Nasri calls for protection
Arsenal's Samir Nasri believes referees in the Premier League are not doing enough to protect players.
Last Updated: 05/10/10 6:21pm
Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri believes referees in the Premier League are not doing enough to protect players.
The France international was speaking in the wake of Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa's double leg break following a challenge from Manchester City's Nigel de Jong on Sunday.
Nasri feels that match officials need to pay more attention to anyone with a reputation for overstepping the mark in a bid to cut down on serious injuries.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has long called for change, particularly after seeing Abou Diaby, Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey sidelined for extended spells, and Nasri is of the same opinion as his manager.
"What strikes me is the refereeing. The referee saw Hatem Ben Arfa exit on a stretcher with an oxygen mask, yet he didn't punish de Jong. It's that which has to change in England," Nasri said on Eurosport.
"Nigel de Jong has pedigree, a bit like [Mark] van Bommel. Referees should know that these players make foul tackles.
"The tackle wasn't exactly like the one that Eduardo suffered against Birmingham, but it was a hard tackle, from the side."
Nasri does not believe that players take to the field with the intention of injuring opponents, but still believes the onus is on referees to bring about change.
"With the exception of one time, when (Joey) Barton tried to hack me down, players are not 'evil'," Nasri added.
"I'm very disappointed for Hatem, who I really like as a player. I hope he comes through this a more mature player, but it is not certain.
"There are sometimes accidents and there always have been, considering the commitment levels. But are we protected enough in England? I don't think so."