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Thanks Arsene

By Alan Kirwin :  06/03/2009 :  Comments (27) :
Firstly I suggest all those who (on ToffeeWeb) were nonplused about Nolan's tackle on Anichebe, or viewed it as just an unfortunate consequence of a contact sport, or who thought it was no worse than Phil Neville's ball-winning tackle on Ronaldo, look at this...

Now clearly Arsene Wenger may not know as much about football as some of TW's contributors, but I suspect a man who has won trophies galore and re-built a club the way he has knows more than most.

I said on TW that Nolan's tackle was the worst I have seen for more years than I can even remember. Some contributors vehemently disagreed. I think they're living in the 1930s. I am stunned that the FA has not done something about Nolan's tackle because it was disgusting. I am saddened that Moyes was so forgiving about such a malicious & intentional assault.

But I am heartened that someone with the stature of Wenger has not only spoken out against such assaults (they are not really tackles are they), but was seemingly prompted to do so by Nolan in particular.

What Nolan did has nothing to do with football. Those of you who think otherwise are not only misguided but are clearly motivated by different ethics and standards of sporting behaviour than me, or Wenger.

For the avoidance of doubt, what Nolan did was an assault. He should have been banned until Anichebe was fit. To do otherwise is to piss in the face of justice.

Thanks Arsene.

Reader Comments

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Neil Humphrey
1   Posted 06/03/2009 at 15:08:02

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Got to agree. One of the most disgraceful ’tackles’ I have seen in 25 years of watching football. A slightly different angle and we would have been talking about the end of Anichebe’s career. Its no surprise the FA have done fuck all though. We’re not one of the Sky 4 after all. Had the tackle been on Ronaldo or Torres, Nolan would probably have been looking at a much lengthier ban. Those contributors disagreeing have probably never experienced such ’tackles’ first hand
Tony Marsh
2   Posted 06/03/2009 at 15:08:40

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I agree Alan it was a horrorible shithouse X rated tackle done in a cowardly and malicious way. Nolan is a grade A SHITBAG and deserved a crack in the tunnel.Maybe Victor should of landed a left hook on his jaw
out of sight but I wont have players being nicked for on field skullduggery.

The plod do enough now to ruin fans enjoyment of the game so can you imagine players being nicked for mistimed tackles etc.Where would it end?
Dave Wilson
3   Posted 06/03/2009 at 15:09:09

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Alan, Whilst the ethics and sporting standards you clearly subscribe to are admirable.
I would question your choice of Wenger as some sort shining example, this man is without principle or honour.

Wengers case may have been considerably enhanced had he not spent his entire time in England claiming, "I didn't see it" every time it was one of his players doing the nasty, remember Vieira... or worse still, Bergkamp?

You raise an excellent point. But people like Wenger are hypocrites who want to impose one set of rules for everyone else and a different set for his own players.
The FA will never have the balls to ban a "top sky 4 star" for a time equal to the the time the injured player is out... unfortunately.
Joe Rourke
4   Posted 06/03/2009 at 15:30:47

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Rules are if the referee sees it then he alone has the choice about how to deal with it - or not. The FA don’t have the right to revisit it if he has dealt with it.

As for Wenger he is selective in his comments and not fair minded.I would pay no heed to him his triumphs are in the past at this point.

Its a pity we are short of strikers at the moment ( I think article is really actually about this ) but lets face it - all our eggs were in one basket with Yakubu once Andy Johnson was sold. Both Vaughan and Saha have poor fitness records, Jutkiewz (?) doesn’t seem to be rated and Victor has flattered to decieve.

Thank god for Tiny Tim eh!
Jay Harris
5   Posted 06/03/2009 at 15:26:14

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I totally agree with your comments. I accept it?s a contact sport but there are players who deliberately go in to intimidate or hurt players at every level. The main difference is the speed of the prem, where you can as Wenger says do some serious damage.

I really believe that in the Newcastle game the 2 rednoses Nolan and Ryan Taylor were determined to injure Everton players. I have to say that the silence on the subject from the 2 managers with the biggest mouths (Beneathus and Ferguson) is deafening so don't expect the FA to act just yet. Maybe it will take a broken leg for Ronaldo or Torres before something is done.

