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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WBA Robinson out of order; San Siro sensation; Liverpool's progression in Europe

There will be no weekend review, unfortunately, as my schedule has caught up with me this week. However, there are a number of titbits I wish to mention as I don't want them to go unnoticed......

Paul Robinson of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, against Birmingham, stretched to keep the ball in play and did so, and in the process this allowed the ball to be free for Birmingham's Damien Johnson to challenge for it. Robinson saw this and immediately got up to run toweards the ball and then unleashed a very physical jump for the ball that instead resulted in his elbow making impact with Johnson's jaw. Johnson was knocked to the ground where his face hit the ground first and was semi-conscious. Referee Nigel Miller cme out with the red card faster than Robinson's reckless action that earned it. Johnson's jaw was later confirmed as fractured. Birmingham manager Steve Bruce said "When I saw it again on TV, it was a horror show. He knew what he was doing." It was something very similar to the Ben Thatcher incident on Pedro Mendes, and is not a red straight and three match ban, rather a straight red and five-to-ten match ban. I wonder if the FA will introduce their 'exceptional powers' in this case.

One player who is impressing at St Andrews is Nicholas Bendtner, a young Danish internationalon on loan from Arsenal. another is Michael Chopra of Cardiff. I mentioned previously during a Newcastle match review that it was ironic the North East side were struggling for goals and a decent striker, maybe before Obafemi Martins was bought, yet sold an-eager-to-impress Chopra to Cardiff. He added two more to his tally against Sunderland last night to edge him out at the top of the goalscoring charts with ten.

Luton Town defender Sol Davis suffered a stroke on the coach to the Sunday game against Ipswich Town. That must have been a worrying moment for the players and management and staff to see and acknowledge and the team went on to a hard 5-0 defeat to the Suffolk side. I watched the game and though Luton tried to get in the game after the break, it wasn't going for them. Davis' stroke pales into significance the defeat and I wish him the very best in recovering. It will call for some strong resolve and nerves now to pull this side back into winning ways after their home victory against Leeds. They lost to Everton in the League Cup, then Ipswich and last night Burnley won 0-2. This side was impressive in League One and currently 9th in the Championship, I hope they can put back some bite into their campaign.

In the Premiership, I noticed a number of harsh decisions. I recall Everton's Mikel Arteta clambouring over Arsenal's William Gallas, the whistle blew for a foul and the Spaniard left his boot on the Frenchman, which provoked Gallas into a reaction of verbals but nothing physical. Arteta was rightly booked, Gallas was wrongly booked. Watford's impressive Ashley Young was onside when he ran onto the pass from another Watford impressive player, Hameur Bouazza, and saw his goal cancelled out, wrongly, by the linesman. The linesman strikes again. Man Utd were awesome, Wayne Rooney will now shave his beard as his 'London bus' patience after no goals has paid off as three came along. Liverpool played their best since the season began against a Villa side unbeaten and have held both Arsenal and Chelsea to a draw at their respective grounds. Charlton hung on for a brave battle on Wednesday against Bolton and did it again away to Newcastle, so the feeling is much better at The Valley that they can move away from relegation.

In Europe, particularly in Serie A, I watched the Milan derby at the San Siro and it was a superb match. Inter took the lead through Hernan Crespo's header from a Dejan Stankovic cross and then doubled it with a sweet strike from Stankovic as he controlled a Oliver Dacourt pass and then smacked the ball in an instant. This was officially a home match for Milan and it got worse for the 'hosts'. After the break, Inter broke forward and the ball came to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who chipped it past Georgian defender Kakha Kaladze and slid it underneath Dida for number three. Milan then took charge and came back through Clarence Seedorf as his shot deflected of Inter skipper Javier Zanetti to make it 3-1 with some fifty minutes on the clock. But Inter scored again through the somewhat controversial giant of Marco Materazzi, who headed in from a Stankovic freekick. Celebrating with his shirt partially over his head, as some like to do, he revealed a T-shirt underneath with a message, all of which was deemed a bookable offence that added to the yellow he had received earlier and ended in his dismissal. Reminiscent of Sunderland's Ross Wallace against Hull at the weekend.

