I am pleased that Newcastle United have written to the FA urging them to act regarding Nigel De Jong's dangerous lag breaking tackle on Ben Arfa. An official statement on the club's website reveals the following:
"The club has asked the FA for the appropriate action to be taken against De Jong for the tackle which in the club's opinion was unnecessary and used excessive force."
The tackle was brutal and unnecessary, De Jong went completely through the man in an excessively forceful manner, it was blatantly serious foul play. Anyone who thinks that this kind of tackling should be part of football is a fool. The ball is now very firmly in the FA's court. Samir Nasri has also spoken out about the De Jong tackle and the lack of protection from the overtly violent in the English game. What he says is both fair and reasonable. Guillem Balague's piece on the topic is spot on, his comments on pressing and sensible tackling are particularly pertinent. Flying into tackles in an out of control rarely wins the ball, it is often a sign of failure, pressing does not have to go hand in hand with dangerous tackling. Graham Poll reiterates some excellent points on bad tackling here.
This season we have now seen several shocking tackles go completely unpunished because referees have made serious errors, the FA has done absolutely nothing thus far to try to stamp this violence out of the game. There was Robinson on Diaby right in front of the referee and now De Jong on Ben Arfa. There have also been some appalling tackles which have been under punished such as Karl Henry's shocker against Wigan.
The FA must act. Excessively forceful dangerous tackling must be confronted otherwise it will continue to lead to the skillful being quite literally stamped out of the game. The worst violent lunges need to result in six to twelve game bans whether the opposition player is injured or not. Other countries are acting on this, it is now time for the FA, but for some reason I suspect they will do precisely nothing again.