Protect Arsenal – As an Arsenal fan, I’ve had to listen to commentators repeat the adage that Arsenal ‘don’t like it up them’ , that they don’t like rough housing so stick it to them. I’ve seen referees let foul after foul go on our players, I’ve seen them laugh as our players beg for some sort of protection from cheating, which is what it is.
And now, it looks like Leno is out for a year. I saw Diaby’s career ended by an ‘innocuous’ challenge. Jack Wilshire, Eduardo, Aaron Ramsey, all players who had careers that were damaged by referees who let players get away with it, time and time again. Maupay knew what he was doing…the same thing happened to Debuchy a few seasons back. A nothing opportunity, players jumps into his back, and he breaks a collar bone.
I know every club gets bad injuries, but I struggle to think of another club who has received them because of fouls by other players who normally don’t even get booked. Our season is on fire and careening into the sea, and nothing is gonna change that. The least we could ask for is some sort of fairness from those who are there to ensure the game is officiated evenly. And post match, Guendouzi gets a ban (he didn’t – MC), but the player who injured someone so they can’t play for a whole year walks away free with no censure. Tell me how that is in the spirit of the game and fairness?
John Matrix AFC
I agree with Guillaume (Ottawa) on Maupay’s challenge on Leno (Maupay challenge not innocuous). For some reason, soccer does not seem to take people being taken out of it in the air as something serious. The only thing I would disagree with Guillaume on is that he says this would be a free in midfield, refs would often let it go there too. A classic move you will often see is a player glancing over their shoulder to see someone jumping for the ball and then nudging into the player’s body as they are in the air.
While the Maupay challenge itself is not a particularly vicious example, it is still a very dangerous type of tackle that has no chance of winning the ball and that leaves the airborne player horribly at risk of falling awkwardly on their head or back, never mind their knee. Refs generally let them go, and commentators often say things like “no foul, he’s got to be stronger there” about a guy who has been taken out of it as he is knocked off balance in mid-air (I can’t think of a specific example but it seems like the insight a certain G Souness would bring). Even Winners and Losers yesterday got in on the act, saying ‘he did nothing different to what strikers all over the country would have done that day’.
Look at what they do in other sports. Rugby has clamped down on tackling someone airborne, you have to clearly competing for the ball otherwise you are probably off. It often results in what seems to be fairly harsh red cards but it is a signal of intent to make the game safer.
For me, these tackles are nearly as dangerous as two-footed tackles. There are always some risks, bad falls will always happen, but at least recognise reckless play and punish accordingly. It’s just odd why soccer has a blind spot on this.
Burnley is white
I have always thought it a bit weird that since Burnley got promoted five or six years ago, they never seem to have any non-white players other than Aaron Lennon on loan for a while a year or two ago. Even tonight, starting 11 all white. All subs white also.
Just a coincidence then that it’s their fans flying that stupid banner. Another reason English football really isn’t worth bothering with anymore.
If Ben Mee is sincere in saying that that banner is not what Burnley FC represents then he should really have a chat with the Burnley board about a bit more diversity in the workplace. Maybe it would discourage such behaviour from their so called fans.
Kevin Walsh, Luimneach