Monday 13 September 2010

Mark Hughes: breaking legs to win

On BBC Radio 5 Live this Saturday gone feelings were running fairly high following the horrendous injury sustained by Bobby Zamora and some rather interesting things were revealed over the duration. The program was introduced with Mark Chapman saying that Gary Cahill had done 'very little' to get sent off at the Emirates. Robbie Savage went on to say that kids should be taught how to cheat by pulling shirts and tripping players up, Savage also kept trying to justify cheating by saying it's simply part of the game:

"What's wrong with pulling shirts and little cynical fouls?"

Well it's cheating and against the rules for one Robbie. He then went on to speak about exactly what Mark Hughes had told his teams to do against superior opposition:

"Do you think Mark Hughes care if his team makes fouls and they win?"

"If Fabregas goes past you and you've got a chance to pull him down, have a sneaky tug of his shirt or tug him over, you're going to do it"

It is bad enough that a top manager is telling his players to deliberately go out and foul the opposition in a quite cynical manner. Some people would try to justify this by saying that everyone's at it, it's part of the game, etc. There is no justification for cheating and deliberate fouling, no manager should order it before games. It is also sad that people like Robbie Savage think this the only way to beat a better side, Roy Hodgson with Fulham and Martin O'Neill with Villa have proven that there are honest ethical ways of overcoming better sides. I am also quite sure that the likes of Arsene Wenger and Roy Hodgson would never do such a thing. The worst thing is that it doesn't stop there, it is not just little cynical fouls, it goes across another line, Mark Hughes tells his teams to be more aggressive 'in whichever way you can be':

"Mark Hughes used to say, when we used to play against teams that were technically better than us, he used to say 'stop them', 'be aggressive against them in whichever way you can be, be aggressive...When we played against teams like Arsenal we used to kick them off the park"

There's no doubt in my mind that these kind of instructions will inevitably lead to more serious injuries being sustained and more nasty shattered mangled limbs. We saw Karl Henry's tackle from behind resulting in a potentially career threatening injury for Bobby Zamora, it wasn't the worst of tackles, but this shows that it doesn't take awful tackles to end careers, just being that little bit more aggressive and dangerous will increase the chances of these kind of injuries being sustained. Paul Robinson did one on Cesc in the first half which was designed to injure, he went through the ball in such an aggressive manner that only Cesc jumping out the way prevented him from being injured. The above tackle on Robbie Savage is the kind of aggressive play that needs to be outlawed.

So we have it on record, Mark Hughes tells his teams to deliberately go out to foul better teams and to stop them using every aggressive means possible. I am sure that he is not the only manager out there who does this, I have no doubt that Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis and Mick McCarthy do exactly the same type of thing. It is quite clear that referees in this country allow this kind of negative and overly aggressive play to prosper. Robbie Savage only received one red card in his whole career, that tells a story in itself.

No wonder we are seeing more horrendous injuries, as the modern game has sped up we are not seeing the rules of the game being properly enforced in a way that can protect the most skillful players. On the whole European referees do not tolerate what English referees do; overly aggressive tackling, raised studs and the highly cynical are much less tolerated on the continent. We need a culture shift in this country, otherwise the English game will continue to lag behind technically.

The FA need to introduce systems to ensure that dangerous tackling is outlawed; the strict consistent application of retrospective bans, video replay technology for officials and a citing system are good ideas that have been ignored thus far. We need better referees who can better discriminate between the overly aggressive and the safe, between the accidental and the cynical, and this will only come from having more officials who have played the game at a decent level who have better support from the top. The silence from certain areas from the media on this issue is deafening. Should deliberate cheating, fouling and leg breaking part of a 'man's game'?


Anonymous said...

Dont you think this is criminal? Someone should record what mark hughes said and file charges.

Anonymous said...

Maybe hughes' and savage's own children get their legs smashed and broken and crippled...then they'll talk differently..?

1979gooner said...

The great irony is that Robbie Savage did have his leg smashed up in a tackle, so he should know much better.

