As we all had expected, it’s really bad news for French winger Ben Arfa, as he was harshly tackled by DeJong in the 4th minute of the game at Eastlands this afternoon.
Ben Arfa – waves as he is stretchered off this afternoon
It looks like he’s suffered a double fracture of his left lower leg.
The Newcastle United club issued the following statement tonight:
In the early stages of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League fixture against Manchester City, Hatem Ben Arfa was stretchered from the field of play following a tackle by Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong.
X-rays taken this afternoon have confirmed that he has suffered a broken tibia and fibula of his left leg.
He will undergo surgery tomorrow morning. Everyone connected with the club sends Hatem their best wishes for a speedy recovery.
At this stage no time limit has been put on his expected return date.
It’s a terrible injury for the 23 year-old and a huge blow to the Newcastle club, who have lost their creative spark, who has made an excellent start at Newcastle.
Chris Hughton has now lost two top players in Ben Arfa and his goalkeeper Steve Harper in the last few weeks, and he again thought the rather reckless tackle by DeJong need not have been made.
Chris said after the game:
“Everyone will have their own opinion but it was a tackle that did not need to be made.”
“When something like that happens and then to have some incredible decisions go against us it’s hard to take.”
It’s of course not the first time DeJong has been involved in bad tackles, that he’s got away with.
He should have been sent off in last summer’s world cup final for a ridiculous chest-high tackle on Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso, and he was also involved in the tackle that broke midfielder Stuart Holden’s leg in a world cup warm-up game.
But Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd amazingly defended the Dutch star after the game.
“There was no malice in it, definitely not. Nigel’s not that type of lad.”
By his reckless tackling he has just put the great Ben Arfa out of action for what will be months – we’d estimate it will be at least 6 months before the youngster can come back from this.
And Newcastle fans will feel aggrieved today by two very poor penalty decisions that went against Newcastle by referee Martin Atkinson, and now the loss of our creative spark in midfield, essentially for most of the season.
Not a good day at the office in many ways for Newcastle United Football club today.
But the lads will come back from this – just you watch.