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Sunday, February 24, 2008

MOTD rush to impunity/Taylor's face of malice?

Alex McLeish protected Martin Taylor in the aftermath of his late and high tackle (above the ankle not on the ankle as McLeish said on Match of the Day) by saying he is not a malicious player. In a country where we are supposed to have 'honest' players this will be the predominant view of Taylor's challenge on the humble and hard-working Arsenal and Croatia forward, Eduardo.

However, there is an image of Taylor taken in the immediate aftermath of the challenge on the Croatian news website that puts this presumption into doubt. The picture does not show someone with concern as to what he has just done. It is the face of someone who is in an aggressive mode. The link is here:

Make up your own mind what this image tells you about Taylor's intent as he committed his high, late and sliding challenge from close range on Eduardo.

I suspect if Martin Taylor wasn't English the media football pundits wouldn't be so quick to instinctively defend him. Typically on England's flagship football programme Match of the Day there was protracted criticism for a 'foreigner' William Gallas and his despair at the end of the match while the only comment passed on Taylor for his horrendous tackle was by 'joke-a-minute' Mark Lawrenson who decided he was merely 'clumsy'. More lamentable coverage of a major football incident on MOTD - the viewing football public deserve better.


Blogger Sue said...

As Ive said before ban the BBC and Sky Sports commentators from the ground. I'm sick of hearing their non biased comments on our players. There inst a decent pundit among them.

2/24/2008 7:11 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex MacCleish's post match interview was a disgrace. He lies about the tackle, tells us that Taylor is distraught over his red card and has to be prompted into giving condolescences to Eduarrdo. In an attempt to save some sort of face he claims that Taylor is distraught about eduardo and not the card. And wenger gets crucified.

2/24/2008 7:31 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree.

2/24/2008 7:35 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to get back at the red face is to win the question.
Win it and the injury to Eduardo will be vindicated.
Come on gunners. Stick it in to the red nosed.

2/24/2008 8:32 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been totally disgusted by some of the comments from the so called experts, pundits and media. The fools on the BBC were literally gloating about the fact that Arsenal had dropped points, they also appeared to be unable to understand that our team might possibily have affected by seeing their team mate lying on the deck with his leg broken in two parts! Mind you, it's only a foriegner.

2/24/2008 8:39 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my first ever comment on a blog because i am so angry. I have been saying it for many years but never has it been so blatently obvious how bias against Arsenal MOTD is. Martin Taylor committed GBH on Eduardo intentional or not and anyone watching would think Gallas had committed the crime. We must turn this anti Arsenal media into a positive and win the title ...come on you gunners!!

2/24/2008 9:07 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with above sentiments, listened to 606 on Saturday night and some of the comments were disgraceful.
As for that Man u Scumbag Terry Christian on talk sport I will never listen to his Moronic rantings again, he could barely contain his glee at Arsenals misfortune.

I find it difficult to understand the blanket dislike of Arsenal in the national media (Whilst grudgingly admitting we play some decent football! )Wenger and the team get slated at every opportunity by these petty xenophobes. Whilst the mad rantings of that Scots windbag Fergie hardly get a mention

2/24/2008 9:15 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Defender Kelly from Birmingham said Wenger's comment is a disgrace,now it became Wenger's fault. Hansen welcomes Arsenal boss Wenger taking back Taylor comments, now they forgive Wenger.

What has football becoming now? They are commenting and forgiving the victim? A 40-60 ball you call it mistime challenge while tacle up to shin level?

I am a fan from Asia, I will support Croatia for the euro cup. With so many bias people in England, for sure I would never want England to qualify for international tournment. However I wish Arsenal would do well in both PL and CL.

2/24/2008 9:38 pm

Blogger SKG said...

I saw MOTD with my bro again this morning and I thought I saw Taylor grinning but wasn't sure. The picture that T has posted has proved my worst fears. To say that image of him grinning is sickening is an understatement.

Wenger was right that this man shouldn't be playing football and I hope the FA take action against Taylor and ban him for life.

The pundits on MOTD and Sky and ITV are a bunch of morons, period.

2/24/2008 9:54 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

The coverage of this incident on the BBC has been appalling and I wonder what readers around the world (like the commentator from Asia above) would make of it. I reckon they are seeing the pictures of the tackle and the destruction it caused and then must wonder with amazement that the debate in the UK is focused on criticising Wenger and Gallas and not analysing the Taylor tackle. For me its a kind of insanity.

2/24/2008 10:32 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should make a Facebook group "Ban Taylor for life!"

2/24/2008 11:52 pm

Anonymous Redevil said...

