Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dan Not the Man to Hurt Anyone

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dan Not the Man to Hurt Anyone

Article excerpt

Byline: By James Hunter

Kevin Ball has sprung to the defence of Dan Smith after the youngster was slammed by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, (writes James Hunter).

Smith caught Gunners midfielder Abou Diaby with a nasty tackle in injury-time at the end of Sunderland's 3-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light, Diaby suffering a broken and dislocated ankle.

Wenger implied Smith's challenge was no accident but Sunderland caretaker-boss Ball insists there was no intent on the part of his player.

Ball said: "I can understand Arsene being upset but Dan is not a dirty player.

"He went to win the ball and unfortunately has caught the player.

"It is a bit unfair to have a go at Dan."

Wenger was unimpressed, however, and said Smith should have been sent off instead of merely yellow-carded.

Wenger said: "Diaby looks to have a very serious injury and that is in my opinion a shame because it was a bad kick and an unnecessary one.

"It is a big blow to lose a player like that. …

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