Sunday 24 February 2008

The 'beautiful' English game

Some people have no shame. Arsene is not optimistic regarding Eduardo's injury with good reason, it's a particularly nasty injury which allegedly involves the ankle joint as well as the break higher up. These kind of injuries can end careers even with the best surgical treatment. Arseblog queries as to whether it is just the fibula that is broken, unfortunately this is unlikely to be the case, the tibia is likely to have gone having seen the pictures, the prognosis will depend on how involved the ankle joint is.

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.

1 comment:

Ted said...

I'm not sure whether this is true, but I get the impression that there are more genuinely bad tackles in the professional game than in the amateur game.

Now, thats not to say that a Sunday morning on the Hackney marsh is a picnic (as I know full well), but the point is that if a genuinely bad tackle goes in, then there will be a brawl of epic proportions as payback.

The result is that amateurs playing on the Hackney Marsh, or similar, tend not to make so many dangerous tackles as they fear for the consequences.

In the professional game, such mob paybacks don't happen and players get away with it. Indeed, idiots like Kelly even suggest that its no bad thing for a player to get his leg smashed to bits and thats not even a red card. What a twat he is.

At the 1998 World Cup, Fifa was concerned about serious injuries to players and banned the sliding tackle from behind, whether it got the ball or not. It resulted in some red cards being dished out at the tournament that perhaps would not have been given normally, but I think the experiment worked overall.

However, we have gone backwards since 1998 and the standard of tackling in the Premiership is now far more dangerous than ten years ago.

For what its worth, the standard of refeering has gone down as well. A professional referee is often the useless git who never played football when he was young.