Tough about Eduardo but you lot moaning about no one likes you can shut the fuck up. You dont like it when teams get tough on you but when you dish it out we should say nowt. Remember you lot kicking at Ronaldo? Last week on Nani, then, yeah? One tackle and no one liks you cos you ave no english players. I tell you what, Gallas wants his mummie, Sagna is more a leader than that cry baby and you aint getting the title period. Fergie shites on you lot and we'll do it again.

2/25/2008 2:43 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time to start a concerted campaign against the hanson's grays, crooks' etc. in the media.

They are totally disgusting filth, and they have a large part of the blame for this.

They have sat and giggled and sniggered there way through season after season, telling everyone Arsenal "don't like it up 'em".

If one of our players ever reacts, then it's suddenly the worst thing that ever happened.

This absolute drivel about hammering AW for what, quite frankly, was a very valid comment, i.e. that taylor does not belong on a football pitch again, and their attempt to turn the spotlight onto Gallas, just shows how low these indescribably revolting pieces of tvrd are prepared to go.

It's time to get them thrown out on the street where they belong.

Arsenal fans must ignore these petty attempts to vilify our manager and our captain.

Time to activate. Time to hound the BBC, Sky et al until they are out of the game.

They deserve this punishment because of their responsibility in creating the climate that condones this behaviour.

Oh, and red evil, when's it your turn to get the family brain cell?

2/25/2008 10:50 am

Blogger Skipper said...

I though MOTD were really harsh on Gallas, Gallas is an emotional man, I don’t think he was sulking because “Arsenal had lost the title”. I think he was desperate to win the match for Eduardo.

I also thought MOTD day were quite lenient on Taylor. Admittedly, I have seen worse tackles in the game, however, he did go in with his studs up, there is no need for that.

To Taylor’s credit he has expressed regret and remorse after seeing the extent of the injury. He visited Eduardo in hospital.

Get well Eduardo.

2/25/2008 11:28 am

Anonymous redevil said...

Mate Neville nor Rio nor Giggsy would do that, proper leaders, no one moaned nor cried when Smithy broke leg at Endfield so what? We didnt cry nor moan and got on with it your skipper is a crybaby should have led proper like. So shut up about brain cell, you want lockig up you plep!

2/25/2008 1:25 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I have to add that I just saw a replay of the moment after the inury and Flamini is remonstrating to Taylor, who is on his one knee and not grinning as suspected by myself but instead he has slightly grimaced as if in acceptance of havinghurt Eduardo. For me now, the case that Taylor was grinning at the injury is not proven. I dont think he was grinning at all and do feel he had some knowledge of the impact of his conduct. Nonetheless, my suggestion that the FA intervene and extend his three-match ban still stands.


2/25/2008 4:45 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

all u manyoo fans showing up here and commenting on gallas, will u piss off and go elsewhere ... for your information, that single act has upgraded gallas in my view. Shows the man has heart, passion, cares enough for his team that he could probably give his life (or suffer humiliation by dropping his mask) .. we are all supposed to be impressed with how great ferdinand is, but it wasn't gallas playing tag-team with calls girls .. was it ? .. none of your current crop of players can light a candle to gallas as a captain .. and u are gloating about manu's greatness, but you should instead be gloating about the great combination calls manyoo and the english refs association .. a title wining combination .. even on tv, they find a way to do it .. damn, u guys a super good !!!

2/25/2008 6:56 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shut up you pleb youre talking out your backside you dont like it you lot can piss off to somewhere else where you can be worshipped for footie that makes the fans go ooh and aah but gets nothing your in a world of your own you lot shove off

2/25/2008 10:51 pm

Anonymous Alex Butterfield said...

Some of THESE comments are a disgrace - they are so subjective.

The photo of Taylor proves nothing. He didn't grin at what he'd done, he grimaced, it's clear from the video, and the photo supports that equally as it supports the theory he was smiling - and after all a photo is hardly evidence of a someone's thoughts - its just a snapshot.

The tackle was badly mistimed and reckless and he deserves to be punished. I'm an advocate of the league refreshing the automatic bans system, but the fact is that currently the punishment for a red card is 3 matches and you can't go overriding rules whenever you feel like it.

That said, what really upsets me (other than the fact that Eduardo is going to miss out on the Euros which is such a tragedy for any footballer) is that Wenger called for a life ban - and that so many Arsenal fans agree. Are you insane?!

This tackle had horrific results, but it wasn't malicious in any way. It was a one-footed sliding tackle. it wasn't that high - it was slightly above the ankle which is exactly where the ball is! Had Eduardo not shifted the ball as quickly as he did then Taylor's tackle would have taken the ball - and cleanly too. (That's not placing any responsibility on Eduardo, of course not). I am, though defending Taylor against all these outrageous life-ban calls.

It was mistimed and reckless and he deserves a ban. (I wouldn't be opposed to a system where reckless tackles resulting in a serious injury see the culprit banned until the inured player returns, thats awkward to implement though) but you cant override current rules, otherwise why have them in the first place.