As Tony says, I don't believe criminal law needs to be involved but up to a season-long ban by the FA should be a sufficient deterent to start with.
Micky Norman
6   Posted 06/03/2009 at 16:08:16

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I don’t believe anyone defended the scumbag on here. Posters simply commented on the relevence of bringing assault charges. Newcastle (like Blackburn) are currently just an alehouse team determined to save themselves no matter what the consequences are. It seems to be managerial philosophy.
Anthony Dyer
7   Posted 06/03/2009 at 16:44:03

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I agree that it was probably one of the worst tackles on an Everton player that I have had the misfortune to see. As for the punishment fitting the crime, I agree and I disagree.

It would give yet more power to people who are not accountable to the fans and who knows where it will lead. We may just have to leave it to natural justice for Nolan to have his come uppance.

As for Taylor, who was involved in the incident with Rodwell, and Ronaldo ? or maybe it was the other Taylor ? he / they should at least have a post-match yellow card awarded regardless of whether the Ref saw it or not. The same goes for those involved in the Battle of the W?s at Wigan on Wednesday. Referees have got to ?stamp? out this type of tackling as it is the clubs with smaller squads who will suffer if it continues without punishment.

Maybe if they judged the game on what is happening in front of them in any given match, rather than listening to manager?s soundbites and TV pundits, then they could help clean the game up, which is what they are paid to do.

As for Wenger and Ferguson they are only interested in their own clubs and players. Ferguson said he didn?t want to see Taylor punished for his misdemeanours against Ronaldo, why? Because Newcastle have to play Arsenal and Chelsea in the coming weeks. Had Nolan injured any of their players in a similar way to Anichebe, they would have been all over the media asking for him to be banned for life.

Tom Owen
8   Posted 06/03/2009 at 17:36:39

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Newcastle themsleves should of had a fine of some sort. They went in very hard and caused 2 injurys to our team (Rodwell & Anichebe).

The Nolan tackle was disgusting and he should of been banned a lot longer. The FA need to sort something out to stop this.

David Alexander
9   Posted 06/03/2009 at 17:48:53

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I agree but we have some players prone to a wild challenge or two ? it's only a matter of time before one of our boys hurts somone...
Marco Bonfiglio
10   Posted 06/03/2009 at 20:33:21

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A simple example of natural justice:

If a player is sent off for violent conduct, his suspension should be equivalent; i.e. he can’t play until his victim can. This would rule Nolan out until next season at least.

OK, there would be an amnesty at the end of the season. Even if the victim can’t play come August, let the villain back.

Restraint of Trade legislation would prevent the FA saying "you end his career, your career’s over". Although ... if the PFA had any integrity whatsoever, they would say to their members "you end the career of a fellow union member, face the consequences."

Unfortunately, headed by Mr Potato Head Taylor (for umpteen years) the PFA has the credibility of a potato waffle.

Taylor needs to go to whoever decides the suspensions, whether it be the Premiership or the FA, and express some kind of concern. Yakubu’s and Arteta’s injuries were accidents. Anichebe’s was an assault. Eduardo’s was an assault.

The Restraint of Trade problem can be circumnavigated. The offending player’s club has to pay him while he’s suspended. They just can’t play him while his victim can’t. That’ll wake a few managers up. How many players have had their season ended playing against Everton?
Julian Wait
11   Posted 06/03/2009 at 23:59:10

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1. Sending off

2. Ability to review the event after the game and provide an extended ban (we can debate how long... I would say up to half a season of league games, and no amnesty in the summer)

3. Compensation from guilty player and club (both)

4. Player gets an additional discretionary suspension when playing against the victim?s current club in future, say up to an additional 6 games / 2 seasons

5. Community service, for example acting as a chaperone to Ashley Cole for 1 midweek night 4 days before an FA Cup QF ...

John Callan
12   Posted 07/03/2009 at 00:12:40

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When I watched the game, I thought it was a bad tackle due to Anichebe overrunning the ball ? no more. Having see the replies it was a nasty tackle, but to say it was the worst on an everton player for many years i think takes it a bit too far.

It wasn't too long ago that Stevie G jumped two footed into Naysmith (Who I have no doubt had been a Man U player would have seen gerrard be suspended for much more than the supposed 3 weeks and better than his actual punishment of a yellow card).

Secondly Alan Smith "assaulted" David Unsworth with a two-footed tackle which, if it had landed, would have left Rhino permanently scared and unlikely ever to play football again.

I think Nolan was over the top, it was a shite tackle, but the intent was not a patch on the two I mention!

Dick Fearon
13   Posted 06/03/2009 at 23:48:06

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I have not refereed a game in the past 220 years and I was wondering if a current referee enlighten me if the following laws still exist. It used to be the case that a referee witnessing an incident involving a known player or club official that bringing the game into disrepute he was obliged to report it to the relevant football authority. That was his duty even if the incident happened on a local high street.

