in retrospect

I joke around a lot about other players getting hurt. Or wishing for a career ending injury for a player. Or hoping that the earth opens up and swallows both teams and all their supporters. For Christ’s sake I have a picture of Diaby kicking John Terry’s head nearly off in the masthead of the site. But, no one in their right mind thinks that I actually wish that kind of harm on anyone, even someone as despicable as Joey Barton.

I also think that it’s very clear that there’s a huge difference between a supporter who thinks it’s funny to fantasize about a whole team getting ebola and a manager like Steve Bruce saying “He has mis-timed the tackle, and I’ve seen it. Some would say it is not even a yellow card.” Now, I know you are a dumb cunt Steve but let me show you a picture:

tackle

See there how Martin Taylor is A) over the ball B) lunging C) studs up? NOTE TO STEVE BRUCE: THERE ISN’T ANYTHING LEGAL ABOUT THAT TACKLE.

And isn’t that really the problem here? That the league, the managers, the referees, and the fans have let this happen? That they have encouraged this as an acceptable way for a lesser team to play a better team? I do. And I seriously doubt that the FA and the EPL and FIFA and UEFA are going to do shit about this.

How about, instead of whining about “foreigners” you teach your players how to move the ball? Or, instead of whining about how teams like Arsenal “get better calls” why don’t you get your players into shape by controlling their diet and, you know, actually exercising them. Look at what Juande Ramos has done for Tottenham or David Moyes for Everton. But it seems like the FA has said that it’s ok: instead of teaching your team how to play football, managers can simply tell them to go out there and “put a physical stamp on the game early.” And the referees allow it to happen. And the league sanctions it by giving the same punishment to Taylor as they do to Aliadiere. And the fans support it by saying that football is a rough game.

Arsenal supporters have seen this coming for a long while. For at least three years now Arsenal have fielded a team that valued movement and passing and athletic ability. And for three years now we’ve seen teams kick at their ankles. We’ve seen teams who have been told by their manager to go out and in the first three minutes to tackle someone hard or to physically intimidate Arsenal players during dead balls.

And until the FA or someone in charge does something about it, we’ll continue to see it. Because even in the game where Eduardo had his leg snapped clean off, that useless cunt Mike Dean let Birmingham play rough, tackle ankles and get away with dangerous play. And why shouldn’t he? Culturally, he’s taught that dangerous play is acceptable and that the way to beat a “skilled” team is to “play with heart” by tackling hard and physically intimidating your opponent.

That’s something that will take a generation to change.