We've all seen deliberate challenges, made with the intent to injure players. Keane, Thatcher. These if any, deserved life bans. deliberately trying to injure a player is messed up. But mistiming a challenge can't be viewed as equal to that.

2/25/2008 11:07 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Alex, you appear to agree with myself in that Taylor appeared to not be grinning but instead grimacing at what had happened, which could imply he was aware of the enormity of the circumstances. Add to that Taylor moved towards Eduardo after being red-carded to offer some kind of care and apology to the player striken on the ground. That much I am prepared to defend him on and have done above.

But the tackle, as I slowed it down on MOTD, showed Taylor made conduct going over the ball, not a sliding tackle to intercede the ball's path. His right boot clearly comes mid-shin and drags down to the ankle joint, whereas in my theory, had he attempted to intercept the ball, he would have at best impeded Eduardo's running or caught across the top of Eduardo's left foot, potentially tripping the player but that all leading to continuing play with either Flamini or Fabregas possibly getting the ball.

Having gone over the ball and made contact with the shin, similarly to Binya, a six-game ban should apply.


2/25/2008 11:29 pm

Anonymous alex butterfield said...

Hi RedsMan,

I'll have to take your word for where the challenge landed on Eduardo's leg. I didn't see MOTD and was reluctant to youtube the challenge. having done so now and seen it for myself, I wasn't prepared to keep watching over and over.

I'd still maintain that had Eduardo not shifted the ball, then Taylor would have contacted ball before player. This is a contentious point itself. The rules tend to state that if the player makes contact with the ball first then it isn't a foul, unless its in extenuating circumstances, such as reckless play (generally considered to be 2-footed challenges, but I'd argue that 1-footed tackles can be equally reckless) or if there is intent to injure, eg. make contact with a player on the follow through (this is too often overlooked)

On one hand, it's one of those things. had Eduardo's studs not been planted in the grass, the challenge would have flipped him in the air - probably eliciting a red card for reckless play, but without the serious consequences for Eduardo.

On the other hand, i think the real issue is that the disciplinary system does not have a set punishment for this kind of tackle.

However many people defend it as mistimed (and I am one of those people) that doesn't change the fact that it was reckless. (The only worse thing is maliciousness, and that should receive life-bans. Things such as Ben Thatcher's assault - how on earth is he still allowed to play? - this sort of maliciousness is very very rare though)

The FA needs to understand that recklessness is the scariest thing in football.

Just because Taylor didn't mean to hurt Eduardo, doesn't mean he was playing fairly within the rules of the game. He was dangerously outside the accepted parameters of professional football.

There needs to be an offense-appropriate punishment for recklessness.

As I mentioned before, if it was possible to ban players for as long as their victim remains injured. Then shouldn't that happen? It seems the only proportionate punishment.

Eduardo will miss at least 8-9 months. If the FA give the standard ban of 3 games (or even if they set a precedent of a 6 game ban) then Taylor could be back in a month.

It's not easy to implement, and it doesn't necessarily account for recklessness that doesn't have a serious consequence for the victim. (ie. players who jump in but don't make contact, but deserve bans)

perhaps a minimum six-game-ban should be given out for reckless challenges that don't cause serious injury. however if an event occurs such as Tayor/Eduardo then Eduardo should be assessed by independent doctors and physios and a report submitted to the FA with an estimated recovery time that will be given as the players maximum ban (if the victim of the challenge returns sooner than the estimate, so too could the banned player - but if the player takes longer to recover, then the maximum ban suggested in the initial report would hold)

This would result in a lot more 6-9 month bans being handed out than currently are (currently that sort of ban is for real intent, such as thatcher, or for players who push ref's, etc). But it seems fair enough to me.

If you are prepared to risk the health of another player for the sake of winning a ball/game then you deserve to be punished very heavily.

2/26/2008 12:42 am

Blogger T said...

Alex, I know the pictures are a disaster to watch but watch them and observe the tackle. It was high as Redsman describes it - and it was from close range with a lot of force. What is little mentioned is that Taylor is six foot six inches and well built - hence a tackle of that nature from a guy his size is going to have a lot of force and multiplying to some extent the recklessness with which he went in hard.

As for the picture of Taylor - for me it is taken before the pictures you see on TV when Flamini comes in and Taylor comes to terms with the seriousness of what he has done. The picture above shows him just as he turns round - and forget whether its a smirk or a grimace the look for me is a guy who is in aggressive mode. He went into the tackle with aggressive force - high and late - and his face betrays that.

I don't care whether Taylor gets a three or six match ban - that is irrelevant. What is relevant is the footballing culture in this country that allows tackles to take place with little criticism and a good degree of acceptance... this is what the reaction to the Taylor tackle in this country has demonstrated.

2/26/2008 10:30 pm


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