Hughes was a pretty violent player in his day wasn't he, the elbows and dangerous tackles were pretty frequent. You get away with it if you play for Manu though.

Lady Arsenal said...

Anyone who has played the game knows what Savage is trying to say. You can't get righteous about it, that's the nature of football. You do what you can to win the match - pull someone's shirt, leave a boot in, con the referee, try to get your opponent sent off. If it works, you keep doing it.

I really wish we'd stop acting like victims and accept that is the way it is (if you think it's just the Prem, watch the Juve Sampdoria game yesterday). There is no respect in football. This is how it was when Wenger arrived, this is how it is now. Difference is, we had plenty of cynical players when we were winning trophies - Bergkamp, Petit, Vieira, our back 4.

You can't expect the game to change to suit you, no matter how pious or superior you consider yourself to be.

1979gooner said...

Lady Arsenal,

I disagree. Our double winning sides were not cynical. They were strong, tough and fair.

I do accept that you do need players who get stuck in, who press, who harry, who fight for every ball. However to say that we have to accept deliberate foul play does not have to go hand in hand with this.

Anyway the main point is about overly aggressive play, all I'm saying about that is that the rules need to be properly enforced and that's hard to argue against.

If you go in hard but safely and win the ball, fine, it's no foul, however if you go in very hard and miss the ball a la Shawcross you should have the book thrown at you.

You can expect football to change, look how much it has changed over the last couple of decades.

I'm saying England have a choice, we can continue with overly physical football and see lots of broken legs, but hand in hand with this comes an environment that will not produce good skilful technical players very often, this will mean a persistently average England side.

Or we can bring in technology, better systems to reduce the amount of overly physical and violent play in the game, this will improve the game as a spectacle and it make for a better England side.

Italian football is a bad example, it is appalling to watch because of the cynical cheating, our football has way less cheating in it and it's important we do something to prevent things sliding a la Italia. They don't have the extent of a problem with nasty tackling though.

I'm not acting like a victim, I just wish people could understand what is violent, what is dangerous and what is not. Overly aggressive overly physical football is not only bad to watch, it results in more careers being ended from horrific injuries.

Anonymous said...

Lady Arsenal, thanks so much for your comments.

Now, I wish to break some of your bones and legs, or your children's, if possible in a game. You wont complain, that, I'm very sure now.

Anonymous said...

Lady Arse is just an argumentative twat, just ignore the biatch.

Uncle Mike said...

To paraphrase the Boss (Wenger, not Springsteen), if you ask 100 people, 99 will say that Mark Hughes needs to get a Cherslap (Snap out of it!), and the 100th will be Mark Hughes.

Lady Arsenal said...

I appreciate where you're coming from, and obviously I don't want players deliberately going out to injure! But I think the distinction between 'getting stuck in' and 'overly aggressive play' is very fine indeed.

Trying to get rid of the latter will inevitably impact upon the former, and, like you, I think the high tempo physical end to end game is what helps make our football so exciting to watch. Possession football is boring.

I concede that you're right that football has changed. Players have never been as protected as they are now, and the brutal football we once saw every week is no longer. If referees see the bad tackles, they punish them. But even so, football is not basketball yet!

I think you're wrong however that it is deliberate fouling which discourages technical football in the English game. It is rather the speed of the game, how crowded thing are, and so how little time one gets on the ball.

And please don't claim we didn't have cynical players, that's just ridiculous. They were great footballers, but they also knew when to 'cheat' or foul or get stuck in, that's what made them winners. Take off those rose-tinted spectacles!

Cheers for the discussion though, it is an interesting one. I just think that we should be wary of pigeon-holing teams like Stoke or Blackburn. They play their way and are pretty successful at it given their resources. They don't just go out to be thuggish, else they wouldn't win matches.

Just because we have better players who play the Arsenal way, it doesn't mean we are above them - we should respect our opponents more, so long as they play within the rules. If you ask me, if we had half the defensive spirit of a Stoke we'd be winning the league.

Anonymous said...

