Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughNigel De Jong: Fan favorite, but for how long… - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Nigel De Jong: Fan favorite, but for how long… - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Nigel De Jong: Fan favorite, but for how long…

O’ when De Jong!
Goes sliding in!
O’ when De Jong goes sliding in…
There’s only going to be one winner,
O’ when De Jong goes sliding in…
On January 21st, 2009, Dutchmen Nigel De Jong made his £18 million move across the English Channel to Manchester City.  He slid right into Mark Hughes plans as a defensive reinforcement for a struggling back line and made an immediate impact for the club.  After signing a 4 and a half year contract, Nigel was included in the first team sheet and set to make his English Premier League debut on January 28th against Newcastle United.  Sliding into tackles, the Premier League, and into the hearts of City fans, Nigel has made his place in club history. 
Nigel will mark his anniversary with the club on January 28th.  Although Nigel has only scored two goals during his time at City, his impact on the pitch deserves recognition of a different nature.  Rarely are defensive midfielders awarded any individual acknowledgment due to their lack in statistical accomplishments.  It is important to recognize his achievements and pay him proper respect for his contributions in the rise of the Blue Moon.
Nigel is known as a physical force all over the pitch.  He is adaptive and versatile, playing in the attacking and defensive midfield, as a defender, and even as a striker.  Harsh criticisms often arise due to a history of strong tackles towards Stuart Holden, Xabi Alonso, and Hatem Ben Arfa.  But to this date, Nigel De Jong has only been sent off once in his professional career.  The fans know that each time De Jong comes onto the pitch, 100% effort will be exerted.
I only hope his maturity and ability to connect passes improve as his experience increases with the club. Last year, he had the highest completion percentages in the Premier League.  I am certain he is gaining experience in training sessions. 
With only 18 months left on his current contract, De Jong has since refused to sign a new deal.  He is often not in the starting picture, but usually always in the first team sheet as a sub.  With the immergence of men in form, James Milner, Gareth Barry, and Yaya Toure, Nigel has found himself with few opportunities to make an impact. After falling down the depth chart of the City power squad, De Jong may be looking for an exit to continue contributing to a club who is in dire need of a defensive powerhouse.   
City fans can only hope that he strikes a contract extension and continues to perform on and off the pitch as the loyal fan favorite he is known to be.
Written By: Tyler Schochenmaier

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