That was on 68mins, Inter 1-4 up and expecting to hold down the play for the final whistle. Milan had other plans and went into action. Two minutes later sub Alberto Gilardino rose above Ivan Cordoba to head in Milan's second from a Cafu cross. Then into the first minute of five minutes' injury time, Cafu crossed and Inter's keeper Cesar failed to make enough contact, meaning he was out of position for Kaka to gather and lob him sweetly for 3-4. Before they could muster another chance to draw, the whistle blew. I thought the referee had a good game handling the play, the referee being none other than.....Stefano Farina, who officiated the Barcelona v Chelsea game last night!

Pleased for Liverpool's progression into the last sixteen, where a stupid, senseless act of violence occurred. A Bordeaux was on the ground and the referee made no indication to stop play, the ball went out for a throw, John Arne Riise took it quickly and the referee had to stop Luis Garcia on the attack as Riise was then attacked with a vicious headbutt from Fernando Menegazzo, who then went on as if he was also injured and that he had done little to Riise!! Riise had a gash that oozed blood! Bye bye, Menegazzo, for good hopefully. Garcia was on form again with a left foot half volley and a late finish either side of a superb Bolo Zenden ball for a Steven Gerrard first goal of the season. ITV teletext have been getting a number of stated facts wrong recently, stating PSV's win against Galatasaray did us a favour. The win was anything but, as beating them favoured the Dutch more than us after our win.

Chelsea only need a draw next time to go through, as Barca struggles under the weight of Werder Bremen's win in Bulgaria. Ten bookings in the Nou Camp makes it surprising no one was dismissed. Deco scored in the third minute, Frank Lampard equalised with a chip from an acute angle into the goal, Ronaldinho squared for Eidur Gudjohnsen to gain the lead back but Didier Drogba finished off a resurging injury time battle to touch in John Terry's head-down. Chelsea could do themselves and Barcelona a favour by beating Werder Bremen, if Barcelona win in Bulgaria. If they are to defend their trophy, the Catalans must. I don't see Chelsea losing, so the least is a draw in North West Germany, and a win against Levski Sofia would then leave the German and Spaniard sides to fight it out in the last game at the Nou Camp.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

To compare Paul Robinson's incident with that of Ben Thatcher's is an absolute nonsense.
I suggest you look again, closely, at the available replays.
Johnson is clearly coming in with a foot up and studs is for this reason that Robinson jumps...he has nowhere else to go.
His elbow is NOT raised, and his fist is not clenched...which is usually a good indicator that someone has 'stiffened' or 'braced' their arm.
The assistant referee was closest to the incident andhe did not even deem it necessary of being flagged for a foul.
I would suggest that you consider what the highly respected Tony Mowbray had to say...after time for reflection...rather than the unprofessional and hysterical rantings of Steve Bruce.

11/01/2006 11:55 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Look again closely at available replays? Sky Sports replayed it every time they featured on the sending off and each time it looked horrific. How can you defend that even if you are a WBA fan? Robinson made no contact with the ball, purely with Johnson, and he clattered into him with the side of his body, his elbow was level with Johnson's head, thus the impact of that contact was hard on Johnson's face. You could clearly see this from the replays. Johnson's face then made firm contact with the field. It was horrendous and it was exactly as I described, similar to the Thatcher incident. No intention to get the ball but just for the player. Damien Johnson could have been seriously concussed or worse, you must be jesting with me to defend Robinson's actions. He has tenacity and drive, sturdy and determined, which I saw from the Premiership and also there is a slight hot streak in him that oversteps the boundary. That same streak emerged again on Saturday.


11/01/2006 12:20 pm

Blogger westbrom87 said...

Im an albion fan and im going to put it nice and simply for you. I would urge you to take a look at this video of paul Robinson against Fulham

Pretty similar isnt it. Elbows high and a clattering impact. ELBOWS COME UP TO PROTECT ONES SELF. The only difference with the two is with the fulham case, the ball is always there to be won, whereas witht he recent case Robbo realises he won't get to the ball so instead jumps to avoid a nice set of high studs from the blues player. He realises he's gonna smash into the blues player so an arm comes up to protect himself.

