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Are Wolves Dirty?

Mar. 20, 2010 - 05652706 date 20 03 2010 Copyright imago Karl Henry of Wolves Tackles James Milner of Aston Villa Barclays Premier League Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers 20th March 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Football men England Premier League 2009 2010 Action shot Vdig 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.
Mick McCarthy has today insisted that his Wolves side our not dirty. The former Republic of Ireland boss was left incensed at claims his side were deploying overly physical tactics so far this season, and maintains his side are playing fair.

But after Wolves picked up a remarkable 13 yellow cars in their last two games, surely there must be something going a miss at Molineux. But there isn’t according to McCarthy who told BBC Sport: “”I’ve gone through the bookings at Fulham and there wasn’t a bad, malicious tackle, and there we are with six bookings and a sending off. We’re not a dirty team, but at the moment it looks like we are because of circumstances.

“I try my best not to offend anybody, but if that’s the way people want to perceive me and my team there’s not a great deal I can do about it. But it’s wrong, a whole pile of nonsense actually, but such is life.”

McCarthy certainly seems to have been riled by the accusations made over about his team. But in a week where a tackle from one of his players left Bobby Zamora’s leg broken, it is really only inevitable that there would be criticism in to his sides methods.

Personally I had no real issue with the tackle from Karl Henry on Zamora. Hard yes, but over the top no. However what I do have an issue with is the way that Henry had gone about antagonising Joey Barton in the previous game.

I have no issue with getting in to a players head with the odd late challenge, but the way Henry systematically went for Barton was nothing short of disgusting. To say Henry wasn’t dirty that day would be quite frankly laughable.

Why Henry opted to do that I’m not quite sure. I have no doubt that had he not been so outrageously over the top in his bid to get Barton frustrated and ultimately lose his cool than he wouldn’t of come in for the criticism he did after the Zamora challenge. Unfortunately for Henry that has very much came back to bite him and his team.

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  1. Parky

    September 18, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Interesting article, but are these articles not sub-edited before posting? This has some grammatical howlers:

    “his Wolves side our not dirty”
    “he wouldn’t of come in for the criticism ”

    … to name but a few.

    To me this makes the site look less professional.

    Cheers, Parky

  2. Pat

    September 17, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Wokka, robert jones and paul – spot on. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Also, okay so henry has a hand on zamora’s shirt, everyone’s making it seem like henry had a lasso around his waist and yanked him back so he could finish off intentionally breaking his leg. Come on….

  3. Wokka

    September 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Another fine post Paul …

  4. paul

    September 17, 2010 at 4:24 am

    did see the whole of any of the wolves games you are talking about james beckett?

    if you didnt then you are just proving exactly what mick mccarthy said, the media have got on the end of 7 fouls on joey barton and taken this out of proportion. yes barton did get fouled, but how about the repeated fouling of kevin doyle or jody craddock in the same game? any team that comes up against joey barton and alan smith is going to have to put the tackles in.

    the tackles that have been highligted, craddock on jones, henry on zamora, are seen every week in every game. watch sunderland v arsenal tomorrow and i bet you see similar tackles. this time they were unlucky and resulted in injuries. perhaps these types of tackles do result in more injuries, but so does the speed and pace of the game that we have in england.

    so lets shut up about it, or slow down the game and stop tackling.

  5. Wokka

    September 17, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Well said Robert Jones …

  6. robert jones

    September 17, 2010 at 4:13 am

    oh my god i cannot believe my eyes never a dirty tackle and wolves are not a dirty team.its ok for other teams to go and kick lads around the place ie paul scholes but when he does it people say great player but cant tackle and laugh.LAMBY UR A LOT WORSE THAN A is a contact sport and most people are forgetting that henry won the ball good tackle it was unfortunate the way zamora fell.Flacotex did he break his leg?no he didnt he played the following weekend ur point is nul and void. Drew theres a tesco colour jersey down the road from us you would be more suited to ashamed to be a fan?.joey barton deserves far worse than what he got thug on and off the field.its typical big team bias wer not aloud compete for 50-50s.when u get the ball before the player its called a good tackle.u prawn sandwich eating people just havint a clue about player ever sets out to injure another player.get all ur facts right before u start ranting and raving about something which is obvious u have no clue about.

    • Lamby

      September 17, 2010 at 9:50 am

      Robert, if you read my post, I said that Wolves were not dirty. What I said was that the tackle was reckless.

      Henry is not dirty, just clumsy.

    • robert jones

      September 17, 2010 at 11:37 am

      ok I accept that but I can’t except that he’s clumsy he won the ball.if he had taken the man before the ball then yes I wud say he is clumsy.but it was a good tackle.hope bobby gets better soon.

  7. Wokka

    September 17, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Wolves are not dirty… far from it! As for Henry – you must be joking! I watched him at the wolves since we had the pleasure of signing him form Stoke. Ian is right when he states that Henry was sold because of his refusal to make a meaningful tackle … I’m not one of his biggest fans at all – I don’t know what Mick see’s in him. However, I will stand by him and say he’s no way a dirty player at all.

    Don’t mention the Newcastle game … I was there and the ref was rubbish. Don’t forget that Newcastle only had one less yellow card than wolves. The Newcastle midfield all gave as good as they got, if not worse at times. But it’s hard to see that on match of the day when their only looking at one player!

