The argument over Nigel de Jong’s challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa is still raging and his Newcastle team-mate, Jose Enrique has now called for the City midfielder to be banned ‘for as long as Ben Arfa is injured.’
De Jong came in for widespread criticism following his challenge in the early minutes of Sunday’s game, which ultimately led to the Newcastle man suffering a double broken leg. The referee saw no reason to award a foul and the FA are unlikely to take any action against the Dutchman, but that hasn’t satisfied Enrique’s rage.
“They should ban De Jong until Ben Arfa can play again. De Jong shouldn’t be allowed to play football. His tackle was criminal,” roars Enrique, before saying that, if it was Wayne Rooney that was injured, they would make an example of him.
De Jong has been dropped from the Dutch national side for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers, which has appeased Enrique a little, but the Newcastle man labelled Martin Atkinson as “laughable” in the fact that he didn’t give a free kick for the challenge.
Sorry Jose, you’re the laughable one mate. Personally, I think it’s quite disgusting that a professional footballer should be trying to get a fellow professional banned. It’s bad enough when you see them running around on the pitch waving imaginary cards at the referee, but to go on record like that is shameful to say the least. If de Jong is a criminal, what does that make Enrique?
Meanwhile, de Jong has received some welcome words from compatriot Marc van Bommel, who claims the City man should not change his approach. “It’s very unfortunate that he has broken the leg of an opponent twice in six months,” says the Bayern Munich man. “But I know Nigel as a sweet guy. He doesn’t want to injure anyone but wants to win every match. That is his strength.”
“Thanks to Nigel we reached the final of the World Cup. And now I hear people calling him a criminal. What a nonsense.” Holland received criticism for their performance in the World Cup Final, with de Jong and van Bommel on the receiving end of condemnation.
“I know exactly what Nigel is suffering,” Van Bommel continued. “I have also had to answer for playing hard. Nigel should not change his game, we need him as he is. But maybe he should occasionally go into a tackle slightly differently.”
Van Bommel also happens to be the son in law of the Dutch national coach. Sunday lunch will be a little strained round at the Van Marwijk’s this week I would imagine.
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