line (and several broken legs),fans and some non-blinkered football analysts have begun questioning bad tackles and are actually agreeing with Mr Wenger. Sad...really,really sad.

P.S A leg breaking tackle should be punished. Whether the player got the ball or not.

Posted by beckham matt on 06/10/2010

De Jong is really doing one thing too many but what is punished unnder football rules are offences not players. His offence is breaking Ben Arfa's leg and he MUST be punished of that. So far he showed how cold-hearted he is by not publicly apologizing to Ben Arfa nor the footballing community. The FA Disciplinary Committee must know that there's a huge difference between apologizing and feeling remorse. Unfortunately De Jong, so far has no heart for both two. His national team coach was right on his decision so FA must do something against De Jong and the likes.

Posted by Paul on 06/10/2010

I see the siddy fans are getting all excited because they think there is a 'witchhunt' against their club. You guys are the deluded goons... I've never known a less deserving set of fans win the sugar daddy lottery. Just sit back, ignore the potshots that will come and watch the trophies roll in thanks to your sheikh benefactor, it would be hilarious if you still somehow managed to win nothing after all those hundreds of millions spent.

Posted by Ravi M Rai on 06/10/2010

I wonder what would all the fans say if De Jong had done that same thing while playing for another team and the victim was say Tavez playing for Manchester City? Just a general wonderment.

Posted by pc on 06/10/2010

Drunken drivers do not intentionally kill people behind the wheel too!! Being reckless and irresponsible should have no part in our game.

Hugh quality tackles are alive and healthy in all of our matches. They not only exist, they are getting better all the time. The bad and sickening ones get reported unfortunately, but we should sing the praise for the skilled ones more often. Maybe De Jong can learn a few things too!!

Posted by Moonchester on 06/10/2010

As always fickle football fans start moaning when it's a player at someone elses club while completely ignoring that fact that they'd love to have someone like De Jong playing for them. Look at some of the traditional midfield 'enforcers' - Souness, Keane, Viera. None of them were angels. But they were loved by their own fans. Like Nige is at Citeh. The man is a legend.

Posted by Kein on 06/10/2010

Who cares if de jong's intention is not to break opponents leg if he still does it again and again? Maybe he should change his style of play, if he can't be a tough defensive midfielder without threatening his opponents careers.

Posted by Kaneo on 06/10/2010

its a bad tackle yes, but you cant possibly think he intended to inflict pain, he went for the ball missed a yellow would have been neccesary

Posted by steve on 06/10/2010

@ Randon......Liverpool can never be relegated.
For the record, no player ever intends to break some one's leg.If a tackle is bad it is bad. I hate Mascherano for his violent nature but De Jong???? He needs to be banned forever!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Ian on 06/10/2010

@Capt_Joshua

What a naive question, if you cared to read some of the posts you would have seen several stating they play football at some level or another. Injuries are part of the game of course, but what relevance does your statement have to the discussion here? The point is that De Jong was reckless in his tackle, in this and previous incidents. The point is that he should be punished in some form. Injuries happen without a doubt, and if accidental then it is a shame, but when intentional they should be punished severely. The fact that he has built himself a reputation for hard tackles should only reinforce the need for punishment.
When a player dives he gets a reputation for diving and refs are less inclined to give fouls, why not when a hard player goes in and deliberately hurts players? Double standards?
@Moonchester
With the exception of Keane, none of the so called 'enforcers' have ever really gone out of their way to hurt another player. And I only name Keane because he admits to it in his book.

Closing, tackling obviously has a place in the game, but people like De Jong should not be allowed to go out and hurt other players in the way he does and still get away with it. Webb showed weakness in thinking he would ruin the spectacle at the cost of fair play. If the Dutch game plan was to hurt the Spaniards then offending players should be punished, even in a WC final.

Posted by Soccer fan on 06/10/2010

The analogy with driving a car is apt, but have been described poorly in the comments above.

If a driver is driving within the speed limit of a road, and he is driving recklessly and oblivious of other motorists or pedestrians, he should be held accountable if an accident happened indirectly or directly due to his negligence of care.

So what if he's not speeding? We are talking about a lack of care; Nigel de Jong wouldn't have any intention to break a leg; but when his negligence of care to his FELLOW footballers caused serious injuries, potentially ruining a talented player's career, he should be punished.

