Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 30 May 2015 03:38:22 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Lilywhites64 On diving. This should be part of the video replay discussion. Post match review should a) review all red and yellow cards; b) review violent conduct missed by the ref; c) review dives. b) and c) would attract the punishment (in terms of reds and yellows) that the player would have received if the ref had seen the incident properly.a few additional yellows and sit-outs would i think have a pretty substantial impact. Mon 27 Sep 2010 13:15:11 GMT+1 pekster11-save 606 93# i doubt valencia have more support in spain than atletico to be honest.valencia have big support in the valencia region obviously, but outside of that area, they get little support.atletico are a popular club, with support, throughout spain, no just in the traditional atletico areas like south madrid, castilla la mancha and extremadura Fri 24 Sep 2010 15:20:35 GMT+1 mark #110Is this a wind up or a practical joke, if it it is pathetic to call previous bloggers stupid. Arsenal are right up there at the top of the sending off league since the Premiership began, becuse players likeMartin Keown and Patrick Vierra left a litany of injuries behind them. A few were down to diisent but most were down to stop the man at any costs tackles, take off the rose tinted glasses that Arsenal team were brutal. I remember a Chelsea Arsenal game at Highbury where Keown committed two brutal tackles on Vialli in the first 5 minutes. In more recent times think back to the Man United game that came shortly after United had knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League. The vile Patrice Evra rubbed it in with his men against boys comment and when the teams met at OT a couple of weeks later the tackles going in on Evra from the Arsenal players were just about the most vicious concerted attack I've ever seen on one player in a game. Take off the rose tinted glasses, Arsenal tried to intimidate Chelsea in the League cup final and Eboue and Song love putting it about big time. Thu 23 Sep 2010 19:30:58 GMT+1 Olumide Fagbeja A lot of stupid bloggers point to the time of Vieira, Petit, Keown etc with Arsenal having the worst disciplinary record as an argument against harsh discipline for bad tackles.Can any of these bloggers actually mention the number of red cards Arsenal players were getting at that period that were due to bad (leg breaking) tackles. From my recollection most of their cards were due to niggly tackles, dissent and difficultyly of the referees to understand their English (most were not good English speakers). I have noticed that foreigners generally get yellow and red cards for minimal challenges in the premiership because the ref cannot understand their accent.We see people like Gerard, Scholes and a host of English players get away with similar tackles all the time. Thu 23 Sep 2010 17:36:16 GMT+1 stevie_bhoy Some injuries are from innocent-looking tackles, these cannot be avoided. Some injuries are from aggressive tackles where the opponent makes no attempt to play the ball - these can be avoided. It's not rocket science fellas. Ujfalusi got a 2 match ban, double the normal suspension, and that seems about right to me. Keep enforcing this type of thing and the number of shocking tackles will surely reduce. Then we get to watch more of the likes of Messi instead of games when he's sitting in the stand. I guess that's why people care more when it happens to him - because they actually want to watch these type of guys and don't really care so much when it's a mere "mortal". That's only natural. The key thing is to have longer suspensions across the board for tackles like this.De Gea is much better than a good keeper. He is exceptional and unbelievably good considering his age, turning in quality performances in Europe and La Liga. Exceptional again last night - is there another keeper in world football on better form over the past year? Thu 23 Sep 2010 11:57:20 GMT+1 HeyHudson @john (105)"After all, its worth remembering that Barcelona players are just as physical (and borderline dirty - Mr Danny Alves!) when they want to be."Agreed, and I surely can't be the only person who remembers a certain Mr. Messi head-butting opponents (on more than one occasion) whilst waiting for a corner to be delivered. Thu 23 Sep 2010 11:45:21 GMT+1 United Dreamer john - a bit harsh on De Gea especially regarding decision making. He is only 19. Thu 23 Sep 2010 11:38:02 GMT+1 United Dreamer Looked like a poor tackle - not a malicious one. Poor tackles happen that are accidental and poor tackles happen to intimidate the flair players. Its always happened, its not a growing trend, its a subsiding trend, if anything, due to post game punishments now being meted on the basis of video evidence. I would hate to see it go out altogether because the physical aspect of