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Back of the Net
Back of the Net's John Foster reports on the the fall-out from the biggest controversy of the Premier League weekend...
Callum McManaman has attempted to defuse the row over his horror tackle on Massadio Haidara by stopping by the Wigan General Hospital to visit the stricken Newcastle man’s severed leg.
Latics forward McManaman drew widespread condemnation for a knee-high challenge that saw Haidara receive lengthy on-field treatment to his leg, while the rest of his body was stretchered off and taken to hospital.
Owing to an administrative error, Haidara and his remaining limbs were moved to Newcastle Royal Infirmary, while the leg has remained in a special ward in Wigan. McManaman told reporters that he conversed with the leg for around twenty minutes on Sunday evening.
“I wasn’t sure if [the leg] would be pleased to see me, but I said hello, made my apologies, and [the leg] seemed to accept it, so that was that,” he said.
“I told [the leg] what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger, or alternatively, put you out of action for several months,” McManaman continued.
“Now we should all brush ourselves down and get back on our feet, or as the case may be, our foot. This incident is in the past now, just like Massadio Haidara’s season.”
Yes, we realise this is the wrong leg - probably down to NHS cutbacks...
FourFourTwo understands that the player and the leg also enjoyed a game of keepy-uppy and a few rounds of Boggle, which McManaman graciously allowed the bloodied, useless limb to win.
By visiting Haidara, McManaman may have prevented the furore from escalating further. Stephen Hunt, then of Reading, fractured Petr Cech’s skull in 2006, and was heavily criticized for not going to see Cech in hospital, despite Hunt’s claims that he had visited the comatose goalkeeper in his dreams.
Another notorious hospital incident involved Basque hardman Andoni Goikoetxea, who in 1983 broke Diego Maradona’s left ankle with a horrific lunge from behind. Upon visiting the star in his private ward, Goikoetxea was widely condemned for failing to apologise for the tackle, eating all Maradona’s grapes, and breaking the Argentine’s right ankle with a sneaky kick while he was leaving.
Callum McManaman’s troubles may not be over yet, however. Greater Manchester Police have announced they want to interview the 21-year old’s vicious bone, after Wigan manager Roberto Martinez confirmed after the game that it was not in the player’s body.
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