If the incident occured from the moment a referee arrived at the playing venue up to his departure he should penalise any violation of the laws as if it occurred during the actual game. Finally, Is ungentlemanly conduct still an offence on books?

In the dim and distant past an old ref told me that the ungentlemanly law covered just about everything.

Dick Fearon
14   Posted 07/03/2009 at 00:22:26

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That was when I sent Methusalagh off for misconduct with one of the vestal virgins.
Or maybe I meant 20 years ago.
Anthony Dyer
15   Posted 07/03/2009 at 01:38:19

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Oh shit, now we have Graham Poll opening his big mouth and sharing his unbiased opinion in his column he says:-

?It will be worth looking at Mark Halsey refereeing the Everton versus Middlesbrough quarter-final tomorrow. The Bolton referee looks to be carrying an injury which has slowed him down this season yet he continues to officiate. He used to run about like a man possessed ? not so now, which is why many colleagues question his fitness.?

If that?s not enough he follows it up with a testimonial to the Boro Manager:-

"Managers under pressure can often instruct their teams to adopt a ?dogs of war? mentality, so it was great to see that Gareth Southgate was rewarded for staying loyal to his footballing principles last weekend. In their tough home fixture against high-flying Liverpool, Middlesbrough conceded their first free-kick in the 73rd minute and won the game 2-0 ? great respect for the laws and the referee."

So no pressure on Halsey to book any Boro players as Mr Poll has singled them out as a really clean team and not like those horrible ?dogs of war ? teams. Obviously if Halsey is not having the game that Poll thinks he should be having then simple feign an injury to himself and replace him with the 4th official. I think we'd better be prepared for anything on Sunday and the crowd need to be as voiciferous as they were against the RS and Villa.

Derek Thomas
16   Posted 07/03/2009 at 04:44:46

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Just what is it the much vaunted 4th official actually does? What is the ref's earpiece for? The Southern Hemisphere Union and League both have a judiciary panels that that can impose post match punishments for ?unseen? infringements and in league the ref can give a no deal crossed wrists signal to ?upstairs? over an incident that was a bit iffy for it to be assesed. They are for the most, ok but (despite what Dick might say) the Aussie panel alway seem to find an infringement for a kiwi team before a big game. but it will be better than nothing.
Gavin Ramejkis
17   Posted 07/03/2009 at 12:48:59

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You could have no reason whatsoever to defend or try to lessen the extent of these atrocious assaults against players. The guilty parties should as a minimum be excluded from playing for the amount of time their victims are unable to play. The argument that these shite teams are battling for survival as a feeble excuse for some players’ antics is not enough. The injured players’ teams can equally be fighting for a higher place in the league or European qualification and the effects have just as detrimental effect as relegation in these hard financial times.

By not cutting out a cancer you allow it to spread and perpetuate, idealogical but nevertheless wholly appropriate in the days of multi million pound average players where the cold truth is someone has denied the owner deliberately of use of their belonging(s) which I believe is the basic description of theft - The actus reus of theft is usually defined as an unauthorised taking, keeping or using of another’s property which must be accompanied by a mens rea of dishonesty and/or the intent to permanently deprive the owner or the person with rightful possession of that property or its use.

Wes Burgin
18   Posted 07/03/2009 at 16:01:42

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Wenger is the last person who should be commenting on this sort of thing. Arsenal?s disciplinary record under him is a disgrace.

Bad tackles happen; some are intentional and pre-meditated. I don?t think Nolan?s was a particularly good tackle but I don?t think it was intentionally that bad. I still play and often when stretching I go over the ball or go in studs up. Not to hurt anyone ? just in the hope I might nick the ball away or get the ball with such force that the player stays down (but not injured!).

I think a lot of these comments are made by fat middle aged men that have forgotten what it's like once the adrenaline starts pumping.
Neil Alecock
19   Posted 07/03/2009 at 16:11:51

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I think Moyes and Anichebe’s comments after the game saved Nolan from the FA looking at the case further. What I think happened wasnt so much that Nolan went to hurt Vic deliberately, but that he went in cowardly. Victor’s challenge was fair but hard and Nolan instead of pulling out and looking a right toot in front of a desperated St James Park decided to protect himself but coming down on Victor. This in itself is the ’assault’ for which he should be banned further. In addition there should be monetary compensation to Everton and Victor, from Newcastle or Nolan as the lad himself might lose out long term as will we right now!
Jason Broome
20   Posted 07/03/2009 at 15:35:32

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Absolutely spot-on Alan!