the game adds to the spectacle. Its important that skilful players are protected to an extent but not to the extent that defenders are afraid of putting in a challenge for fear of being publically pilloried through all tabloids for the next week when they mistime it. There is a balance to be achieved though.But at the end of the day terrible injuries happen - some at the hands of bad tackles and some as a result of bad luck (look at Valencia's). Its part and parcel of the game. All players accept it - including those not paid to play the game. Its what makes it a man's game. Thu 23 Sep 2010 11:36:42 GMT+1 john Perhaps the most important statement is "Admittedly, we are only three games into the season here in Spain and Valencia have yet to face any of the big guns like Barcelona, Real Madrid or even local rivals Villarreal". Lets not get carried away by a team that is on the verge of falling apart for real. Defensively, they are not strong and the fact that Trezeguet was able to make and play with such space is proof that against the better teams they will struggle in the same way that Arsenal will struggle against say a Chelsea or United. I fully expect Valencia to finish somewhere around 5th or 6th and not challenge for the title.De Gea. Okay, good keeper, good shot stopper. But is he really good enough for the stresses of English football? Lets think about Manu Almunia without laughing for a minute! His strengths are his shot stopping ability just like De Gea. His weaknesses though? Well, his decision making and ability to cope with the pressures placed on goalkeepers at corners and balls into the box. De Gea looks good, but if he moved to United (or Arsenal as reported in AS yesterday) can you tell me that opponents will not deliberately target this side of his game? He wont get the kind of physical game in Spain.As for the Messi tackle, lets not make Ujfalusi into the great monster of football. It was widely accepted that the tackle on Eduardo which almost cost his career was an accident; late, wreckless but with no intention to hurt the player. Just because this is Messi that is injured, that doesnt make it 100 times worse. After all, its worth remembering that Barcelona players are just as physical (and borderline dirty - Mr Danny Alves!) when they want to be. Thu 23 Sep 2010 07:33:08 GMT+1 oldswankid There's an old Jewish saying which fairly well sums up the attitude of Msr Wenger and most football managers and supporters for that matter when it comes to dangerous tackling, diving to deceive the referee and other forms of cheating/gamesmanship: we have eagles' eyes for the faults of others and bats' eyes for our own. Thu 23 Sep 2010 04:21:30 GMT+1 Pollyk @ No.2. When are you people going to realise that Tiny Taylor didn't try to "DO" Eduardo. He went for the ball and VERY unfortunately missed. If you wanna see somebody "DO" somebody - watch Souness - I think you'll see a huge difference in challenge type.Watch Taylor's challenge again (not the aftermath) and then try and tell me he was deliberately trying to hurt Eduardo. Unfortunately for Taylor it is the result of the tackle and not the actual tackle to which people refer. Even the ref on the day was non fussed until he went across and saw the injury, only at that point did the hand reach for the card.Just my viewKRO Wed 22 Sep 2010 22:53:31 GMT+1 samdiatmh he looks like a leading candidate for the Bravo Award that goes to the top under-21 player in European football. ========================As well as Thomas Mueller Wed 22 Sep 2010 22:23:29 GMT+1 litela I have always had a soft spot for Valencia, and I miss the days when they made the Champions league final about eight or nine seasons back, with the likes of Gaizka Mendietta. I hope that they can replicate their early season form right through to May!As for the Messi tackle, it indeed was a bad one. But I feel it's getting more prominence because it was on Messi. I'm sure they would not have been as much hype had it happened, sau to Maxwell. I'm not standing up for Ujfalusi- I think it was a horrible tackle, but I think every incident should be treated equally. Wed 22 Sep 2010 17:58:57 GMT+1 Twirlip The tackle on Messi is being blown way out of proportion, simply because it involved Messi. It looks like a routine late tackle of the sort you see many times in every game. Wed 22 Sep 2010 17:11:54 GMT+1 AntonioSaucedo By the way, Valencia's goalie's name is César, just César, not César Sánchez. He goes by his first name, like Raúl, Pedro, Joaquín, etc. That's usually the case when a player's last name is too common. Many go by a nickname like Guti, Xavi, Juanito or Xisco (Newcastle player). Some go by both name and last name, like Sergio Ramos, or by name and middle name like Pedro León or José Enrique (also a Magpie). The best nickname ever? Santillana, a Real Madrid striker in the 70s and early 80s. Santillana is the name of his