The way Blackburn approached the game against Arsenal was, in my opinion, an utter disgrace. The Blackburn players clearly went into the match with every desire to cheat and maim. The fact that they got away with much of it, suffering only 4 yellow cards and no red suggests that the ref was for some reason, willing to accept that this approach to football was ok. It is worth wondering how he reached such a conclusion.
The attack on Almunia which could easily have broken his ankle was enough to have the player sent off and banned for 20 matches. The tackles from behind which went on through the game should all have led to reds. The dive (I think it was by Pederson) when Sagna did nothing was so outrageous that there must be an absolute questions as to how the ref and linesman could fail to have seen it. If they saw no challenge from such a fall, the player should have gone for diving. If they wrongly through Sagna had done something it should have been a penalty.
What we have to ask is: why did the players act in this way? Why did they all go about their business in a manner that has everything to do with a viscious disregard for everything worthwhile and reasonable about football, and a desparate wish to win by cheating, while causing maximum pain and injury to footballers, far better than themselves? Why did they approach the game is this way?
There is only one logical answer: they were told to by their manager.
This is not hard to believe since where ever he has gone in football Allerdyce has behaved in this self-same manner.
The fact that rotational fouling and cheating has been taken to this level shows that the likes of Allerdyce will stop at absolutely nothing in their use of these tactics. I begin to wonder just how dreadful the injuries have to be before something is done. Had Almunia suffered not just a badly bruised ankle, but instead had been injured in such a way that he never played again, would the EPL and FA have acted?
Given that they will do nothing about Allerdyce despite all the evidence against him, I doubt it. He will be allowed to continue to plough his disgraceful trade, instructing players to break the rules, to hurt, and to destroy both the game itself, and others with talent who play it. To cheat at every turn, that is the Allerdyce way.
Quite what Mr Dowd was thinking about through this game, if it wasn’t the money he was making, I have no idea. If he had any thoughts of what football is about and the rules of the game, then he would have sent off at least four players – one for diving, and three for gross tackles from behind.
Of course the result was wonderful, and so was the display of many players – including most notably for me, Song and Denilson in the middle.
So if we can survive the disgraceful approach of clubs like Blackburn and managers like Allerdyce, this team and this club will thrive. After all this game was won without our first three strikers on the pitch, and without Cesc and Tomas in midfield – plus with Theo still learning his way back after such a long lay off. The only thing that can stop us now is peoplelike Allerdyce, the players who agree to play is this disgraceful manner, and the referees andFA / EPL officials who connive with them by allowing it to continue.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009
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