He deserved to be sent off. That sounds like im contradicting myself but the facts are that he didnt get the ball and he took the man out with a high elbow. Whether intentional or not that should always warrant a red card and a three game ban. But to suggest that he meant it and even to compare it to the ben Thatcher incident just shows stupidity im afraid. People jumping on the badwagon to help stir up a bit more controversy when thye get the chance.

Comparing it to the Ben Thatcher incident is just about as stupid as the bloke i heard on the radio who was critising our new manager after 4 games in charge.

Ben Thatcher has a history of being a thug on the football pitch. Paul Robinson has a history of being a committed pro who always gives 110% for the albion and will never duck a challenge. And with that reputation and that honesty that he shows every week, i firmly believed that he would have come out the day after and admitted it and publicly apologised like a man. But the fact is, he didnt mean it, so he can serve his 3 game ban for a high elbow and then get back to showing the passion that 99% of these aminly foregn, overpayed players lack.

11/01/2006 12:41 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

The video goes to emphasise my mentioning of Robinsons's determination and strength as it shows Robinson making the ball with a firm header. In the process, which was unavoidable, he made contact with Volz, who apparently came off the worse. Robinson got up and got on with the game immediately despite doing a twisting somersault loop, the display of which a vast number of players around Europe, particularly in the Premiership, could well do with a re-run of every week.

On the occasion on Saturday he was committed to getting to the very spot where the ball was and if he was late or likely to miss the ball he knew his momentum would potentially carry him onto Johnson, so he had his side turned to take the impact with that knowledge. Instead he could have gone for the ball and simply waited for Johnson's contact and then countered it. Johnson did not come in with studs high.

Stating that "he didnt get the ball and he took the man out with a high elbow" is a contradiction and in itself also endorses the sending off. You say the difference is it was not intentional, however an elbow raised that makes contact need not be intentional to warrant the red card. Being committed to a tackle is one thing, being committed yet sensible is another. I am surprised you look to support Robinson. Maybe there is where I am in a minority, for had Robinson been a Liverpool player it would make no difference to me, the incident was horrendous, with consideration of the possible implications on Johnson's health and safety.

One final point on your comment, westbrom87, on the criticism of Tony Mowbray. I heard a 'West Brom' fan criticse Mowbray recently and I felt that THAT was jumping the bandwagon after the man took over in mid-October. He was in charge for the Ipswich game, correctly me if I'm wrong, and West Brom went on from there, losing only to Arsenal's second side in the League Cup and Birmingham out of six, including a Black Country derby win and one at Crystal Palace. No one likes a defeat but two defeats and already someone is ready to plunge in the blade.


11/01/2006 1:15 pm

Blogger EL said...

Dear westbrom87. etc...

I found this video has been removed and suspect it may have befallen the new ruling at youtube concerning copyrighted material. Shame.

Re: "shows stupidity im afraid...... People jumping on the badwagon[sic] to help stir up a bit more controversy."

Anyone who has spent any time reading this site would know that redsman may have many issues (loves the sound of his own keyboard, goes into mind numbing levels of detail and takes some posts a little too seriously) but 'stupidity' is a plain silly moniker for our redsman and as for 'jumping the bandwagon'??? Is this your first time here westbrom87? Are you new? You make some interesting arguments but why spoil it with personal jibes which do a disservice to your intelligence?
Just a thought.

Re: "110%".
Since when has 100% not sufficed?

Re: "99%".
Are you aware that 84% of statistics are made up on the spot?

All the best, EL.

11/01/2006 2:31 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

"Anyone who has spent any time reading this site would know that redsman may have many issues (loves the sound of his own keyboard, goes into mind numbing levels of detail and takes some posts a little too seriously)"

LOL!!!! EL, me old codger! Thanks for that. No disrespect to anyone, but I still cannot condone Robinson's actions on Saturday. I'm not a particular fan of Damien Johnson as he has shown one or two discrepancies in his own character on the pitch but he was poleaxed and it was quite distressing to see.


11/01/2006 2:48 pm

Blogger westbrom87 said...

