So Kevin Nolan will now face a three match ban for violent conduct, after his dreadful tackle on Victor Anichebe in today’s match, but I don’t think it’s sufficient punishment for such a bad challenge. It’s about time that the Premier League and the F.A. clamped down on such challenges more often. His team mate Danny Guthrie also received a 3 match ban after breaking Craig Fagans leg with a horrible and downright shameful tackle back in September.
Anichebe is lucky not have had his shin broken by Nolans two footed stamp and his look of shock when receiving the red card was pitiful. Chris Hughton has said that his first impression is that the challenge was poorly timed and not malicious. Quite how you can badly time a two footed lunge on to someone’s leg I do not know, but comments like that are frankly daft. Hughton may be trying to deflect the focus from Nolan, but mistimed? Never. It was a deliberate and controlled challenge by someone who knew exactly what he was doing. Let’s remember that Nolan was bragging about getting his former team mate at Bolton, J’Lloyd Samuel, to kick Theo Walcott as he was too fast for him back in September. Hardly the actions of an innocent man.
It’s about time the F.A. pulled their fingers out and started throwing the book at players who commit such tackles. I’m a big believer in suspensions matching injuries in situations like this. Guthrie should have been banned for 3 months after what he did to Fagan, Nolan should be banned for as long as Anichebe is out for. The lad has had a terrible season with injuries and this couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. He’s just back in to the first team squad and now gets clobbered by Nolan who claims it was accidental.
It just makes a mockery of the disciplinary process when players can commit such fouls and the F.A. sit silently by without reacting. After Gerrards behavior in the match against Chelsea, when he should have been sent off, Boswinga stamping on a players back whilst the assistant referee looked on and then Steve Bennets revelations, well, admissions, that players deliberately foul people to pick up cards to get time off makes you wonder just what is the point of the F.A.’s disciplinary panel. The Respect campaign seems to have fallen off the radar again but it takes the players, managers, the authorities and referees to all pull together.
When John Terry had his red card rescinded after being sent off against Manchester City, the Respect campaign simply fell apart. How on earth can referee’s be expected to make a decision and then have it reversed on a whim? Having said that, Howard Webb had an absolute mare in yesterdays Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers game. The penalty incident especially. If it’s not a foul, then what happened to booking the player for simulation? Personally, I thought Gamst Pedersen went down very, very easily but if that had happened outside the box, what would the decision have been.
The F.A. need to start showing some guts and get tough with players who commit such challenges. Enough is enough.