Nigel de Jong’s tackle – a media journey

The snowballing of outrage over Nigel de Jong’s tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa has been as inevitable as the neeed to fill football pages in a week without high profile games. The story has followed a journalistic arc that’s worth recapping as we attempt to make sense of the acres of comment – and then roll our eyes at the inevitability of it all.

In the beginning: the tackle took place on Sunday without a free-kick being awarded by the referee, who saw the incident. Play wasn’t stopped and the Newcastle players did not react with outrage. Television commentators at the time, and later on Match Of The Day 2 offered sympathy to Ben Arfa, but judged the tackle legitimate.

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