Do apologise that my opinion has hit a bit of a sore spot El.

The video hasnt been suspended. It's working fine on the site so i'd suggest a problem with you're computer. Shame.

Feel free to go into extensive detail about anything you find wrong with this post as well.

11/01/2006 3:43 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I dont speak for EL but no need to apologise, westbrom87. I go into detail to thoroughly my POV, you state yours and we exchange the differences. I tried the video myself and it worked, showing a superb example of full grit determination and competitiveness. As I said before, if Robinson get sup from that, it just smacks for the number of little touches that presumed to be strong athletic footballers fall down from and stay down.


11/01/2006 4:57 pm

Anonymous Kinace said...

Redsman states 'It was horrendous and it was exactly as I described, similar to the Thatcher incident. No intention to get the ball but just for the player.'

Now personally I wouldn't claim to know what Robinson's intentions were...and as for being 'exactly as I described, similar to the Thatcher incident.' I am not alone in saying that such comparisons are ridiculous and show a fairly clear lack of understanding of both incidents. How can two people 'going for ' a 50/50 ball be the same as someone racing a good 20 metres and then raising his elbow to make head contact?

The only reason Robinson's elbow made contact with Johnson's head was because he jumped...and he jumped to minimise contact. Not content to question Robinson's integrity...and I notice you have ignored the fact that the closest official didn't deem it worthy of a also question Tony Mowbray's.

Read his comments...they make a lot of sense. They come from a man who is VERY respected in the game. Pay particular attention to what he says regarding the lack of a 'clenched fist'.

With regard to your comments:

'He was in charge for the Ipswich game, correctly me if I'm wrong..'

Yes I will correct you...Nigel Pearson was in charge for the Ipswich game, he then stepped down on Tuesday 17th whereupon Craig Shakespeare took over for the Palace game. Mowbray then took over on Wednesday 18th and his first match in charge was the Wolves game on Sunday 22nd.

So there is a trivia question for the future...3 different 'managers' in 8 days for three games, all won.

Incidentally you say that if it was a Liverpool player (in Robinson's place) your view would be the same.
Was that your stance on Gerrards memorable two-footed lunge against Everton a few years ago?

11/02/2006 8:55 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

"I am not alone in saying that such comparisons are ridiculous and show a fairly clear lack of understanding of both incidents. How can two people 'going for ' a 50/50 ball be the same as someone racing a good 20 metres and then raising his elbow to make head contact?"

Oh well, you are an experienced fine one to judge, better than me, then. Your comprehension of matters exceeds anyone else's. I saw Ben Thatcher run in and then collide his elbow with Pedro mendes' jaw. I saw Paul Robinson jump up and his elbow made contact with Damien Johnson's jaw. Two players 'going for' a 50/50 ball' is how you describe the Robinson incident? Funny that, as the comment above said Johnson came in with high studs, therefore that's not going for the ball, that would be a reckless challenge coming in. If that was the case, Robinson would be justified in jumping, and with Johnson coming along the ground, Robinson would not have made contact with him. Instead Johnson came to get the ball as it was free with Robinson by the touchline, Robinson saw Johnson and ran to beat him to the ball, realised he wouldn't make the ball before Johnson nonetheless came in with the momentum and instead jumped up to make contact with Johnson. Where have I displayed a lack of understanding? That was the decision taken by the referee and I would be interested to see if WBA appeal the dismissal along the lines of defence you have stated. Maybe the FA will display a lack of understanding.

The nearest linesman was irrelevant, he was not consulted and he didn't need to be. Ergo I didn't feel it needed mentioning. And what did you mean by "Not content to question Robinson's integrity...."? Also, I stand corrected on Tony Mowbray's takeover of matters at WBA but what did I question of his?

