Tuesday, 28 September 2010

"Cheat, cheat, never beat!"

In Saturday's Premier League matches, the sixth set of the season, two instances of cheating by blocking come to mind. 'Blocking' is when a player deliberately runs into an opponent to prevent him getting to the ball. It is a foul and is punished by a free kick, or a penalty if in the area.
In Manchester City v Chelsea, the young defender Boyata was making his second start for the team. In order to stop Drogba's movement in the penalty area he blocked him and they both fell over. The referee apparently did not see the incident, nor did the linesmen, otherwise it would have been an unequivocal penalty that would have changed this match - into at least a draw for Chelsea instead of a defeat. But we all say that!
Pundit, ex-player and ex-manager, Graham Souness said of the incident when reviewing the match in the tv studio, " This was just a young lad" referring to Boyata. He seemed to be suggesting that the foul was due to inexperience! Or did he mean that the crudity of the incident was due to inexperience?!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Watch your tackle

Dutch football (soccer) player Robin van PersieImage via WikipediaThere are only four games completed out of the 38 in the Premier League season, 2010-11. Some players have also played in two matches for their countries and one Eurpoean Champions League match. Already injured after these seven matches  are: Walcott, Van Persie, Ramsey, Bendtner and  Diaby of Arsenal and at Tottenham are Dawson, Defoe, Gomes. Fulham have Zamora and Stockdale injured since the season started. Manchester City have Bridge and new signing Kolarov, who lasted 45 minutes in his first match. And so on with other clubs.
Not all of the injuries may have been caused by opponents' tackles, perhaps, but some wild and wicked tackles are happening. Wenger, Arsenal manager, should not be the only one standing out in favour of some kind of control. The macho culture in many clubs prevents it being an issue. Rough play can be one way of dealing with players who are more skillful and this treatment has been going on for years. It breeds a kind of toughness, perhaps necessary to succeed in this sport. (Cumulative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License. Photo by Wonker)