The FA around the world need to clamp down on these kind of tackles, otherwise it is indirectly contributing to a dearth of talented players. Eduardo is a good e.g., before his injury was turning into one of the best finishers in the Premiership. Sadly he never recovered and most likely will never get another chance at the highest tier of football.

Posted by Stuart on 06/10/2010

So if it was to change what happened between De Jong & Ben Arfa, De Jong doesn't go in as hard,commited, full blooded ben arfa skips past him puts the ball in the back of the net? What do you think his manager, team mates & fans are going to say......."why didn't you tackle him?" Say he does make a tackle but only goes in half hearted Ben Arfa comes through full pelt and damages de jong's cruciate from a clash of knees? are we going to be having the same conversation about how reckless Ben Arfa was because he went into a 50/50 100% commited, won the ball but caught the player & caused him harm? This is getting ridiculous soon all form of contact in football will be outlawed, tackling will become obsolete, the top teams will win everything as they can afford to buy the best technical players everyone will suffer, and the game we know and love will be no more. just one quick question how come they get paid £100,000pw if not to compensate for possiblity of being injured?

Posted by rock_life on 06/10/2010

I personally felt that , as a professional player De Jong could have judge his tackle better as we all know that in a game , a good tackle is not by brute force but by good timing and reading of the game .

Judging by this case and his past incidents, DE JONG may have to improve in this 2 aspects to really become a top class DM or be branded as a killer on the pitch.

I dont think he is malicious by any means but hard and bad timing on this tackle he made .

Posted by lawman on 06/10/2010

At the end of the day, causing 3 potentially career threatening injuries (in 2 cases - leg breakages) to fellow professionals in about 7 months CANNOT be deemed accidental and unlucky. De Jong definitely needs to change his style of play.

If he can't be a top class player without being so "careless" with his tackles then why risk picking him especially with the strength and depth of the dutch national team. Safer and more dependable options available with just as much talent as De Jong.

Posted by Nicholas on 06/10/2010

oh my goodness people!
He has broken two peoples legs and kung fu kicked alonso. What more is needed to just suspend him? I mean I don't know how long. But so what if he gets the ball? He is still breaking players' legs. Regardless this is supposed to be the beautiful game, how can we have that if de jong is going to just try and slide hard and hope for the best. Even when he was at hamburg he was an good player and he still is. But he also was known for being more of a gattuso or viera hard man. But it seems to me he realizes he can't quite get the ball as much as he should so he slides and hopes for the best. He should be suspended for atleast 6 months. Beyond that I don't know. But he does need to be punished.

Posted by muzza on 07/10/2010

The leading left foot played the ball but the bent at the knee right leg just cleaned the player out and broke his leg - illegal, unnecessary and a RED CARD offense.
Player deserves at least a month off and then on notice that a future tackle like that is a seson ending offense.

Posted by chris on 07/10/2010

it wasn't intentional but it was dangerous play so he must be punished. I'm a newcastle fan and agree that he got the ball, the thing is the trailing leg is dangerouse play, i know it's hard to control, but its the same thing with elbows and headers isnt it. You naturally raise your elbows when you jump for header, i remember shearer getting sent off for it a few times. This tackle wasnt so bad, but with his past history i feel he needs to learn. If the fa deem the tackle fair, then fair enough de jong gets off scot free for the tackle but the fa should look into the legality of the scissor tackle (which i think is illegal anyways, meaning it should have been a foul). oh and my word there are alot of self aggrandizing man city fans on here, nobody cares that its man city, its the tackle we're talking about not about how fortune has spread her legs for you and made a mockery of the transfer market

Posted by JohnB on 07/10/2010

Rebecca WAKE UP!!! The guy breaks the legs of two players (Stuart Holden and Hatem Ben Arfa) in 6 months, and gives another (Xavi Alonso) a karate kick to the chest during the world cup final!?! I think the facts speak for themselves!!!

Posted by Venance Burushi on 07/10/2010

is now used to it. last season he almost broken the leg of his own homeland Ryan Babel when the Eastlands visited Anfield.
I guess he has to be disciplined.

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