Lady Arsenal with all due respect you are just plain wrong. English football is held back by the crude and vicious tackling that some people call "getting stuck in" and the idiotic culture that values "effort" over skill. It's a joke to suggest that the speed of the game discourages skill... if that was the case fabrgas would have no time on the ball. Modric would have no time on the ball. Rosicky, Bergkamp, Pires and too many players for Arsenal and other teams always seem to have time on the ball.. how do you explain that? England were left chasing shadows in South Africa and they couldn't even blame the weather! Germany were quicker in movement, quicker in thought, better in skill and miles ahead in imagination... and they years younger too! What happened to our pace then?

The problem with English football is a cultural one.. we are all so used to the stupid and moronic violence that people can say with a straight face that Cahill didn't deserve a red card.. or just laugh off the antics of the likes of Davies - who could have seriously injured Koscielny.

It is not about disrespecting ones opponents, it is about fairness. If North Korea could organise their team to harry, tackle and still play football against the mighty Brazil without once threatening to injure anyone why can't Bolton who have more resources, more money and better facilities? Why can't Stoke? If it wasn't for their stupid dictator Those guys would have left the tournament with a huge amount of credit... but it's not just North Korea but teams like Uruguay with population less than Scotland's, teams like Slovakia and Paraguay.. all emphasise skill.

Football in the British Isles is dying a death because of our stupid refusal to see the light. Scotland with two massive Clubsides cannot win anything anymore. Wales are even worse... and England is full of over-hyped, under-skilled and overpaid prima donnas. How can you say that the brutality we see week in week out has nothing to do with the rubbishness of the national team. How is it that the best hopes for English football are now emerging mostly from Arsenal? Tell me that? Would Gibbs or even Wiolshere play the football they play at anyother club save for United may be? It is the Tony Pulis', Allardyces and mark Hughes of this world that are killing English football. And until we start to emphasise skill and technique over brutality and numbskulled running about we will win nothing as a country.

Anonymous said...

Things have changed. We used to be a sovereign state- an individual, autonomous country. We played how we wanted and sent the occasional side into 'europe'. It aint like that any more. We are now run by 'europe'. We have signed away our sov. in the Lisbon Treaty. We have no Magna Carta style constitution any more. Politically and sportwise we have to conform to Brussels. They prefer the beautiful game and we had better change. I like the idea of proper football but I am livid we have had to enter slavery to get it!!!

Lady Arsenal said...

To the first anonymous person (just put a name it takes 2 seconds!), great comment, but I've got to argue with you on a number of things.

'It's a joke to suggest that the speed of the game discourages skill'

Well I think it more far-fetched to suggest that the occasional hard tackle is responsible for the dearth of technical talent among Englishmen. You make it out like every time you get the ball someone makes a lunge to break your leg. I bet you're not old enough to remember the old days - look up Wimbledon!

I think that a fast-paced game, where the ball is closed down quickly, encourages a more direct style of play. This means that attributes like pace, size and strength are highly valued. It's pretty logical really.

The players you mention only appear to have time on the ball because they are great footballers, of a level that only the top teams can attract them. A team like Stoke or Blackburn can't get players of that quality, so they have to play to their own strengths.

Go and watch the Juve Sampdoria game like I said, and you will see a game littered with horrendous challenges (and severe injuries), yet the technical level of the play is enormous. There isn't a link between them as you claim.

I find it more rational to explain England's poor technical level (if that is indeed the case) by looking at the attitude that winning is the most important thing. These smaller clubs only do what they do because they want to win. It doesn't matter how they do it, so long as they do, thereby getting enough points to survive in the league.

If you then look down to youth football, you'll find that attitude is there. While kids should be learning to enjoy the game, try skills, improve their technical level, instead they are screamed at for making a mistake, and taught that winning is everything. It's just not as effective to turn up to a fast game on a terrible pitch in bad weather and try and play possession football, it's too difficult.

It's at a very young age that kids learn the co-ordination required to be technically good. If you haven't got it by 12, you'll never have it. At this age it is important to encourage skills and touch, rather than stick them on a full-sized pitch in competitive matches where it is all about winning.