beautiful Cantabrian hometown. Wed 22 Sep 2010 15:32:17 GMT+1 JakeSE Compare this blog with the media reaction to the near-Eduardo injury on Diaby at Bolton. There is none. It's extremely difficult to find a video of it. You can see a picture of just before it.Now how is it that this tackle is not mentioned on MOTD, any news source or the ilk, despite it being a much more dangerous tackle than the one on Messi, whilst this one sees calls for long bans? It's ridiculous and exposes a deeply disturbing bias. Bias is fine as long as it isn't actively protecting people who do this to others. Wed 22 Sep 2010 15:08:40 GMT+1 Idioterna "strikers be given greater protection" Why? Who? How? Is it only strikers who cost more than £25M? Maybe they should all be forced to wear Teletubbie outfits for extra padding. Wed 22 Sep 2010 14:36:36 GMT+1 bgb02burns Thomas Muller deserves any European U21 award going. Wed 22 Sep 2010 14:32:02 GMT+1 pope999 I think there's a problem in general at the minute with football and tackling, FIFA always are interfering with new rules (off side rule, silver goal, golden goal just to name a few) also making the balls much lighter, and they say it's for the good of the game, please. Sometimes you can see a perfectly good tackle be it sliding, from behind etc, but obviously dangerous intentional play needs to be stamped out but i think we all agree if we have say, Man U vs, Liverpool or City and you have one of your tougher players getting stuck in, i.e. Vidic, in games like these you as a fan feel yeah because it's a game where it means so much, we need to make a line between good and bad and have FIFA stop making silly changes.FIFA say no cameras etc, as they want to keep it grass roots, well do kids, guys like us who play 5-a side earn these vast amounts of money, or have a ball that's lighter than our old one? But we allow cheaters to prospire, Henry & France vs Ireland? Just because Ireland are a smaller team with less star studded players, but if they wanted to show a good image then surely punishing Henry & France from the World cup would've been a start and give confidence to smaller clubs/national teams.Goalkeeper, well i think Casillas is superb but i think Buffon is the best, positioning, agility, bravery, marshalling his defence, just a shame he has constant back problems, Cech i feel is slightly underrated, i feel Van der sar is better can anyone mention a GK as good and comfortable with the ball at their feet? (even at current age) but was his decision to go to Fulham cost him his reputation amongst Casillas, Buffon, Schmeichel, Kahn etc..Best U-21 player...can Ozil, or Thomas Muller, Muller had an amazing World cup, and amazing debut season playing virtually every game once he broke into the Bayern team, and how cool and motivated was he in the big games in South Africa, he knocked England out, and then helped knock Argentina out clearly a guy with a big game mentality. Wed 22 Sep 2010 12:52:28 GMT+1 stevie_bhoy Stevat, no-one wants to see diving in the game, but that is another discussion altogether with many different facets to it. The number of tackles that physically necessitate a player being grounded by a tackle are in the minority in any game of football, yet how many times do players go down? Do you get a foul if you stay on your feet? My point is, it's irrelevant to this discussion.I can't for the life of me understand why anyone needs to tackle in a stamping motion. No need to make excuses about planting legs, it's just not required. To say he couldn't have meant it because of Messi's speed isn't right, football is all about split second decisions and flicks of the leg or foot, of course it's possible. Otherwise, that suggests it is pure luck if you manage to successfully tackle a fast player. It wasn't a block tackle, because he was the wrong side of Messi - he knew he was getting away and just took him out, it's incredibly obvious.I don't think we care any less when it's a less well-known player, it just rightly doesn't get the same exposure because it's a less important game. We enjoy watching guys like Messi every week and don't want to be denied that pleasure - with all due respect if it happens to someone in the Championship it doesn't directly bother me or a load of other people who watch top level football regularly. My point is, those who make dangerous tackles should be disciplined appropriately, at all levels. Wed 22 Sep 2010 12:48:06 GMT+1 Stevat #92, two different things really. Valencia are a bigger side than Atletico, they have a bigger stadium, bigger attendances, and more fans. Atletico are a more successful club though. I'd say big was a measurement of size, not success. But then, I'm a Newcastle fan, so I'm not really sure what success is. Wed 22 Sep 2010 12:00:03 GMT+1 pekster11-save 606 with a current stadium of about 65000, they are probably Spain's 3rd biggest and best supported club. In