    I think all this attention is a load of rubbish and has been fuelled by the media and a load of armchair supporters who don’t even go, put their hands in the pockets (unless its for sky) for the clubs, and more than likely have never kick a ball in their life. Football is a physical game, and if you remove tackling you would destroy the game.

    As for Dempsey … he is one of the most sunspots-man like player I’ve seen. All throughout the match he was cheating and diving and trying to get other players booked. This is inherent in every team throughout the leagues and I feed up of seeing it. Diving is a bookable offence and it’s about time that more players started getting booked for it.

    If you want the beautiful game to stay that way get rid of the diving and bulling tactics on the ref. At least Henrys tackle was fair! It was just unlucky that it injured Zamora, and I wish him all the best and a fast recovery.

  8. Drew

    September 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I’m a Wolves fan and they’ve never played like this prior to this year, but I feel a little ashamed to call myself a supporter to see tackles like these (people haven’t really mentioned Jody Craddock’s tackle on Kenwyne Jones against Stoke the first match of the season either). I’m sure the rest of the supporters would claim that they’re all clean challenges without malicious intent, but tackles that put out players with long-term injuries, to me, are never excusable. Mick needs to do something to change this!

    • Flacotex

      September 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      I was going to comment on Craddock’s challenge on Jones. It’s not mention because there was no card or foul on the play. Craddock tackled Jones from behind and the Stoke striker was forced to leave the game with an injury from the play. The announcers were babbling on about what a great, hard, tough challenge it was while no one was really sure if Jones had a broken leg.

      • IanCransonsKnees

        September 17, 2010 at 2:13 am

        Doesn’t matter it’s only Stoke. And Wolves aren’t dirty it’s just Henry (the reason why for all you Arsenal fans out there, he came through the Stoke academy and was let go by Pulis for his crab like play and refusal to make a meaningful tackle).

  9. Charlie

    September 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I agree regarding Barton. I know he is hated but it seems the refs are prepared to let him get kicked to pieces and not do anything. The funny thing is Henry is now the one with the bad reputation and it is other teams who will get away with kicking the crap out of him.

  10. Lamby

    September 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    No issue with the tackle!!! Are you kidding?

    He takes out Zamora’s legs, but you can see he is pulling Zamora’s shirt at the same time – forcing him to fall the way he did. If he was not pulling the shirt Zamora might have been able to fall without breaking the leg. The tackle may have got the ball, but the shirt pulling made it a red card-able offense.

    Have a look at the tackle here. Dempsey has a great view of it – which is why he was the one going off at the ref.

    Look at those photos and tell me again if you don’t have an issue with it.

    Wolves are not a dirty team. Fulham play a fast passing game (an Arsenal light) All Wolves were doing was playing a basketball/gridiron/Aussie Rules kind of defense where if your man has the ball you make sure he cannot keep running to get the ball back – and they did that by shirt pulling and pushing. It works and keeps them in the EPL. Burley last year did not play this way and got relegated, Wolves stayed up. It works.

    • Sir Guy

      September 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      The images are……painful. I agree, the shirt pulling made it impossible for Zamora to escape or fall differently.

      As a former ref I have never understood why shirt pulling is so tolerated. It is one of the few fouls that can’t be “accidental”. It is a deliberate, intentional action meant to hold the player, but seldom called unless the shirt is just about ripped off the body. Even then………

    • Tom Hingley

      September 17, 2010 at 7:37 am

      The images prove nothing.

      When you take a fast paced incident and slow it into stills it shows nothing of the true dynamic. In any challenge, it is automatic for each player to grab something (the turf, shorts, shirt) for balance. It is a reflex that can’t be helped.

      Watch the challenge in normal time, Henry doesn’t PULL Zamora down, at all.

      • Lamby

        September 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

        Sure it might be automatic to grab something for balance – but that is what made it an illegal, dangerous and reckless tackle. Whether it pulls him down or not – it still leaves Zamora no where to go but into the tackle.

        Compare Henry’s tackle to a similar slide tackle from Carriger or Terry. They do hard slide tackles week in week out, but they don’t trap player with their trailing legs (Henry traps him with a scissor tackle) and tend to roll with the challenge.

        Read this and apply it to the tackle in normal speed, still or slow motion.


        Serious foul play:
        A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality
        against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
        A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
        serious foul play.
        Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the
        front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force
        and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
        Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless
        there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send
        off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.
        A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off and play is
        restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred
        (see Law 13 – Position of free kick) or a penalty kick (if the offence occurred
        inside the offender’s penalty area).

      • Sir Guy

        September 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

        Tom….I would disagree that there is anything “automatic” about grabbing an opponent’s shorts or shirt in a challenge. As a ref I found it one of the easiest infractions to eliminate in a match. A couple of stern warnings, one yellow card and Poof! everyone was cured.

        I should have put “MD” after my name. 😉

  11. Sir Guy

    September 16, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I don’t know the answer to your question, but I think far too much attention is being paid to this aspect of the game right now. I am for post-match review to punish the vilest of infractions, but as to the rest of it…..different strokes for different folks.

    The EPL isn’t a ballet school.

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