I think you've gone a little overboard - the Premiership is the most popular league in the world by a mile. If it was just 'stupid and moronic violence' I hardly think it would be such a massive export. People like it because of the effort and commitment you seem to despise so. There are positives to it, so long, as I think we all agree, it is within the laws of the game.

1979gooner said...

"Well I think it more far-fetched to suggest that the occasional hard tackle is responsible for the dearth of technical talent among Englishmen. You make it out like every time you get the ball someone makes a lunge to break your leg. I bet you're not old enough to remember the old days - look up Wimbledon!"

If you read the piece then you would understand why I take issue with this. You deliberately cloud a simple issue by talking of occasional hard tackles and then saying that I'm making out that every attempt for ball is a leg breaking attempt, this is disingenuous.

I don't want to end up repeating the original piece over and over, but briefly it's about safe tackling. I have no problem with firm honest safe tackling.

Take Bolton at the weekend, there was a systemetic amount of dangerous tackling, players were going in excessively hard and dangerously in a way that was designed to rough up the opposition, it was across the line, if the ref was decent then he would have nipped it in the bud by booking Davies earlier, by booking Steinsson, Cahill and Robinson. Instead he let far too much go and things spilled over, this then resulted in an injury to Diaby, of note Wilshere was also hurt.

"I think that a fast-paced game, where the ball is closed down quickly, encourages a more direct style of play. This means that attributes like pace, size and strength are highly valued. It's pretty logical really. "

Nonsense. There is too much ( in my opinion) direct football because of the lack of technical skill of some sides. I wouldn't like to see the pace lost entirely by any means, but England will continue being average at International level until the skilful player is protected a bit more, the game of passing sides is protected that bit more against the cloggers like Stoke/Blackburn.

1979gooner said...

You arguments that the lack of technique in England being partly because of wanting to win too much is nonsensical and a bit insulting to other countries, as it implies that they don't want to win as much!

I have never said that the lack of protection from referees is the main reason for the lack of technique in England, but it is part of it.

The main reason is the way kids are brought up and trained. They play on full size pitches hoofing the ball far too early on, there needs to be much more of an emphasis on skill from a young age, they need to do much more ball work and much more work in smaller areas. Arsenal have shown that with the right training from a young age you can do it.

The problem is the environment of the Premier League makes it hard for the Wilsheres to proceed, Jack is a tough lad and will do well, but on the balance of things a lot of younger technical players will find it a lot harder because of the hoofing direct football at the lower levels of football in this country.

Things are definitely getting better, the football quality is far better in the Premier League than it was, likewise the lower leagues. There is much more technique and passing than there was 10/20 years ago.

The problem is that to continue this amelioration we need to ensure that the slight resurgence in neandtherthal clogging sides from the likes of Blackburn and Stoke is discouraged by proper refereeing and systems that penalise dangerous play properly/consistently.

The Premier League is popular because of the likes of Manu/Chelsea/Arsenal, not the likes of Stoke/Blackburn/Bolton. That is another mistake of yours.

You also make that familiar error of claiming that the likes of Stoke/Blackburn have no choice, of course they do, there are many smaller sides that have done magnificently well without playing nasty aggressive overly physical football. Fulham under Hodgson are the best example but there are many others.

Overall I don't buy your argument at all. Managers like Hughes who tell their teams to go out and kick the other side should not be allowed to get away with it, decent refereeing that enforced the rules of the game properly would do so and systems that backed this/them up. The likes of Hughes rely on weak officiating to get away with it.

By the way I have no problem with teams playing a direct style or long ball stuff as long as they do it fairly. Problem is that when they play Arsenal they don't do it fairly.

It's a simple argument about having decent referees who understand the game and decent systems to back it up.

Take this weekend for example, the FA's process allow Cahill to appeal while Robinson gets off scott free. It's yet another example of a dysfunctional system that allows violence to flourish.

1979gooner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
1979gooner said...