recent years they are the only team to have threatened to or actually have challenged the big 2 of Barca and Real.................................atletico madrid fans would contend until blue in the face, that historically atletico are spain's third biggest clubs.. with 9 league titles they are third in the all time list behing the big 2 ! Wed 22 Sep 2010 11:26:42 GMT+1 rugbytomc Valencia still have a great squad - but I just don't know if they will be able to keep hold of players like Mata in the next couple of transfer windows. How long can a club that much in debt really carry on? especially in these harsh economic times. It would be a tradgedy for football - especially spanish football, if they fell away - and would be an even bigger fall from grace than Leeds in English football. Wasn't so long ago they won the spanish league and finished runners up in the champions league. with a current stadium of about 65000, they are probably Spain's 3rd biggest and best supported club. In recent years they are the only team to have threatened to or actually have challenged the big 2 of Barca and Real.Another talking point of the weekend for me was Ronaldo's re-taken penalty. He paused on his run up and was ordered to re-take it. The rules have always been that you cannot dummy a penalty. So begs the question - why wasn't an indirect free kick then given to the opposition when he did just that? Why does he get a chance to re-take the kick? Did the player who handballed it get a second chance? (never a handball by the way but thats another story!). If a player takes a foul throw in - do they get a chance to re-take it? No. Something that doesn't happen very often but should be looked at I believe. With all the money involved in football, i think we need a better standard of refereeing across the globe. Will that ever happen? doubtful - as ref's don't pull in the money from TV companies and sponsors - so will never get paid that much - enough to make them more accountable and to spend more time training. There just needs to be more consistency from refs. The season is still young but already the "big tackle" debate has begun raging again. It's the players the problem comes from initially - they think that if they don't "mean" to hurt someone, then its ok to be completely reckless. Referees need to clamp down on these kind of challenges, and I think largely they have - but the players need educating. I wonder if Joe Cole had been on the receiving end of his tackle against the Arsenal defender (can't spell his name!) then he would have felt a red card was too harsh. Same for Ujfalusi. Wed 22 Sep 2010 10:33:31 GMT+1 Stevat Seems like it would be hard to assess a goalkeeper in any way. How do you ascertain whether or not Casillas say is better than Diego Alves at Almeria for example? I dare say Diego Alves gets through a lot more work, and is exposed (in a footballing sense) far more. Seems all very subjective to me. That said, I remember Buffon of the early part of the last decade being nigh on invincible. He's starting to wind down his career a bit, but is still one of the best about. Of course I know Casillas is superb as well, but then he has to be if he wants to keep his place for Spain - as in most areas they have an abundance of talent in goal. Did you see Reina's threee or four outstanding saves the weekend before last?Still think people are missing the point in this tackle business. It shouldn't have anything to do with the players involved, saying we want to see skilful players protected is both clichéd and provocative. So we should care less if a less talented player has his career ended by a bad tackle? As it is the tackle wasn't bad or malicious, just a mistimed tackle with a planted foot on a planted foot at speed. Almost impossible to time, and almost certainly committed without malice. My team's goalkeeper, Steve Harper, was injured badly by Beckford in our game against Everton at the weekend and will be out for several months with a shoulder ligament injury. It was more to do with the way he landed, but you could argue he wouldn't have had to land had he not been kicked up in the air. It was a foolish challenge to make, he was never going to get to the ball before Harper did, and he would have been better off trying to block the clearance. He went in both feet off the ground hard and fast, yet he hasn't been condemned in the press for it. Nor should he be, he was trying to play the ball, but was too far away to get there and so caught the player instead. It wasn't intentional and the resulting injury is unlucky. He shouldn't be castigated for it, as Ujfalusi shouldn't be castigated. Wed 22 Sep 2010 10:25:58 GMT+1 Stew10 #85Why has the entire Arsenal fanbase decided to descend on this thread to make comments? ---------------------------Probably because some of them mistakingly believe that their players need more protection (than others): not