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Gerrard got it wrong in Mancini row

136374315 300x249 Gerrard got it wrong in Mancini rowSteven 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.

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  • http://www.metafore.com/ wheeliebin

    ‘All the high profile leg-breaks that happened recently were from high one-footed challenges’- could this be because two footed challenges are much rarer with this new policy?

  • http://www.metafore.com/ wheeliebin

    Actually there were differences in the two tackles, differences in the timing. Nani had to jump to avoid being taken out by Kompany, Johnson was so much earlier to the ball Lescott kicks *him* in the calf after the ball has gone.

  • ReffingGood

    referees don’t have freeze frames they see something 1 second, take there time and consider what they have just seen and that was Kompany leaving the ground with both feet and jumping for the ball with both his boots studs up. And that sequence of events is a stone wall red card ( as was Johnsons)

  • ReffingGood

    Your missing the point. Neither tackle was acceptable to the rules. jumping in with both feet and studs up is not allowed, whether executed superbly or wrongly. So how did the ref make the wrong decision? Are you suggesting that the ref makes his own rules when and where accordingly?

  • theothermatt

    Nothing in the current laws of the game specifically prohibits two-footed tackles.


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