The Premier League is popular because of the likes of Manu/Chelsea/Arsenal, not the likes of Stoke/Blackburn/Bolton. That is another mistake of yours.

You also make that familiar error of claiming that the likes of Stoke/Blackburn have no choice, of course they do, there are many smaller sides that have done magnificently well without playing nasty aggressive overly physical football. Fulham under Hodgson are the best example but there are many others.

Overall I don't buy your argument at all. Managers like Hughes who tell their teams to go out and kick the other side should not be allowed to get away with it, decent refereeing that enforced the rules of the game properly would do so and systems that backed this/them up. The likes of Hughes rely on weak officiating to get away with it.

Lady Arsenal said...

So basically you are criticising referees for not 'nipping it in the bud.' That's ok but, as I said earlier, there's a very fine line between honest hard tackling, which you condone, and overly aggressive play, which you don't.

The referee's job is very difficult if he has to distinguish between the two. Robinson's tackle on Diaby won the ball, as did Henry's tackle on Zamora. At full speed without a replay, asking the referee to do this means he effectively has to determine the state of mind of the player tackling, whether he intended to hurt the player, or just to win the ball. Inevitably some bad tackles will be missed.

The danger is that you punish the honest committed challenge in the name of extinguishing dangerous tackles. There is also an inordinate amount of off the ball kicks or elbows or insults that happen in a football game, as any footballer will tell you. These things go unpunished by their very covert nature. The only way to stop it is to stand up to it. It's just the way it is, whether we like it or not.

I do think it disrespectful just to characterize managers like Mark Hughes or Tony Pulis as thugs, that's typical Arsenal fan drivel. They get their team to play a certain way against Arsenal, because it exploits our weaknesses. They are less likely to do so against a Man U or Chelsea because it won't work - it's not effective.

Until we get players who can stand up to it, like we used to, we will be targets. So you can criticise them for doing it, or you can criticise our manager for letting the situation persist. You can guarantee that a Vieira or a Bergkamp would have known what to do if we were getting sly kicks and dangerous tackles throughout a match. They were seasoned winners who refused to be bullied, and appreciated that the physical side is as much part of the game as the technical side.

'Nonsense. There is too much ( in my opinion) direct football because of the lack of technical skill of some sides.'

Well in that case we must be trading in nonsense. Which came first, the long ball or the poor technique? Somewhere along the line, there must be a reason why.

Chelsea play direct football, as do Man U and Liverpool, none of whom are lacking in technical skill. It is simply the most effective way of playing football in the Premier League. That is, until we show them the light by winning the league in May.

marcus said...

Hughes always has been and will forever be pure filth.

1979gooner said...

Lady Arsenal,

You are way off the mark and are clearly not listening to what I have previously said.

Arsene has some interesting comments which you are in clear disagreement with.

Your comments on the Robinson tackle show you lack understanding as to what makes a tackle dangerous.

The Robinson tackle was an easy spot for the ref.

I had a crap view from about fifty yards yet it looked a shocking red card tackle first off, replays have only confirmed this.

You miss the point over and over in this regard, please read what has been written.

The ball is irrelevant given how Robinson went into the tackle, as is his state of mind.

A jump tackle through a player with a straight leg and studs up in a completely out of control manner is a red card, irrelevant of where the ball is, irrelevant of the intent, irrelevant of the state of mind of the player.

If you don't comprehend this then you don't comprehend football I'm afraid.

These are straightforward things for refs and the FA to do something about, it's not as tricky as you make out, maybe it is if you don't understand tackling.

Overall I am just repeating myself again and again, there's little point continuing this one it appears.

To say I lack respect in labelling Hughes a thug is bullsh*t. Hughes is a thug, he was as a player and is as a manager. We have it on record that he told his players to go out and stop the other team playing with any aggressive means possible, that is virtually the definition of a thug manager!

Get a grip.

By the way I would not condone all hard tackling, it all depends what you mean. I am happy to condone safe firm tackles but that is slightly subjective in itself as to what is included.

Obviously we need our own players to be strong and firm, and not wilt under pressure, this goes without saying.