according to Harry Redknapp who thinks that Nasri got too much protection last night, took on board the lessons from simulation class and took a dive. Wed 22 Sep 2010 10:07:44 GMT+1 Phil Minshull Top Left: “Id like to nominate Joe Hart as a contender to the young keeper's throne though.” Joe is a great keeper and still young by most people’s standards but at 23 he’s too old for the Bravo Award, which covers all positions, as it’s for players under 21.Dan: “If De Gea is a favourite, surely so must Aguero? Looking back at past winners, the players weren't particulary standout, but all went on to have great careers.” Like Hart, Aguero is now too old, He turned 22 in June. Going back through the list of winner, I reckon you have to go back to Eli Ohana in 1986, although Israeli football fans may disagree with me, to pinpoint someone who didn’t have an excellent senior career.UnpleasantTruth : Phil - Valencia are an interesting package - the last team outside of the Clasico Cartel to win the league. What do you think it would take for them to challenge again?” To be honest, I don’t have a concise answer to that. If they don’t have injuries to important players or suspensions at the wrong time, why can’t they keep going? They are fully capable of getting results against the ‘big guns’ i.e. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla for starters. The big issue for me is whether heads go down if salary payments get delayed again. The defence also needs to improve dramatically, Cesar Sanchez can only do so much and I’ve been surprised at how mediocre a few formerly solid players like Miguel and David Navarro have been so far.GigiBuffon1: "(Casillas is) arguably still the world's leading goalkeeper. He never was!” Of course, I can guess where your affections lie and you are backing a winner yourself. This is always going to be a subjective debate but the respected International Federation of Football History and Statistics have named Casillas as the best goalkeeper in the world in 2008 and 2009, succeeding Sr Buffon who was their top man in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007. (Peter Cech won the honour in 2005.) If it’s of any comfort, the IFFHS reckon that Buffon is the all-time best man between the posts, which is assessed over the course of a career. Wed 22 Sep 2010 09:59:39 GMT+1 mightysid if the person who tackles a player is he red carded should not be aloud to play until the person who was tackled is fit to play and then serve his banit would seriously make the player think about his tackling and the manager about encouraging them to put in tackles to knock players out of the game Wed 22 Sep 2010 08:33:21 GMT+1 Matt Bennett "I'm of the opinion that he's currently the best young goalkeeper in Europe at the moment"Phil, I understand this is your opinion, but have you considered Joe Hart? He is currently the best performing goalkeeper in the premiership and I know he's slightly older than De Gea but only slightly. Where do you feel De Gea is better than Joe Hart? What areas of Hart's game would need improving to be as good as De Gea? In my opinion there is nothing that needs improving with Joe Hart which is why I consider him a better keeper than De Gea! Wed 22 Sep 2010 08:16:38 GMT+1 Sciatika Why has the entire Arsenal fanbase decided to descend on this thread to make comments? I thought it was supposed to be about the European and, particularly, the Spanish game.The tackle was late, studs up and justified a red card. But, you have to say Messi is an amazing player. I had a nasty one a few weeks ago resulting in ligament damage (and am still recovering, thanks) and there is no way I could have rolled over that many times because my ankle hurt too much. It was no surprise to find out that the knock was a relatively minor one. As far as calls for protection are concerned, the only reason they do that is to "psych out" the refs for future games to give their teams an advantage. Essentially, it's cheating. Wed 22 Sep 2010 07:44:39 GMT+1 Andy I really don't get this hysterical reaction to the tackle.Yeh it wasn't great but I've seen hundreds of tackles much worse, maybe it's because people aren't allowed to touch Messi or maybe it's the ten rolls he did after. Get a grip, this is football. Wed 22 Sep 2010 06:55:37 GMT+1 Gooners are forever 1 Having watched the foul on Messi, I can honestly say this is the kind of thing that goes on every week against arsenal players and in general most teams in the premiership.Why is it such an uproar? IS it because it's the great Messi? Is it because it's Barcelona, who are meant to be holier than thou, even though they are the most awful tapping-up arrogant team in the world? Where is the outrage about these tackles in the Prem?I would suggest it's due to the ridiculous amount of diving and ease at which people go down in Spain. Is there no middle ground. Decent hard tackles but