By Chris Wright
Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has issued an apology to Samir Nasri after his petulant swipe during Sunday’s game at St James’ Park knackered the Man City man’s knee ligaments and duly put him out of action for the next two months.
Initially, Yanga-Mbiwa attempted to say sorry to Nasri in person after the game but Nasri was off receiving treatment somewhere. He then tried to phone through an apology to his compatriot but his calls went unanswered.
Unperturbed and still desperate to apologise to his international teammate, eventually Yanga-Mbiwa contacted L’Equipe to voice his regret via a quick interview, telling the French sports paper:
“I was waiting to meet him in front of the changing-room door but he got treatment. Then, I immediately tried to get his phone number. I called him several times but he never answered.
“I left a message, I tried again on Monday but I failed to talk to him. I will try again because I want to apologise personally. I was so sorry.
“I just wanted to prevent him from going ahead, make him fall. He stayed upright on the first tackle, but fell on the second one.
“I clearly didn’t want to hurt him or be violent with such a gesture. I wanted to trip him up, there was no nastiness.
“I finally heard it should be a two-month absence and I was relieved. When I heard it could be broken knee ligaments and it could imperil his World Cup, I felt really bad.”
Given the really rather nasty degree of internet venom which kicked up directly after the tackle (we actually saw it described as “premeditated assault” several times on Twitter), it’s nice to see Yanga-Mbiwa at least go to fair old lengths to apologise to Nasri – not that it’s going to make his injury heal any faster, of course.