Calamity ref Graham Poll has cast his ‘expert’ eye on Nigel de Jong’s challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa and has delivered his verdict by claiming there is no place in the game for him.
Poll claims that whenever a player suffers a broken leg, we hear that the culprit is ‘not that sort of player’ but many in the style of de Jong have been involved in bad injuries this season but have not been sent off. Is Poll looking to get the City midfielder banned for the challenge?
The idiot then rants on about how players in de Jong’s and Wolves Karl Henry’s mould, deliver their tackles with excessive force and are usually airborne, which makes me wonder if Poll actually watched yesterday’s game. De Jong’s tackle was hard, but it was hardly airborne.
De Jong had every right to go for that ball and he has every right to go in hard. The midfielder clearly won the ball and it is a real shame that the Newcastle man suffered an injury, but that’s what sometimes happens in football. Did Paul Lake complain about a challenge with Tony Cascarino in 1991 which ended his career? No he just said it was one of those things and got on with it.
But Poll is living in a different universe to the rest of us and is trying to link de Jong’s fair tackle with that of Wolves midfielder Henry, in order to make sense of his comments. Henry blatantly took out Jordi Gomez after making no attempt to play the ball and was rightly dismissed and the Wigan man was lucky to come out of it unscathed, but of de Jong’s part, there was no intent or malice attached. Martin Atkinson saw that, ESPN pundits Kevin Keegan and Nicky Butt saw that, but for some reason, Poll’s view is different.
Maybe that’s why he gave up refereeing as his view was entirely different from everyone else’s in the stadium. Let’s not forget, this is the man who booked a player three times at Euro 2008 before sending him off. He is also the same Graham Poll who, in 2006, helped Arsenal to a 3-1 win at Eastlands after giving the Gunners virtually every decision, leading the home support to chant “3-1, to the Graham Poll.”
Meanwhile, Holland boss Bert van Marwijk has also joined the de Jong bandwagon by claiming the challenge was “wild and unnecessary” and is apparently set to speak to the midfielder.
“I don’t think he did it on purpose, but he goes in way too hard in this challenge. That’s a pity, because he doesn’t need tackles like this,” van Marwijk said, speaking on Algemeen Dagblad, which sounds more like a Dutch Soap Opera than a sports program.
“The strange thing is that the referee doesn’t give a card. Apparently there are other standards over there. I have a problem with the way Nigel unnecessarily searches for the limit. I’m going to talk about that with him these days.”
And de Jong has had another blast from Hugo Borst, who is a leading pundit in Holland, who labelled the City man a criminal. “I have devoted many columns about this, but Nigel de Jong is a repeat offender, a criminal.”
I wonder what criminals go to jail for in Holland if de Jong’s tackle makes him one of them?
What do you think? Was de Jong’s challenge fair? Should he be immediately deported to face charges in Holland? Let us know you thoughts.
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