Gerrard got it wrong in Mancini row
Steven Gerrard got things wrong in the Manchester City players’ tunnel last night. He accused Roberto Mancini of attempting to get Liverpool’s Glen Johnson “into trouble” by highlighting the player’s two-footed challenge on Joleon Lescott in the 88th minute of the clubs’ Carling Cup tie. Mancini was actually highlighting the inconsistency which had seen his captain, Vincent Kompany, dismissed for a similar challenge which took place on virtually the same piece of turf last Sunday. How little sense we get when all the controversy of a game is compacted into a 15-minute window straight afterwards. No-one is talking straight.
But that goes for Mancini, too. First of all, his fury sent his English to pieces. No-one could tell whether he was saying “the walls are coming down” or “the world is coming down” when he left a tunnel exchange with Gerrard for his brief show in the press conference hall. He said this several times. “The world is going down. This is my opinion.” He’s wrong. Kompany might be out for three more games but the end of the world is not nigh.
He’s wrong about two-footed challenges, too. The pace and fury of the English game means that players need to be protected by a defender’s sure knowledge that if he goes in with two feet then he will rapidly be using them to leave the field of play. If it is left to a referee’s discretion, then there will be room for that defender to take a chance. The severity of injury should not dictate the defender’s fate.
The referees need a means of explaining this inalienable fact. The managers have plenty to say. The Football Association have channels to explain their decisions effectively to the world. The referees’ case sometimes arrives in the newspapers via the Premier League, offering pointers for guidance after the event. But more often is given voice by retired match officials in the studio. Their actions are analysed more forensically than most players’. They’re require the means of saying why, in this case, the rules are right.Tagged in: football, roberto mancini, Sport, Steven Gerrard
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