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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

FA non-action on Gerrard, Sissoko and Reo-Coker

Sam Allardyce has mentioned before about teams fearing coming to The Reebok, the side had conceded only one goal to Everton and Aston Villa before Liverpool came there Saturday. This game had 'draw' written over it because of Bolton's home form and Liverpool's winning form. These were two in-form sides prepared to battle hard, Bolton particularly after their publicised display against Arsenal and Liverpool particularly to keep up 3rd place and on the tail of Chelsea. Incidents that happened in the game highlighted by both managers were the lead-up to Bolton's goals, a potential penalty for Bolton and two alleged stamping moments by Liverpool.

Rafael Benitez stated that there were diving from Bolton, and I agree with that. Stelios Giannakopoulos dropped to the ground very easily following a body nudge by Steve Finnan, which looked worst in replay. Yet Liverpool should have defended the freekick much better, Pepe Reina didn't hold the ball, should have, and Sami Hyypia should have left it to the keeper to gather. For Bolton's 2nd, El-Hadji Diouf was offside but it was allowed and yet Liverpool still failed to defend better, Diouf was between Hyypia and Djimi Traore.

Jamie Carragher came in on Kevin Nolan with a good tackle and then followed it up with a rash 2nd that could have been given, and would have done with other referees, but fortunately not in this case. It was a penalty.

When Nolan came tumbling towards Steven Gerrard, this was where Mr Allardyce said Gerrard looked at Nolan and then aimed his studs into him. From the replay, Gerrard was watching the action around the ball and saw Nolan coming to him late, aimed to jump out the way and his foot came down. It was accidental, why would Gerrard want to deliberately do this? But when Mohamed Sissoko came in on Diouf with his boot landing on Diouf's right lower calf, that seemed to be reckless, not intentional, and deserving a booking. But both incidents of alleged stamping were seen by referee Mark Clattenburg and considered not an offence, so the FA are powerless to intervene.

Mr Allardyce stated that he wanted action to be taken on the pitch and not at FA HQ, and appears to have now stated, upon hearing of no action from the FA: "Our procedure has to be seriously flawed. I have to find out the reasons why neither player has been punished." So he now wants action to occur off the pitch too.

Another incident from the weekend was Nigel Reo-Coker's tackle on Michael Essien. The ball was loose as Reo-Coker lost possession, he looked to recover it but Essien got there quicker and Reo-Coker's studs caught Essien on the left ankle and it looked very hurting, like a sprained ankle or worse. Essien was stretchered off and the West Ham skipper was not cautioned. The FA saw that this too was not within their powers. I felt it was a rash challenge and deserved a yellow.

On Match of the Day, the Chelsea coach was asked on his comments regarding the conduct of Geremi during alleged incidents involving contact on players with his hands, arms or elbow, and he rightly stated that the interviewer didn't ask questions about Essien's injury, asking for comments on Reo-Coker's tackle, but instead inquired about Geremi, a point that is seen as negatively against Chelsea.

This is probably why Mourinho considers the whole league, additional to the FA, are against Chelsea, why he must form Chelsea into a team to be shielded and to convene behind closed doors, because people seem to pick at anything to get at him and/or the club. Perhaps on this occasion, it was a oversight by the interviewer, eager in seeking sensationalism.



Blogger BlindJak said...

I think there is an inherent problem in football that the FIFA and UEFA seem unwilling to countenance the argument that refs can get it wrong. Red cards can only be appealed in the case of mistaken identity and if the ref saw and dealt with the incident during the game his decisions can not be changed.

Why? Refs are only human and they will be the first to admit they make mistakes and miss some things due to the pace of the game. So why can't a panel look at tackles and other incidents after matches and hand out retrospective cards? Everyone knows their not perfect so stubbornly maintaining the position that they are makes FIFA look foolish. I also think it puts more pressure on them as there is only one opportunity to get it right.

I personally think it’s a good thing that Essien got a ban after escaping a red against Hamman as it sends out the right message to everyone. There is nowhere to hide. If the ref doesn’t get you the cameras will. This kind of action can only help reduce the kind of cynical foul play that blights the game.

I’d also love to think this would be stretched to reviewing dives and dishing out cards as once players start missing games and losing out on bonuses they would stay on their feet at all costs but I know that’s just a pipe dream.

Re the weekends specific incidents you mention, I agree with you re Gerrard and think that was totally accidental but have to disagree with the Sissoko. With Gerrard there was nowhere else for him to put his feet but Sissoko had a whole pitch. Diouf was lying still on the floor and had been so for a couple of seconds before Sissoko came running in and trod on him. For me it was a strait red for violent conduct.

Reo-Cocker was down to being a split second behind the ball and deserved a yellow, in my opinion.

1/04/2006 4:18 pm

Blogger T said...

I really enjoyed reading both your article Redsman, and your commentary BJ.

I completely agree with Blindjak and Sam Allardyce that the present system prohibiting retropsective punishment for incidents that the ref has already judged upon during the game is wrong and flawed; and I concur completely with BJ's reasoning.

I definitely believe this is an area that the FA or UEFA - whomever has jurisdiction on the issue - should review for the good of the game.

1/04/2006 7:37 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

Sam Allardyce talks, talks and talks. I did not like the way he tried to get Stevie G in trouble, when the victim of the accidental stamp vindicated Stevie G.

I think Mo Mo should have been punished retrospectivly, that was a nasty tackle.

1/04/2006 11:41 pm


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