The FA is old, bloated and weak. Rio Ferdinand was banned for 9 months for missing a ?drugs test.?

Commit a section 20 GBH (Offences Against the Person Act 1861) offence, worthy of 5 years imprisonment on a fellow professional and they ?SIN BIN? you for 3 games... Joke!

Even in the absence of mens rea, the tackle would still be ?subjectively reckless? and worthy of the same 5 years.

It maybe a contact sport but deliberately breaking someone?s leg is not entertainment! If you ?maliciously? break another?s leg you should be banned for the duration of that injury. Only then will such tackles stop!

Good post!
Nick Armitage
21   Posted 07/03/2009 at 20:05:59

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I think Arsene the hypocrite would soon change his mind when the FA came down hard on his band of dirty, niggling, cheating gobshites.

Arsenal are a horrible team who stretch fair play to its absolute limits, something that the media never pick up on.
Rob Hollis
22   Posted 07/03/2009 at 23:57:10

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Glad you mentioned that. Arsenal are probably the worst team in the league for pulling shirts, diving and general ’gamesmanship.’

However, they do play some nice stuff and are from London so criticism is not allowed in the national press. There again neither is very much truth in general.
Mike Allison
23   Posted 08/03/2009 at 13:03:04

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Got to jump on the anti-Arsene Wenger bandwagon here. People use him as an example of all that’s good about football. He’s a cheating, whingeing hypocrite, completely devoid of all the honour and integrity our own David Moyes displays every chance he gets. The fact that his team passes the ball really nicely seems to excuse him almost anything else. I’m sorry, but football is measured on goals, and Wenger’s team just aren’t up to it. In the past, this has led to him moaning about ’physical’ opponents, he’s also moaned about ’defensive’ opponents. The first moan is ridiculous because his own team has an atrocious record of red cards, and their overall disciplinary record would be worse if it weren’t for the subconscious bias referees have towards the team they expect to win in any given match (if that sounds paranoid I see it as a measure of our success that this has started to go our way in games recently, although not at Blackburn). The second point is ridiculous for obvious reasons, why shouldn’t a team defend?! That’s part of the game.
Alan Kirwin
24   Posted 08/03/2009 at 19:24:22

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Wes Burgin

"I think a lot of these comments are made by fat middle aged men that have forgotten what it’s like once the adrenaline starts pumping."

I think your comments come from someone who hasn;t actually seen what Nolan did. If, as you say, you play the game, you will obviously know that you don’t "stretch for the ball" with two feet. And even if you are a freak of nature that can do that, you don’t do it by leaping off the floor and stamping on a player’s leg, with both feet landing at precisely the same time.

Sorry old boy. I’m neither old nor fat (can’t speak for others) and you are simply talking bollocks.
Graham Brandwood
25   Posted 08/03/2009 at 21:37:32

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I think we have to be careful that we do not overreact here. Wenger and his mate Plattini will not be happy until football is a non-contact no-tackling game. Our referees have no understanding of the game and I think there is a danger that all late or high tackles will lead to a red card no matter what the intention.

The reason our game is the most watched in the world is its pace and passion ? we do not want to lose that. There is not always malice in a bad/dangerous tackle; correct me if I am wrong but did Lee Carsley damage Cahill?s knee with a high challenge a couple of years back?

Tim Wardrop
26   Posted 09/03/2009 at 09:44:44

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All these comments about banning Nolan until Anichebe is fit again are ridiculous! Yes, it was a horror tackle, and yes it should be punished. But to say he should be banned until Victor is back is crazy. If we took that sort of justice in the real world then we would be bringing back the death penalty for murder. Or worse - if you got burgled the punishment would be that you could burgle the thief’s house back!

Two wrongs don’t make a right etc.....
Peter Laing
27   Posted 09/03/2009 at 15:44:17

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Have to agree with the comments that both Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor seemed to have an ?agenda? against Everton given their local connections. Hasten to add that this collusion manifested itself during pre-match preparations, during training and following a cozy chat with Joey Barton.

If I was an Everton player, say Jags or Joleon Lescott the Newcastle game at home next season would be the first game I would be looking out for. I distinctly remember the assault on Adrian Heath by Brian Marwood that literally finished Inchy?s career, from recollection Pat van den Hauwe swore retribution and if I am correct Marwood never had the bottle to turn out again against Everton.

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