Some commenters simply love to get on a high horse without knowing fully what they are getting into. Yes is the answer to your Gerrard question, a tackle on Gary Naysmith, but I wouldn't have mentioned it on EFT as the site has been up for over some 18 months or so and that tackle occurred late in the 2002-2003 season. That went unpunished and he was extremely fortunate. Do you have anymore in the archives? I have one, Gerrard again on George Boateng, the season before, 2001-2002, LFC v Villa. Was sent off for it, and I had no qualms with it. Milan Baros, LFC v Everton, 2004-2005, challenge on Alan Stubbs, sent off, no qualms. The answer is 'yes' to all of them, immaterial of the player in question, has been my stance from day one and will not change. As no one is above the law (in theory), that also applies to adjudication of bad tackles and misconduct on the pitch.

LFC fans have recently questioned the bookings of Sissoko, not about whether they are justified but mostly with concern over their accumulation, we are not beyond acknowledging our own players being at fault. I don't question a decision if it fits the conduct, if I feel it doesn't I say so, no matter which club is involved. See above I questioned the Gallas booking, not Arteta's. Everton fans will say I did so because I dislike Everton as a LFC fan and like Arsenal, but I've been impartial on all football issues.


11/02/2006 11:57 am

Blogger westbrom87 said...

Oh dear!!!! The FA are to take no further action over the Robinson incident. It looks like the people that matter agree with the opinion similar to mine. There was a high elbow that caught the players face. It was not intentional. Im sure the FA decision also confirms my opinion that absolutly no comparision can be drawn to the ben thatcher incident. Robbo is a legend and he'll be back in 2 games time so I think thats the end of that debate. The jury gave their verdict

11/02/2006 3:49 pm

Anonymous Kinace said...

RedsMan says 'Maybe the FA will display a lack of understanding.'

There again, maybe they won't...they have reviewed the video evidence and decided to take no further action.

It would appear that they do not concur with your interpretation of the incident.

You questioned Tony Mowbray's integrity by your comparison to Thatcher's assault. As I stated that Tony Mowbray's comments merited reading...they were done after he had studied the video...not in the 'heat of the moment' like Steve Bruce's rant.

Mowbray went into detail as to why he would not be taking any action against Robinson.

If you are so adamant that Robinson's actions are so clearly premeditated it implies that Mowbray is at best misguided abd at worst disingenuos.

RedsMan also says..
'Oh well, you are an experienced fine one to judge, better than me, then.'

Exactly...on this evidence that would certainly appear to be the case. Glad you noticed.

11/02/2006 3:53 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Oh come on, chaps/chapettes - the FA in my comment was meant to deliberate if WBA were to appeal against the red card. Read it thoroughly, please. They are not going to interfere or adjudicate any further in the matter because the referee saw what happened and made a decision himself. Thatcher received a booking, the FA felt compelled to intervene. Robinson received a straight red and was dealt with. Glee would be justified had the FA overturned the dismissal.

"You questioned Tony Mowbray's integrity by your comparison to Thatcher's assault."

Really?? So we don't wait for something like 'I question Mowbray's stance on the matter by comparing the incident to that of Ben Thatcher on Pedro Mendes'? We assume and then state as fact? I'll make this simple and clear, I had to qualms about Mowbray's comments on the issue at all.

"If you are so adamant that Robinson's actions are so clearly premeditated it implies that Mowbray is at best misguided abd at worst disingenuos."

Whatever Mowbray thought of it had nothing to do with my opinion, someone else brought in Mowbray. I have nothing against Mowbray at all, his opinion is his, mine is mine.

"Exactly...on this evidence that would certainly appear to be the case. Glad you noticed"

Yes, kudos to you indeed. I noticed 'the evidence' wasn't good enough to deter the referee at the time. Unfortunately it would take someone connected to West Brom to side with Robinson. I feel sad to say perhaps a West Brom player will have to suffer from such a contact to convince you it was wrong. Johnson could have been severely injured, Robinson could have done better and didn't.

You are happy with that, perhaps you'll wait for a player to be permanently injured to change your tune. The question you should be pondering is whether the FA would have intervened had the referee had only booked Robinson or took no action at all. Before you pat yourselves on the back.


11/02/2006 6:03 pm

Blogger westbrom87 said...

Bit too late. Already patted myself on the back for this one. We already know that deliberate attempts to injure players are bad for the game. We saw what thatchers did. but robbos wsant deliberate.

11/02/2006 6:59 pm

Anonymous Kinace said...

