UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications
Van Marwijk drops Nigel de Jong
5 October 2010
Holland boss Bert van Marwijk has
dropped Nigel de Jong for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers
against Moldavia and Sweden because of his tough tackle
on Hatem Ben Arfa in Saturday's match between De Jong's
club Manchester City and Newcastle.
The French midfielder suffered
a double fracture of his left leg after the tackle for
which De Jong was not booked. Ben Arfa is expected top
be out at least six months.
A Dutch pundit dubbed De Jong "a
criminal" on Dutch TV.
Van Marwijk decided to drop De
Jong after the two had a talk on Monday.
The tackle on Ben Arfa was not the first time De Jong
(25) has drawn attention for his hard-hard game. In
March of this year he broke the leg of American player
Stuart Holden and this summer, on the biggest football
stage possible (the final of the World Cup) he planted
his right foot on the chest of Spain-midfielder Xabi
Alonso. For the challenge on Alonso he got a yellow
card. The tackle on Holden went without a sanction.
In other recent games (against Red Bull Salzburg and
Wigan Athletic) De Jong also went over the edge with
his challenges, without much further damage though.
Bert van Marwijk called De Jong's
tackle 'wild and unnecessary" after first seeing
it, yet before he had decided to drop the player: "I
don't think he tried to hurt Ben Arfa, but he goes in
much too hard. That's a shame, because he doesn't need
it. It's odd that the referee doesn't even give him
a yellow card for it. Apparently they hold different
standards there. I am troubled by the way Nigel keeps
looking for the limits."
After he had decided to drop De
Jong Van Marwijk said little about it: "I have
told the other players I had no other options. I shall
have a good chat with Nigel in the very near future.
But now me and the staff of the Dutch team will have
to focus on the other players and prepare them for the
De Jong's team mates are unhappy about the situation.
"Nigel remains one of us. We are all very much
bothered by this. But I understand the bondscoach,"
said Bayern Munich-captain Mark van Bommel.
"I shall call Nigel. I believe
that's the best thing to do now," said Ruud van
Nistelrooy. "I can not say whether I find this
measure good or bad. We will have to carry on. These
are the circumstances. It has been a strange day after
the coach explained to us why he dropped Nigel. This
has hit us all in the face. It's happened and we're
all very sorry for it."
Brama to replace De Jong
Van Marwijk has named Wout Brama of FC Twente to replace
De Jong. He has one cap to his name. Urby Emanuelson
has also been added to the squad to replace his injured
Ajax-team mate Vurnon Anita.
2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings
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