Netherlands cuts Nigel de Jong

Updated: October 4, 2010, 7:07 PM ET
Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Nigel de Jong was cut from the Netherlands roster by coach Bert van Marwijk on Monday after the Manchester City midfielder broke an opponent's leg with a tackle for the second time in seven months.

De Jong's tackle Sunday left Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa with two broken bones in his left leg. On March 3, De Jong broke the right leg of midfielder Stuart Holden with a tackle during an exhibition against the United States.

In addition, De Jong had a karate kick to the chest of Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso during the World Cup final in July.

"It's the coach's decision whether they decide to bring him in or not," Holden said after training with the U.S. ahead of Saturday's exhibition against Poland in Chicago. "Each player has a different style. You try and pay attention to things like that and yet you try not to be reckless. You try to keep yourself on the pitch, which is, obviously, the most important thing in soccer."

Van Marwijk said he saw "no alternative" but to drop De Jong from his roster for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Moldova and Sweden.

"I will shortly speak to Nigel again, but now I am concentrating with the players and staff on the two important qualifiers coming up," Van Marwijk said in a statement released by the Royal Dutch Football Association.

Van Marwijk told Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad that the tackle was "unnecessary and wild," adding that he has "a problem with the way Nigel needlessly looks to push the limit."

Holden was sidelined until May 9 following surgery to insert a plate to cover the fracture in his right fibia.

"That's in the past for me," Holden said. "Obviously, it was a setback in my career, but I've moved on from that."

Ben Arfa, on loan from Marseille, is expected to be out for a prolonged spell after X-rays revealed a broken tibia and fibula sustained in the third minute of Sunday's match, which City won 2-1.

The forward had surgery at Manchester Royal Infirmary on Monday. Newcastle said the operation was a success but it was not possible to confirm how long Ben Arfa would be out for.

Referee Martin Atkinson did not call a foul on the play or give De Jong a card.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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