Redsman says...'I feel sad to say perhaps a West Brom player will have to suffer from such a contact to convince you it was wrong.'

So what was WRONG? Quite where was Robinson supposed to go? In a challenge such as that a players first instinct is to PROTECT himself, which is why Robinson jumped. Imagine if their heads had made contact.
The FA appear to have accepted that the damage caused was accidental not intentional. You still seem convinced that Robinson's action was intentional.
An accident isn't right or's an accident.

Are you seriously saying that if Thatcher had been sent off the FA would not have intervened?
How many games was he banned for?
Rather more than three if my memory serves me correctly.

Robinson is banned for three games...if the FA felt it warranted more (i.e as in the case of Thatcher)then they would have imposed a further ban.

A premeditated assault would not only carry a further ban but also potential legal action.

As far as I am concerned it is not a question of a pat on the back, simply a case of what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong.

You chose to head your piece with 'Robinson out of order'...and that was wrong no matter how much you try to validate it. It was, after all, just your opinion.

11/03/2006 12:28 am

Anonymous Kinace said...

Redsman says...'Unfortunately it would take someone connected to West Brom to side with Robinson.'

Guess that'll be the FA then...and I never even knew about the connection.

11/03/2006 12:32 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

The FA have nothing to accept, as I said before Robinson was given a straight red so the referee dealt with the matter. The FA therefore have no jurisdiction, no inherent powers to intervene. Thatcher was booked and the publicity that enused verged on the belief he should have received more, the FA intervened and took action, calling it exceptional circumstances. Robinson was straight red carded, which is as severe a punishment to receive on the field of play, something that most felt was appropriate, no furore, little publicity, not necessary for the FA to take it further.

That answers your other question, had Thatcher been sent off the FA would not have intervened. It was the outcry afterwards that led to their intervention, as at first they procrastinated on the usual get-out that the referee had dealt with the matter with the initial booking. It is in my opinion the FA are content to not intervene unless there ensues a major public outcry, and the chances are little would follow as it hadn't occurred in the Premiership.

If you speak on what is right and wrong, since WBA state Robinson was innocent of any intent and instead was protecting himself, the same lines you have chosen, why is there no appeal from WBA? You 'guess' it was the FA who sided with Robinson, but I have answered this point already. My headline above was right, subject to a WBA appeal and a reverse decision by the FA, which now looks unlikely.


11/03/2006 8:23 am

Anonymous Nturtle said...

I would only like to say...thanks for the long summary of football you watched Redsman. Good discussion is also very welcome on this site I good to see a few more people chipping in...whether the topic is controversial or not.

My only game was the Arsenal game...against the leaky...but lucky CSKA...but basically...just down to poor finishing by our was a fantastic display though...and it's not easy to get through an experienced defence like SCKA with 7 full internationals in the side.

11/03/2006 8:55 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Morning, nturtle. From what I saw from the highlights, it was an entertaining match where Arsenal had ran the CSKA defence ragged and simply amazed me as to how some chances went amiss. One of those nights, particularly with Man Utd losing to FC Copenhagen with the chances they created.

I watched AC Milan v Anderlecht and saw a superb Kaka third goal that sealed his hat-trick and then witnessed the Belgian side mount a fightback they threatened to peg back the Italian side from.


11/03/2006 9:01 am

Anonymous Nturtle said...

I really don't know how you get all that soccer in Redsman!!! HA! Kaka played fantastic from what I hear and read. I have no doubt the Cesc may turn into a goal scoring machine as well...even though athletically he is not as robust as Kaka.

A bit more practice with finishing...and shooting...he'll be good for a long time!!

11/04/2006 11:57 am

Blogger westbrom87 said...

Great way to finish the Robinson debate for good.

Even the bloke who had his jaw broke said Robbo didnt mean it and was no way he went out 2 break his jaw intentially. Great admiration for Damien Johnson who rises above the petty moaning of his manager to put evrything in the past and realised that accidents do happen.

All the sh*t stirrers and so called pundits will move onto the next bandwaggon now 2 try and needlessly put someone else down that doesnt deserve it

12/05/2006 5:27 pm


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