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Why Are We Seeing So Many Bad Tackles?

Wolverhampton Wanderers/Aston Villa Premiership 26.09.10 Photo: Tim Parker Fotosports International Karl Henry Wolves & Marc Albrighton Villa Photo via Newscom
While his Wolves side weren’t able to earn a valuable victory over West Ham, Mick McCarthy was able to hit back at Danny Murphy, with a comment in a press conference summing up the universal disagreement that has followed the Fulham midfielders attack on managers who ‘encourage’ bad tackles.

When asked what he thought of no player from either side picking up a booking, McCarthy responded with a sarcastic comment. He said: “I asked the lads to go and knock seven bells out of everyone like I normally do what the hell were they playing at?

“It’s a shame because we went out and played free flowing football for 45 minutes and were rampant.”

I must admit I think McCarthy has responded in exactly the right way. While Tony Pulis defended himself and the actions of his squad with a well worded statement, McCarthy laughs off the accusations with his typical sarcasm.

For me, while Murphy’s comments may have been taken slightly out of context,  they were laughable. He was never going to achieve anything by attacking individual manages, and there was no need to name names

In reality we all know that Stoke, Blackburn and Wolves are amongst the most imposing and physical sides in the league, just look at Karl Henry’s horror challenge at Wigan. But the problem with overzealous tackles isn’t limited to these three teams, as we saw with Jack Wilshere and his desperate lunge yesterday.

Part of me feels that in years gone by there wouldn’t have been such a fuss made of these clumsy tackles and I do feel reluctant to write an article that could only add to the media storm surrounding tackles which is developing on a day to day basis.

But it is a problem which has crept in to our game. Every weekend we are now seeing a wreckless lunge by somebody. Personally I don’t buy in to the argument that this is down to poor tackling coaching.

I think the problem is down to the importance of winning in the Premier League. There is so much at stake in the Premier League at the moment in every single game; desperation really does play a big part. When players are desperate, lunges creep in and that is when injuries occur.

I think the dangerous tackle is more down to temperament rather than technique and if we are going to stamp it out, coaches need to work on the psychology of players and make sure they don’t get caught up in the emotion of games.

What do you think? Why are we seeing so many bad tackles at the moment?

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  1. Lamby

    October 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    BUT – Wolves were playing West Ham, not Arsenal!! He has a different game plan against teams who play a passing game. Against teams he thinks he can win against he lets the team ‘play’. Against passing teams he makes sure he keeps things ‘tight’, hence the yellow card count.

    Murphy’s statement is one of the best things that has happened in the EPL for a while.

  2. Johnwolf

    October 17, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Good write up but I can’t agree with you on the Henry tackle/non tackle on Gomez, it looked far worse than it was by the fact that Gomez was already on his way into the air before Henry got by him (he would do well in a circus) yes it was reckless, but with intent- Never, has for yesterday’s match there was one player booked,the West Ham player for handling (cheating) before placing the ball into the net, I agree with Mick? I can’t understand what we were playing at by not kicking them off the pitch-me thinks training will be harder this week!
    Now can we give it a rest pleeeeeeeeeeeeese.

  3. Parky

    October 17, 2010 at 8:17 am


    Why do you call Murphy’s comments laughable, and then go on to agree with him?

    You said:

    “I think the dangerous tackle is more down to temperament rather than technique and if we are going to stamp it out, coaches need to work on the psychology of players and make sure they don’t get caught up in the emotion of games.”

    So why are you criticising Danny Murphy then? He was saying exactly what you said there, which is that managers are working the players up into a frenzy to go out and lunge into tackles all over the place.

    His words were:

    “They [the managers] can say it’s effective and they have got to win games, but the fact is the managers are sending out their players so pumped up there are inevitably going to be problems in games.”

    For the record, I applaud Danny for what he said. There are far too many of the “not that kind of player” comments (although no one EVER says “well, he’s just that kind of player”, so why bother saying a player isn’t that type?), and too many “part and parcel of the game” comments flying around. I think that players now need to adapt their tackles to the increased pace of the game, and referees need to have the confidence and authority to send players off for reckless, dangerous challenges. The laws of the game state that it doesn’t matter if you get the ball or not, if the tackle is dangerous.

    From Law 12 — Fouls and Misconduct:
    “Reckless” means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the
    danger to, or consequences for, his opponent.
    • A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned
    “Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary
    use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
    • A player who uses excessive force must be sent off


  4. billyraff

    October 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Yes I agree, the pre-mediated aggressive tackle put BY Danny Murphy towards the end of the Wolves match was appalling, and the Sidwell tackle that broke Wolves midfielder Guediora’s leg was equally poor. And as for the silly anti-Wolves coverage over recent weeks – for crying out loud give it a rest.

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