not ridiculous leg breakers.Messi's only out for 2 weeks! Doesn't that show it's just hyped rubbish because it's Messi. Diaby, eduardo and ramsey have all been out for a year after their 'horror' tackles. Do me a favour! Wed 22 Sep 2010 06:43:38 GMT+1 camphor LI_74_HEC Winners 2011Thanks for telling us about the entirely relevant details of your education and job. Unfortunately neither seem to have taught you how to construct plural nouns in English. (Clue - you don't need an apostrophe.) Only slightly undermining yourself there then. Use of multiple exclamation marks is also very mature. Wed 22 Sep 2010 01:41:14 GMT+1 emilio hello there, as per the messi tackle. what is wrong with these men out there. in hockey you have the heavys, whose only job is, to take out the player that is giving their team a problem, usually a fine athlete like messi. but they are not only damaging the game their reputations, but possibly a mans career. they could well takeout an athlete that would bring joy to a world of inthusiasts, for the rest of his life. the damage to us is minimal compared to the suffering the harmed player would live with for the rest of his life, not ever possibly be able to play again. shame shame shame. wake up guys, you make to much cash and have a fortunate chance in life that even equally talented people that didn't make the radar missed. wake up. yours, emilio, toronto Wed 22 Sep 2010 01:19:01 GMT+1 random50 Don't agree with Minshull here. I've watched multiple recordings of that tackle and I really can't see where he's coming from. Professional foul, certainly, and clearly a second yellow as a minimum. But I don't see any intent to injure Messi.Messi was moving at pace. It would take remarkably good timing to make such a precisely placed impact.That said, I'd not be against much harsher treatment in general of professional fouls. I'm not opposed to an automatic red regardless of the situation in play rather than the current ruling which takes into account whether a clear goalscoring chance was denied. Tue 21 Sep 2010 23:57:07 GMT+1 Smack Good article, and some really good comments...but this one by Stuart J:"The 'take no prisoners' approach has at least one benefit - it discourages the kind of creative falling over that is so prevalent in the modern game."is completely backwards.As to the tackle, I'm with Sid. I saw it as Signori did. I didn't think it was so bad until the replay. Even then I didn't think he'd be so injured. When I saw him on the stretcher my heart sank. Tue 21 Sep 2010 23:29:11 GMT+1 Kennys_Heroes #25. At 3:28pm on 21 Sep 2010, LI_74_HEC Winners 2011 wrote:" is too short to waste my life trying to educate simpleton's, so jog on!!"Oh go on, please! At least teach us to use an apostrophe like you do!And to anyone else who enjoys stomach-curdling injury in their "sport", why not just join the army?#74 - I enjoyed that! Tue 21 Sep 2010 22:54:13 GMT+1 BarcaGooner Well said Phil. It is a travesty that players like Ujfalusi, Karl Henry and Shawcross are allowed to get away on the grounds of plausible deniability of intent and remonstrations of "football is a contact sport". I think most neutrals will be more interested in seeing more of Messi and Ramsey than any of the aforementioned thugs. Hope that the Spanish Federation leads the way in pulling up Ujfalusi. Tue 21 Sep 2010 22:34:24 GMT+1 Amanda Cerasale I still expect Barca & Real Madrid to be there or there abouts come the end of this season, Tue 21 Sep 2010 21:49:07 GMT+1 Top Left I watched the second half of the game.I noted De Gea and thought i was watching the future Spain goalkeeper. Reminded me of a young David James but with a calm head and no calamity. Very agile and athletic.Id like to nominate Joe Hart as a contender to the young keeper's throne though.I also thought that Ujfulusi's tackle was meant to take Messi as he'd basically gone by him but it'd didn't look that bad at the time... and on a related note...No mention of Puyol's elbow to face which left the Atletico player on the floor ? Way more cynical than Ujfulusi's attempt... Plus it's something Puyol's got form for... Tue 21 Sep 2010 21:35:24 GMT+1 simon_17 This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 20:55:05 GMT+1 49 and thats a wrap #52, that's pretty biased. The assaults on Arsenal players were often miles off the ground, studs up. That by itself is proof you're not going for the ball. You should NEVER tackle that way. It's like throwing rocks at cars or putting plastic bags over your head. It's just too dangerous. It's not a coincidence so many Arsenal players have suffered leg breaks. Not ankle or metatarsal breaks. Leg breaks. Tue 21 Sep 2010 20:19:08 GMT+1 49 and thats a wrap If it were Arsenal (in England, obviously), instead of Barca in Spain, the defender would be heralded and his name sung around the ground, like Shawcross. Messi's teammates would be labeled as wussies who can't