It’s a coincidence that Man City’s Dutch midfielder, Nigel De Jong, will be returning from injury to the City side to play Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
Nigel De Jong – back for City on Sunday
And we all know after the first few minutes of the game at Eastlands in early October, De Jong broke Hatem Ben Arfa’s left lower leg in two places, and his tackle was widely condemned as being wild.
But it was not called as a foul by referee Martin Atkinson, and even though Newcastle appealed to the FA about the tackle, which cost them their loan signing for about five months of this season , the FA managed to wiggle out of doing anything about it – which of course they are really good at.
But we did hear a couple of days ago that the French International is now expected to return to training in late January.
And it looks like he will be no worse because of the break, which apparently is healing very well, and the lad could even be a permanent Newcastle player by that time too.
Mancini is sorry about the lad’s injury, but has always said it was just one of those unfortunate things:
“I am sorry for what happened with Ben Arfa but this can happen in a football match,”
“Nigel is a fantastic player and very important for us. He is the only player we have got with his characteristics.”
That last sentence must mean he’s the only player Roberto has who can break a player’s leg in two places with one tackle.
It was a fair tackle presumably, but that didn’t stop the Dutch manager, Bert van Marwijk, from dropping the Dutchman from the National team because of that reckless tackle.
Anyway, De Jong will get booed every time he touches the ball on Sunday afternoon, in what will be a very tough game for Newcastle, tougher even than the game against Liverpool.