Forums / The Stands: Intelligent Footy Debate
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Tackling The Issue
DrPhilosophy (Bayern München) 2 years ago
In the early days of football, tackling was about as fierce and hardcore as a Nigel De Jong/Gattuso hybrid. It was an art which if done the right way was stamped with an official cut or bruise to mark the defenders’ line of authority. But the huge difference was that the players would quickly get themselves up and on they go again striving fearlessly in their heavy, leathered boots absorbing the constant pain without the luxury of knowing a physiotherapist would massage their blister-full feet. So as tackling changed, football boots became more advanced and the drama schools opened; it is clear today that the physical part of the modern-day game has dissolved into Oscar winning performances by many players as they, without any feeling of embarrassment, roll around screaming in ‘pain’ and as soon as the eagle-eye referees award a free kick and a possible yellow/red card to the apparent fouler, the drama queen is up on his feet running freely when the moment passes.

Quite recently the premier league has seen many players walk the walk of shame for being dismissed for a ‘foul’ which was actually either a good tackle with closer inspection or a foul which wasn’t as bad. Jack Rodwell and Jay Spearing both produced good, hard tackles and to their demise they were sent off surprisingly. In fact the list is vast, from Milijaš to Barton, the player who was deemed to be fouled was in fact conning the ref by making an action seem worse at first glance. However, in the referees defence, it could be argued that the game has evolved into such a fast paced and atmospheric sport that decisions that may seem simple, may have been decided in the wrong way due to; players acting, players surrounding the ref and imposing pressure, difficult angles to see who got the ball and who didn’t as well as how hard it is to see something fast-moving etc. Therefore, the art of tackling may sometimes be covered in black paint so the argument over whether to impose technology to assist the referees continues.

Furthermore, it is clear that the players’ protection of authority figures is far greater than those of the later generation. It may also be acknowledged that the player with the bigger reputation and stature may also be protected, for example, pundits and certainly Mick McCarthy argue that Frank Lampard’s vicious foul on Wolverhampton’s Adam Hammill was a stonewall sending off. The referee however showed different emotions and Lampard was allowed to stay and as fate would have it, Lampard scored the winner as he prodded in to an empty net to win the game in the 89th minute. So, let’s say if Karl Henry unleashed the exact same foul on Lampard, would Henry have been dismissed?

Personally I believe players’ theatrics and referees’ unruly decisions are ruining the game. I myself like a heated, intense game for the full 90 minutes; it’s what the fans want. However, poor decisions for great tackles can cost one team the game which they so dearly could have won. This ruins it for the managers, the players but most importantly the fans. It could also ruin the reputation of referees and put the pressure on them next time round. As Sir Alex and his old time rival Arsene do so often before big matches in press conferences; pile the pressure on the referees. With psychology evolving more and more into the game as well as infinite amount of money, survival of the fittest is rewritten; survival of the cheats! The one who can showcase skills in the hustling department has landed themselves a spot in the Hall of Fame. From a psychological and physical perspective; the game has evolved dramatically. Maybe it’s time to introduce technology and punish the cheaters severely.
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 2 years ago
I think the punishments need to become even worse. For example if a player is faking an injury or diving from a tackle that would normally result in a yellow or red card for the player that made the challenge, then the player that was diving/faking should be sent off. Players should also be fined large amounts of money for diving and acting during matches. I am one of those people that can't stand divers and thinks that they need to punished to the highest extent possible
DrPhilosophy (Bayern München) 2 years ago
I totally agree!
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 2 years ago
Wait did Mick Mcarthy say that Lampard should have been sent off? I thought he refused to comment on it
DrPhilosophy (Bayern München) 2 years ago
Well he said 'i think his reputation saved him' he commented on why he thought Lampard stayed on
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 2 years ago
I think another factor has to be the reaction of the opposition to the tackle. It didn't look like anyone really wanted Lampard to be sent off. He realized what he did apologized for the mistake and continued playing. If the Wolves players all started complaining and looking at the referee for a decision while pointing at Lampard then maybe he would have been sent off



   
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