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Ref Says 'Keegan Should Know Better'!
Published : 05 Oct 2010 14:07:42
Former Premier League referee Graham Poll has slammed Manchester City's Nigel De Jong and Wolves captain Karl Henry for "irresponsible tackles" that threaten the careers of star players. Newcastle have suffered at the hands of both players in recent weeks, Nigel De Jong was involved in the unsavoury incident at the weekend which resulted in the Hatem Ben Arfa breaking his leg. But it was comments from Kevin Keegan that really got on Poll's nerves. Graham Poll (talking to the Daily Mail): “Nigel De Jong and Wolves' newly-styled hardman Karl Henry are both tackling in a way which is designed to 'let a player know he's there' “Delivered with excessive force and often made while airborne and unable to pull out of that challenge if it becomes clear that the ball has gone. “Even when the ball is played - there is often a follow through which appears intended to 'leave a mark' on an opponent, either physically or psychologically. “Neither studio pundit for ESPN - Kevin Keegan and Nicky Butt - thought that there was anything wrong with De Jong's challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa. “This was despite the show's presenter Ray Stubbs rightly highlighting that the second leg wrapped around Ben Arfa, causing his leg to break. “I fully understand Butt seeing the tackle from his viewpoint he has but Keegan really should be opposed to a player who intends to 'let Ben Arfa know he's there.' “I am sure that Xabi Alonso knew that De Jong was there in the World Cup final when he planted six studs - kung-fu style - into his chest. “Meanwhile, how lucky was Wigan's Jordi Gomez to escape unscathed after what can only be described as an assault from Henry on Saturday? “Referee Lee Mason rightly dismissed Henry but that would not have saved Gomez from serious injury. “It was refreshing to hear an honest appraisal of a poor tackle by his own manager and Mick McCarthy accepted Henry's culpability. “McCarthy also said that he would be talking to Henry about his tackling this week. He must ensure that the pace is reduced and the control increased. “Of course, referees should never pre-judge players but should prepare fully and research the style which these hard men adopt. "While all managers - and not just Mick McCarthy - need to look at their 'enforcers' who ignore the duty of care all players must exercise towards their fellow professionals. “Three broken legs in a season is too many and we are only seven match days into this season.”