The ignorant and ill informed comments continue to appear in the media, Stephen Kelly being the latest to try to defend Martin Taylor's tackle with some truly incoherent comments:
"It was harsh Tiny (Taylor) being sent off. Tiny has gone in and it wasn't a malicious tackle and the reason the ref has sent him off is because he has seen Eduardo has broken his leg. I don't think you can send a player off for that. That's football. It can happen. It is an accident. Tiny didn't go in two-footed. He didn't lunge. He didn't dive in. Everyone knows what Tiny is like. He is such a nice bloke. He has no got a malicious bone in his body so it was very harsh for the ref to see the broken leg and then send him off because of that."
Stephen Kelly is at best a stupid fool, at worst a lying idiot. The red herring of intent and maliciousness is an irrelevant sideshow here, used by people who want to see English football stuck in the dark ages where agricultural challenges are part of the so called 'beautiful' game. As ANR makes clear, these kind of tackles are reckless by their very nature; it matters not the intent, it is the recklessness that has to be punished:
"But it is like dangerous driving, overtaking, and causing an accident when the law says don't. Lengthy bans and/or disqualification follow. A three game ban for a potentially wrecked career will invite ridicule. It would also edge the game in favour of attacking play; protect attacking players more; and help bring back the art of tackling, giving it far more value."
Other bloggers have made the point that this is more than a one off incident, the English game is blighted by an ugly mentality, a regressive footballing culture that allows violence and over aggressive play to flourish. On one hand foreigners are blamed for the lack of home grown talent emerging, while on the other hand the mass media are happy to encourage the unfair physical bullying of those with skill and technique; to me it is clear that the two are linked, our ugly footballing culture means that those with skill and technique have the odds stacked against them. Birmingham's behaviour since the incident has been pretty embarrassing to say the least, a dignified silence would have been better than their incessant disrespectful comments.
The symptoms of the disease are the likes of Martin Taylor, very average footballers with limited technique who are favoured in our thuggish English environment. I am not angry with Martin Taylor, however I do not feel for him either; my heart goes out to Eduardo and his family, get well soon and hopefully something positive can come out of this terrible incident.