Date: 24th February 2008 at 2:36pm
Written by:

Nobody knows if Martin Taylor intended to go over the top and plough straight into the shin of the Crozillian striker, and unless Eduardo called Taylor a name prior to the incident and then the Brum defender goes on to write a book, then nobody will ever know.

But malicious or not, it still doesn’t excuse this awful tackle.

Whilst Taylor may be feeling bad this morning (not as bad as Eduardo I can assure you) the fact of the matter is, that this whole situation was Martin Taylor’s doing, it was completely avoidable and he should be held accountable. As Arseblogger quite rightly stated in today’s edition of Arseblog, surely there is something wrong in the system when a petulant slap from former Gooner, Jeremie Alliadiere on Liverpool’s Mascherano (who got away with the self same act might I add) warrants the same length of ban as a despicable tackle that could ultimately cost a man his extremely promising career.

As Tim pointed out earlier in the day, this Premier League season has been plagued with two footed tackles, indeed, our own Denilson was culpable of such a cowardly act earlier this season, and was rightly chastised by Arsenal fans. However, it was always likely that it was going to take such a horrible injury as Eduardo’s before people started to pay attention, and even now that’s still not happening.

Every pundit in the land seeks to take the moral high ground when such a dangerous tackle is made, demanding that these reckless & despicable challenges be ousted from our game, yet when someone actually connects with one of these flying lunges and causes serious injury to players like Eduardo, Jimmy Bullard or Abou Diaby, the self same pundits jumps to the defence of the culprits claiming ‘they’re not that type of player’ or ‘it was clumsy rather than anything else’.

Bullshit.

After a good nights sleep, I’d be fairly certain that Martin Taylor never leapt into that tackle hoping to get the outcome he got, but I’d be willing to wage a pound or two that the words of his manager’s pre-match talk were still ringing in his ears telling him to get stuck into the Arsenal players, rough them up a bit a knock them out of their stride. Did he mean to shatter the ankle of Eduardo? no. Was it his intention to, in the words of Sam Allardyce, get amongst them? Most certainly so.

Those of you who disagree have to wonder how much force and effort you have to put into a tackle for such an injury to occur.

We spoke, at length, a year or two ago about football teams playing ‘anti-football’, the act of stopping teams from playing football by enforcing negative tactics in the hoping of securing a draw or even the possibility of snatching three points with a break-a-way goal. While the use of such tactics resulted in ugly, frustrating and boring football matches, it could be understood from the perspective of the smaller teams to whom which every point was vital, but the practise of ‘anti-football’ has now manifested itself and has a much more dark and sinister side.

Kicking players to knock them out of their stride is unacceptable, it goes against the spirit of the game and, as was proved yesterday, can be dangerous to not only players limbs, but also their livelihood.

So to all those people who accuse Arsene and Arsenal of whinging about not liking it rough, if this is what you call true English grit………then you can stick it up your arse..