Perhaps it’s time for the melodrama and over reaction to quieten down? There have been far more malicious challenges than the one made by the Eastlands midfielder.
Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong facing £5m claim for Hatem Ben Arfa tackle
Nigel de Jong could face a claim for £5 million as a result of the broken leg sustained by Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa. That is if Marseille, Ben Arfa’s parent club, follow through with their threat to take legal action against the Manchester City midfielder.
Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier revealed on Sunday that the club’s legal advisers were exploring the possibility of action against De Jong following the tackle, during City’s 2-1 victory against Newcastle at Eastlands on Oct 3, which left Ben Arfa with a broken tibia and fibula.
Central to Marseille’s case is the loan agreement struck with Newcastle in August, which stated that Ben Arfa’s sale to the Tyneside club would be triggered at a pre-agreed fee of £5 million upon the player making 25 first-team appearances.
With Ben Arfa having played only four games for Newcastle prior to his injury, the likelihood of him returning from injury to hit the 25 appearance target is remote. The 23 year-old is not expected to play again until March at the earliest. (Daily Telegraph)
It does seem that this legal case may fall flat on its face largely due to the fact that Martin Atkinson did not see anything wrong with the challenge as and when it occurred. Nigel De Jong has of course put in some poor tackles in his career but there have been far far worse challenges this season and perhaps this particular story has run it’s course.
The fact the Man City battler was dropped for his national team may well have been the best way to make it clear to the Dutch International that he needs to act in a less mindlessly aggressive manner in the future. It’s a lesson he has hopefully learned the hard way.
The tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa was in our view a tough one and perhaps overly physical but by no means malicious. Compare and contrast with Ryan Shawcross on Aaron Ramsey, Martin Taylor on Eduardo or Karl Henry on both Joey Barton and Jordi Gomez. Those were deliberate attempts to hurt an opponent and on this occasion, although De Jong has done so in the past, this was not the case.