manchester city 2-1 newcastle

City assistant Kidd: De Jong is not a malicious player

October 4, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd says there was "no malice" in the challenge from midfielder Nigel de Jong that left Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa nursing a broken leg on Sunday.

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Ben Arfa required oxygen and was stretchered off after only four minutes of the 2-1 win for City after being caught by a strong tackle from De Jong.

The loan signing from Marseille was taken straight to hospital and will undergo surgery on Monday after Newcastle confirmed he has broken both the tibia and fibula in his left leg.

Referee Martin Atkinson did not see fit to award a foul but Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said "it was a tackle that did not need to be made."

De Jong has a reputation for unforgiving challenges following his much-publicised kick on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup final but Kidd says the Dutchman is not a reckless player.

"Everybody knows Nigel and he is as honest as the day is long," Kidd said. "It's so sad when you see that happen and we hope it is not too serious. There was no malice in Nigel's challenge and Nigel is not that type of lad. He's the same in training and there's no malice in Nigel de Jong."