Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong has asked to meet Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa, when Newcastle travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The sad sad sight of Ben Arfa being stretchered off last year
Ben Arfa of course suffered a double break of his left leg in the same game last year in early October, after a challenge from de Jong, and it took the Frenchman over nine months to recover from his horrific injury.
We panned de Jong after the game, not only for the challenge, which did not recover a yellow card, but because the news was he had not apologized to Hatem.
Now whether that is true or not we don’t really know, but this is good news that the Dutchman wants to meet with the Frenchman on Saturday, which will probably take place after the game.
Alan Pardew had this to say today:
“The player has contacted him, which I appreciate as the manager of the other team,”
“We have said after the game would be a good time – not before. Hopefully, that will then come to rest.”
“I had a conversation with Ben Arfa about it because I think you could carry some demons when you have an injury like that,”
“But he was absolutely clear to me that he has no problem about going back there, no problem about facing their particular player.”
“What I do know is, a year down the line – and it has taken that long – he is back somewhere near his best, and that’s good news for us.”
In our opinion, Ben Arfa has been little short of heroic, by the way he has combated his misfortune, and he deserves enormous credit for the courage he showed during the nine months in rehabilitation.
And it seems that De Jong has realized just how bad it must have been for the French youngster, and hopefully when they meet, they can let bygones be bygones, and wish each other the best of luck for the future.
I can relate to the Frenchman’s injury, since when I was 24 years old many moons ago, I suffered a double break of the the left fibula and tibia, and will always remember my lower left leg swinging as I crashed to the ground.
But I didn’t make a living off football, and therefore it was much harder for Ben Arfa, and I was able to press on with my research studies during the recovery time, which was around nine months too.
So we know Ben Arfa is a hero, and hey – wouldn’t it be just unbelievable if Ben Arfa can score the winner on Saturday for Newcastle. But miracles can happen.
Howay the Lads!!
Howay Ben Arfa!!