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Was Dowd Wrong?

Was Dowd Wrong?

It`s easy to feel some sympathy with Robbie Keane in the context of fouls that are usually allowed in the English game but if his sending off against Birmingham marks a hardening of attitudes to this type of tackle I applaud it. His tackle was reckless and potentially dangerous. There have been worse this season. Hleb in particular suffered nasty fouls against West Ham and Sunderland only one of which received a red card.

Cynics will argue along the lines that football will be the poorer if the game becomes a non contact sport. There is some danger of that and it will always be a fine line to judge whether a foul is reckless or not. By reckless I mean that it is made without due consideration of whether there is a significant risk of injuring a player or not. There has to be an element of risk in any physical contact. It is ironic that Muamba who was on the receiving end of Keane`s tackle was unhurt and then went on to tackle Bale fairly, which resulted in Bale going off. But I don`t think that it should be beyond the wit of officials to decide whether a tackle has at least a 50% chance of success or not though I also accept that this will always be subjective. That is also the case at present though, as referees have to judge intent which is entirely subjective and even harder to measure in my view.

Carew`s tackle on Hleb on Saturday wasn`t dangerous but it was intentional and as he had no chance of winning the ball it should have been deemed reckless and therefore resulted in a mandatory red.

I doubt whether the appetite for hardening the rules to eliminate reckless tackles exists in the English game. The fear that we will lose something (passion, commitment, and fight) will prevail amongst the popular press and pundits here for some time. Hardly a weekend goes by without some pundit advocating that a struggling team needs to 'get into them` 'let them know you`re up for it` 'bring them down` 'foul him if you have to`. On the other hand clubs losing increasingly expensive players for substantial parts of the season should focus the thoughts of club owners and some managers in favour of some greater protection of their assets.

I really wouldn`t like to see football become a non-contact sport. A brilliantly timed tackle is a much greater skill than any number of stepovers, but I don`t think the game will suffer at all from a reduction in the type of tackles that Keane and Carew made at the weekend. It would simply encourage better tackling skills and maybe permit those that can tackle well to receive greater acknowledgement of their skills.

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Date:Monday December 3 2007
Time: 2:42PM


I think a yellow card would have done for Keane. Ironically, Huddlestone made a two footed challenge minutes earlier and not even a foul was given.
Little Dutch
03/12/2007 14:47:00
Melchiot was also sent off for a dangerous challenge and he had got away with one a bit earlier in the same game. Keane though, was unlucky to go. clearly a foul but if thats a red card, every prem match would finish 5 a side. Carews was worse than Keane's. what I dont like is the way some teams/managers/pundits seem to think its OK to go out to play the game in a manner that wont allow the opposition to attack. ie foul regularly. it ruins too many games, but the stakes are so high these days that teams are prepared to do anything to get a result.
03/12/2007 15:14:00
you know, when i see a player going for another player when the ball is no where near and he was out to damage the player, well thats one thing, mistimed and late is another altogether, and both carew and keane was just pure late and clumsy and no intentional. how would players have lived with norman hunter for those of us that remember him, they played with heavier boots and heavier balls and you never heard them wimping off moaning and diving around like they have been shot. i think some of the modern footballer's are the biggest bunch of girls blouses and should only look at their rugby counterparts to know what the meaning of a man's game is. for godsake, stop being poofs. get tough and stop complaining, used to be a time when football was a contact sport and sorted out the poofs from the men, now they just run around, do a little dance and fall over if you just blow them a kiss..... oooh chase me darling chase me !
03/12/2007 16:09:00
How you can say that Carew's tackle on Hleb was not dangerous is hard to understand, if it was not dangerous how come he got indjured? by falling down? if keane's tackle was a read card (which I don't think is correct) then Carew's was a red card.
03/12/2007 16:11:00
In hockey (sorry, I can't help it, I'm Canadian) if a player shows or commits intent to injure, the offending player is normally hit with a major penalty and game misconduct, then immediately the incident is reviewed by the NHL to determine suspension, fines and/or further punishment as required. Fortunately this doesn't happen often because A] hockey players wear protective equipment that can absorb more abuse than exposed ankles and shins, and B] they know the consequences of their actions! In football, I don't think it would be good to completely remove contact, or even disuade slide tackles, etc. but I do think it would do some good to hold players accountable for their actions. If they know the results of their actions could be reviewed outside of the game and further punishable, it might just handcuff some of the mindless goons who otherwise seem to get away with the harsher contact. When a player gets past you with skill, the risk now becomes worth it to take him out....9 times out of 10 it seems the harshest result sadly is a mere yellow. What if that yellow on the field could turn into a six game suspension (in a truly harsh case that is) after the PL has a chance to scroll through multiple camera angles and slow motion? I think less players would include these last-ditch dangerous tackles in their repetoir.
03/12/2007 16:37:00
can't really compare the two sports can you they are totally different in all aspects. might as well compare football to netball or tennis if you are going to do so.
03/12/2007 16:42:00
I beg to differ - take away the ice and sticks my friend.
03/12/2007 17:15:00
And you have loads of huge blokes padded up struggling to move on the grass in their ice skates??
03/12/2007 17:24:00
His tackle was innocuous and any more hardening of the rules and they'll ruin the game. It was a free kick, maybe a yellow, but a straight red? Nope, this is not meant to be a girlie game.
The Fear
03/12/2007 17:26:00
I have another couple of questions: 1. How do people know for certain that Dowd consulted Urriah Rennie about the tackle? Did someone lip-read? 2. Keane's challenge was late, studs-first and 2-footed. That is why I see it as a red card offence. I don't think it is a question of being a girlie or macho sport, it was an illegal challenge with great potential for injuring the opponent (although not intentional) and that's crossing the line in my book. In order for a player to see red we should not wait to see blood, fractures and torn ligaments.
03/12/2007 17:47:00
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