However we also need refs who can spot the reckless/dangerous better than they are doing at the moment and an FA that bother to do something to stamp it out of the game. Their lack of action on Robinson is a disgrace.

Lady Arsenal said...

Slow down little man, I know plenty of fellow Arsenal fans who agree with me. I came on here to have a debate and not only did you not address my argument, you were insulting.

I never said that Robinson't tackle wasn't dangerous, you just jumped on that, perhaps because you're incapable of engaging in discussion. You heard only what you wanted to hear.

Arguing isn't about shouting down your opponent, it's about listening and responding to the argument set out.

In fact you ended up agreeing with me, and contradicting yourself - 'I am happy to condone safe firm tackles but that is slightly subjective in itself as to what is included.' This is after you claim 'these are straightforward things for refs and the FA to do something about'.

If it is a subjective matter, then it is not straight-forward.

Anyway, maybe you're right, maybe you're not, at least show some respect to someone who wants to come on and share their interest in football debate. Take it easy.

1979gooner said...

Lady Arsenal,

You're very skilful at spinning an argument without actually making any really solid points.

I'm not coming changing my viewpoint, as you say 'end up agreeing with me', as you so modestly put it. I am just repeating the same old points of the original piece that you failed to listen to in my opinion.

It's very easy to take the moral high ground as you try to do in your most recent post, by labelling things insulting and claiming that I'm not engaging etc. Actually if this was in any way a genuine moral stance you would not be starting off with insults!

In fact I am sticking to my guns because I believe my stance is right and coherent.

Look back at the previous posts, you talk of 'respect' but you starting off by showing a lack of respect with your own comments.

The crux of this is that I don't think you have said anything that affects the argument put forward, it still stands firmly.

You'll think this is because I haven't listened and because I'm such an angry pious man! Actually I've read everything you have written and argued thoroughly, I've taken the time to repeat myself several times and answer your specific points. Just because I don't agree with you and think your points have not altered the line of attack of my original piece, don't take it personally!

Everything in life is subjective, referees would benefit from having played the game at a decent level as this adds to their armoury in making tricky subjective decisions, refs would also be helped by a decent disciplinary system and the coherent use of video technology.

It's easier to just agree to disagree that start winding people up with insults and claiming the moral high ground, some people may not be able to see through these tactics but I can.

I shall carry on taking it easy! regards

Lady Arsenal said...

I'm not concerned with 'moral high-grounds', or other silly cliches in which you're keen to indulge, for example 'everything in life is subjective'. Truly cringe-worthy, and wrong. I just want you to debate properly; I took offence to your belligerent tone, and failure to address my argument which, despite what you say, is a legitimate caveat to your line of reasoning.

I'm not arguing for argument's sake! My main 'solid point' was:

Judging whether a tackle is firm but fair, or constitutes dangerous play, is not straightforward. And so a punitive campaign to eradicate dangerous tackles, for which you argue, is littered with problems, and is certainly not as easy as you make it seem.

I remember many people saying that even Shawcross's tackle wasn't as bad as we claimed - they said it was just late, and there was no intention to injure the player. I'm not saying I agree, I'm just saying that, due to its subjective nature, it's not a simple matter for a disciplinary panel to decide, let alone a referee at full speed.

Ultimately the point IS about the mental state of the player, as it is with simulation. Our manager in his pre-Braga press conference says that the thing we have to stamp out of the English game (as it were) is intentionally going for the player not the ball. A dangerous tackle which is not intended but poorly timed should not be punished as harshly as one which is fully meant. And such tackles are inevitably more frequent in a fast-paced game. But it is practically very difficult to distinguish the two, even with 13 camera angles and a limitless number of replays.

Sometimes it will be clearcut, where the ball is clearly not the target of the tackle (like de Jong), but the vast majority of cases will be complicated. The danger is that you punish clumsy late challenges in the name of 'dangerous play' and consequently players stop making committed challenges for fear of being punished. I don't see how you can fail to acknowledge this. Simply saying that refs need more football experience is hardly adequate recognition of this major problem.

