Arsenal hero calls for lengthy De Jong ban

06 October 2010

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has joined the growing chorus calling for the FA to hand out a lengthy ban to Manchester City enforcer Nigel De Jong.

The Gunners’ hero suggests De Jong’s challenge on Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa illustrates a growing trend in the Premier League that suggests tackling has become a dying art.

Despite Wright’s criticism of the aforementioned Holland international, the FA have already decided against banning the Eastlands star, because Martin Atkinson confirmed he had seen the incident and deemed it a fair challenge.

The Arsenal legend told the Sun: “NIGEL DE JONG should be banned for the whole time that Hatem Ben Arfa remains on the sidelines.

“After watching the Premier League action last weekend, I wonder what has happened to the art of tackling.

“And where has this scissor tackle come from? That's the one that saw De Jong break the leg of Newcastle's French star who has only just arrived in this country.

“The referee didn't even give a free-kick against the Manchester City player, so he'll be back for their next game.

“Unfortunately it will be a long time before Ben Arfa plays again - and we need a punishment that will make players think twice before going into challenges like that.

“The FA should bring in a rule banning players for the same time injured players are out.

“I've heard it said that De Jong touched the ball, so the referee deemed it was not even worthy of a free-kick. But you can't tell me that just because someone gets the ball it can't be a bad challenge.

In addition to slamming De Jong, Wright suggested Karl Henry’s tackle on Jordi Gomez during Wolves’ encounter with Wigan Athletic, was “was probably the most reckless I've seen in a long time.”

Wright continued: “I'm amazed Wigan's Jordi Gomez is also not facing a long spell on the treatment table because Karl Henry's tackle on him for Wolves was probably the most reckless I've seen in a long time.

“Players need to think about the consequences of what they're doing - otherwise they are going to see the careers of their fellow pros ended.”