By Walter Broeckx, ashamed of being a ref
For many years we have seen horrible challenges on our players. We have seen the terrible image of Eduardo who’s foot was almost separated from his leg.
We have seen the “he is not that kind of guy-Shawcross” flying in like a madmen on Ramsey to chop his leg in two.
We have seen Diaby losing a year in his career thanks to a crazy challenge. We have seen the half succeeded attempt from Birmingham (again) to break Cesc’s leg. And actually it did happen a few days delay.
I have been writing articles here for over a year and I have on many occasions written about the rules and pointed at dangerous tackles. Always with a very strong view on Arsenal, mostly because Arsenal players are suffering the most. But this time I think it is appropriate to write an article about a player from another team that has suffered once again from a dreadful tackle.
This time is was Ben Harfa who was on the receiving end of what according to the ref was not even a foul. As this is an example of not an Arsenal player you and I might be able to look at it without the feelings you have as a supporter when you see a player kicked to pieces.
And I will try to give a example on what went wrong and what I mean when I say that tackles going in frontal on a player are dangerous and most of all why they are so dangerous.
Time and time again I written that it means nothing when you play the ball. This is just some excuse used by pundits and by managers to give some excuse to some players. When you are the offender you try to point at somewhere along the line that some contact was made with the ball. So I will try to use some pictures to explain what went wrong.
And just look at the first image when nothing is wrong. Ben Arfa is running at high speed with the ball at his feet.
In the next picture you see that Dejongh has been flying in and yes he has made contact with the ball.
So nothing wrong?
The first thing that is wrong is the fact that Dejongh comes in with both feet and he is coming in from the front to the attacker. This means that the attacker cannot get out of the way. And the defender knows he will hit the striker without being able to reduce the impact. You can compare this with a frontal car crash. Those are the deadliest because you accumulate the two forces that are coming together in opposite direction. I think some people could explain this with some laws of physics; feel free in the comment section.
Lets us look at some images a bit closer to the action
In this picture you see that Dejongh is flying in with a frontal assault with one foot stretched and the other one is also moving forward. Ben Arfa cannot do anything about avoiding the impact at that moment. He can only hope and pray that his legs are off the ground when they get hit. Also notice that he “jumps in”, it would make a big difference if Dejong would just have stood on his spot without throwing himself forward.
On the next picture you could image hearing the crack as because of both players coming together something has to go and it was Ben Arfa’s leg that went. This was the most obvious to break as he was running and thus standing on the floor and heaving his weight on his legs. Dejongh was jumping in so he had no weight on his legs but all his weight was thrown forward in to the impact.
So this is another example of why tackles when a player comes in frontal to his opponent are dangerous. And yes I know that this does not always breaks people’s legs. Sometimes you can have luck when your leg is off the ground and you just get air born. So most of the times people escape from those tackles. But because most of the time people escape is not an excuse for not punishing it.
The fact that the ref did not give a foul is so crazy that I really cannot understand this. People ask for the banning of Dejongh as long as Ben Arfa cannot play football. I think this should be a rule for all players who inflict such long term injuries to their fellow professionals. It would make them think twice before coming in like madmen and hurt each other.
But for me this isn’t the end of the line. No the fact that the ref did nothing and did not give a foul is beyond me. These are fundamental rules for every ref that you have to be careful for those kind of tackles. Now I know as a ref that you cannot prevent all injuries on your playing field. But the fact that he let the foul go without punishment is the worst thing (when you look at the ref I mean not at Ben Arfa who is the real victim) for the ref. This means that he is incompetent to protect the players on his field. He has shown he cannot recognise a dangerous tackle from a good one.
And for this I would suggest that not only the player who commits such dangerous tackles and break other peoples legs are banned for the time that he needs to recover but also the refs who didn’t punish those tackles should be banned for the same period. And in the meanwhile they can take their rule book, their instructions AND LEARN THEM AGAIN UNTIL THEY KNOW THE RULES.
Apart from some sick people (and sick supporters from sick teams) who get a kick from these things most supporters hate those images of players lying on the ground like that.
It is time for the FA to act.
It is time for the people who are responsible for the refs to call them and to ask for a zero tolerance on all dangerous tackles and punish them weather they played the ball or not.
It is time to protect the gifted players because it is them that we come out of our chair to see them perform in the stadiums. We don’t come over to see Dejong break another leg, we don’t come out to see Shawcross act like a madman, we don’t come over to see Hendry launching another player in the air.
Time to act FA and REFS before the the gifted players leave the EPL to go to other leagues where they are protected by the refs and the laws.
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