In any case, you and I both know such a thing won't happen. All I'm saying is that we should stop waiting for football to change to suit us, and start being able to compete physically like we used to. Teams wouldn't do it so readily against us if they were afraid of what would befall them if they did.

1979gooner said...

It's not a major problem.

To those who have played the game and have an understanding of what makes a tackle dangerous/reckless most cases are fairly straightforward.

There are always grey areas with anything, however they are not a reason in this case not to deal with violent play.

The mental state and intent are completely irrelevant.

To me Arsene was clearly talking about nasty dangerous tackles like the Robinson tackle, even though it won the ball it was clearly reckless, in Arsene terminology Robinson's intent was shown by the action, the reckless tackle, you don't need to punish the intent in a player's mind, you simply punish the action.

It is actually fairly simply. Straight leg, studs up, out of control body off ground and tackle through player, this is always a red card. The problem is that there are a lot of useless referees out there who think winning the ball with this reckless violent approach is no foul, that is just plain stupid and wrong, it is a complete misinterpretation of the rules of the game.

It's the studs up jump tackles that need to be outlawed, whether one or two footed, and they are not particularly common these days. Problem is they are very dangerous and should not be missed as Robinson's has been.

A citing system like Rugby would work well for football.

Also video tehcnology to help the refs when they are unsure or have not had a great view would be massively helpful to them.

It seems that the main blocker of this is FIFA, they are a bit like the Vatican, they don't like change, and as the Vatican demonstrate, blocking change is often a very negative and dangerous thing.

1979gooner said...

just to say here are FIFA's rules for serious foul play and violent conduct:

"Serious foul play
A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality
against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
serious foul play.
Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the
front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force
and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless
there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send
off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.
A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off and play is
restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick) or a penalty kick (if the offence occurred
inside the offender’s penalty area)."

1979gooner said...

it's actually just serious foul play that is relevant but it's pretty damn clear from the rules and interpreting this with an experience of playing the game.

studs up tackles and straight legged jump tackles are not grey areas

the grey areas are more tackling from behind/side when one doesn't tackle in a particularly dangerous manner, because one can still injure by the nature of the follow through, even if the ball is won almost cleanly

I'm not saying review every single tackle, it's just there needs to be a process for punishing the blatantly violent and dangerous a la Robinson

Anonymous said...

lol never debate with a women...
never ending...

Gooner Forever said...

I hope this Lady Arsenal is not the one who posted on ACLF, because I quite liked her!

I have to agree with 1979gooner. And Lady Arsenal, it might be difficult to gauge just how dangerous a tackle is and what the intent is, but surely the solution is not to just suck it up and go on with it, the solution is to make sure that the players' mindsets change to realise that these tackles are not acceptable and not an option, which will come from what they are taught in youth teams, which comes from what their coaches tell them and teach them - a coach telling his players to basically go on out and do what it takes to win cannot be acceptable!

It is possible for lower league teams to not hoof it and not be violent and still win.Look at Fulham, like 1979gooner mentioned, or look at Blackpool, who gave Chelsea a run for their money in the second half by closing them down and were extremely entertaining, too!

Perhaps you could look to La Liga - there aren't nearly so many dangerous tackles, and when there are, players are sent off. Look at the Atletico Madrid-Barcelona match, where Messi was tackled extra hard and a card was produced with no hesitation.

Pace,size, strength are all important, but if those're all that matters, we should chuck people like Vela and Nasri and Fab and get all-in wrestlers in the team instead. Fact is, football is a game based on technical skill in controlling the ball first and foremost. Everything else comes after that.

Also, I agree that we had cynical foulers in our team. That doesn't mean it was right. Fouling is detrimental to the game no matter who does it. We don't have cynical foulers in the team now, which I see as recognition from the club that that's not the way forward. When you realise something is not the right way to do things, you change it. Arsenal did it. IF England wants success in international tournaments and if they want young players to keep their bones intact, the FA should do it, too.

muebles vallecas said...

It can't work in actual fact, that's what I think.