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)
One kind of rough play that should be unacceptable is when a player tries to stop another (or take the ball from him) by making a tackle when he knows there is risk of injury to either or both of them. This usually happens when the tackler is behind or alongside  the opponent and puts a leg across the path of the player with the ball. This is not a usually a foul if the tackler touches the ball. The fact that the opponent falls calamitously is not apparently considered in the rules.
A dangerous tackle can also take place from in front of the player with the ball when two feet or studs are presented toward an opposing player. This is a foul - but it still happens.
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