handle "proper tackles". All the comments about how these things happen is exactly why England will never go far again in the WC. Tue 21 Sep 2010 20:03:29 GMT+1 scotitalia I wonder if this will ever be read but.....It seems to me that after watching the world cup, the art of good tackling seems to have all but disappeared. It almost always consisted of taking the player and not the ball. Almost every contact was a foul. In Italy you can see the extraordinary number of yellow cards dished out compared to the UK (Scotland and England) This encourages rollin'n tumbling knowing that the defender will get a yellow. Instead of punishing the diver, let the good old fashioned tackle back (train them to tackle) this would eliminate the diving to a large extent. After watching Man.utd v Rangers I was pleased to see that good fair tackles were in abundance and that neither team play overacted to get unfair results. The ref was one of the best I've seen recently...but no one says well done to a ref! In short, too many defenders at the highest level don't know how to tackle.......just how to push, pull, elbow, obstruct and look big. (p.s. when I was young the habit of putting yourself between the ball and advancing player when the ball is heading for the by line was called obstruction. When was the last time anyone ever saw an indirect free kick given for this offfence??????)Please let me know! Tue 21 Sep 2010 19:51:20 GMT+1 GigiBuffon1 "and arguably still the world's leading goalkeeper."He never was! Tue 21 Sep 2010 19:40:51 GMT+1 Rob04 #66He was a classy player though Diego claimed he tried to 'do' him again with a similar tackle when he came back to Spanish football after Napoli!Great video clip though this would be pretty tame stuff compared to Scottish Junior football!! I think there was also something similar (going way off track here) in a match in Northern Ireland last year Tue 21 Sep 2010 18:20:06 GMT+1 messimerised More like who cares about LI 74 .... May i suggest you pay a visit to the OPTICIANS!!!!! Tue 21 Sep 2010 18:18:11 GMT+1 OJM Horror tackle is very harsh. If it wasn't 'Lionel "Best Player In The World" Messi'®™ , then would people go on about it in the same way? Not at all.I f it had been a tackle by Hercules' Cristian Pulhac on Yves Desmarets of Deportivo, then would:a) The journalist be treating it a "Return Of The Horror Tackle".b) The Spanish press and fans be treating it as a massive deal.c) English fans be debating it as though it's the worst thing ever.No is the answer to all of the above.It was a clumsy challenge, but that's the nature of the game. As it is the player will be fine (good news as he's a great player), the tackler was punished and honestly ... It wasn't THAT bad. Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:53:50 GMT+1 botxopirate Despite that moment of madness, Andoni Goikoetxea was a classy player. There was A LOT behind that "tackle": Barca and Athletic were not exactly on good terms player-wise in those days and things did not help when the former signed El Pibe. Although the animosity went on for a few more years, things culminated with the Cup Final that season and this was Maradona's reaction to losing 1-0 ..... to Athletic Bilbao, of course! Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:41:48 GMT+1 Czechmate I cannot see how the Ujfalusi tackle was a horrow tackle, watch it at normal speed and Messi is simply too quick for him. He goes in strong with one foot and gets his ankle, on any other player nothing would be made of this tackle. Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:40:19 GMT+1 s3v3n Er... right.. OK, got moderated(censoredbycheleasfan?) because I said, @jcb211 Drogba is a beast of a player and plays the opposition defence by going down easily if he doesn't think he has a chance of winning the ball, but charges around like a bull if he has half a sniff. Which causes defenders to be unsure of how to deal with him and guess what, the moment they make a soft challenge, they are bullied and the ball's in the back of the net. Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:34:58 GMT+1 Stevat Stevie_bhoy, fair point, but if you aimed to stamp on Messi's foot your timing would have to be amazing given his pace, surely he was just trying to plant his foot to execute a block tackle. He stayed on his feet and was just too slow to get the ball. Remember as well, if you don't plant your foot when executing a tackle like that, you won't win the ball, and quite often will pick up an ankle injury of your own, ask Didi Hamann. I agree he should have been sent off, but for a second yellow for what was clearly just a mistimed tackle and not an attempt to hurt someone.Diving is another issue yes, and though unrelated is morally reprehensible. I don't think a witch hunt is necessary with regards to it, but it should never be accepted in the sport. It saddens me that some people don't see it as a problem or simply view it as part of the game, sporting endeavour and common decency appears lost on such people. I'm sick of the win at all costs attitude applied by some, can we not have a game that is rooted in virtue and entertainment please? Divers must surely fear the natural vengeance of karma? Besides, who wants to win something knowing they have done so unfairly? If an England player had dived to win a penalty in the World Cup Final, I would hope he'd miss or simply not celebrate a win. Perhaps you should apply that to Scotland given your title. I assume you think the same? Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:20:21 GMT+1 mark The only time I've ever heard the Sky pundits say that they thought a player deliberately "did" someone was when Eboue broke John Terry's foot a couple of years ago, strangely enough Arsene Wenger saw nothing wrong with the tackle. So, although I feel sorry for the Arsenal players who have suffered long term injuries I cannot sympathise with Wengers stance over rough play. He won his first two titles with probably the dirtiest team seen in England in recent times and I can't ever once remember him apologising for the behaviour of Keown or Viera or any of the numerous sending offs. The Daily Mail have just carried out a survey about the physical nature of teams in the Premiership and Arsenal have the smallest and lightest squad. Most football watchers have known that Arsenal haven't had a big physical ball winner since Viera left and maybe if he brought in some bigger players the smaller players trying to win the ball wouldn't feel like Middleweights against Heavyweights and suffer less injuries. It must also be remembered that it is not always over the top tackles that cause the worst injuries. Valencia's was innocuous and Essien has missed six months of the season in the past 2 years and Bosingwa has been out almost a year injured. Football is a physical game and as it gets faster and faster and the footwear becomes more flimsly then more bad injuries are inevitable.Any playr who sets out to do another should face a very long ban, but proving intent would be incredibly difficult. Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:16:03 GMT+1 boils I didn't think the tackle was that bad. If it was a tackle. To say it is the return of the horror tackle is a vast exaggeration and a total ignoring of numerous tackles over the seasons. Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:12:18 GMT+1 stevie_bhoy Good blog Phil, surprising and welcome to see Valencia pick up maximum points thus far. Anyone who thinks it's normal for them to do so can't have watched much of them away from home over the years - very inconsistent and that was with better players. On De Gea, some may disagree but I think he actually looks even better than Casillas did when he broke through, who was still prone to the odd fumble.On the Ujfalusi debate and these type of tackles generally - I despair of comments like "he's not that type of player" or it was simply mis-timed. Only a certain type of player goes in with a stamping motion - what possible advantage would that bring you if you are genuinely trying to win the ball without causing some sort of injury to the opponent? It was a disgraceful challenge and only in the UK would anyone defend it, I find some of the comments here incredible. The "accidents happen" argument is laughable - yes, frequently players are injured in innocuous looking challenges - why on earth does that mean that stamping on someone's ankle is ok? I mean if someone drink drives, is it an accident if they kill someone? After all, they didn't mean to. Believe it or not there is a way of tackling without being dirty. Dangerous tackles need to get the punishment they deserve, and full marks to the referee for giving this one the straight red it deserved.When people bring diving into the equation, a different issue altogether, it really only shows how limited their understanding is. I think they would be better off watching rugby or aussie rules. Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:07:15 GMT+1 s3v3n This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:06:23 GMT+1 Stew10 #56It's funny to see Arsenal fans talk about strong challenges and then start criticising Nani and call him a diver. Basically when most people seem to express an opinion on football, they're only defending their own team's interests.----------------------------------Yes possibly the same ones who thought that Eduardo did not dive to win that penalty against Celtic in the CL qualifiers last year! Even Arsene defended him but then that is Wenger for you. Tue 21 Sep 2010 16:33:43 GMT+1 jcb211 @56 "It's funny to see Arsenal fans talk about strong challenges and then start criticising Nani and call him a diver. Basically when most people seem to express an opinion on football, they're only defending their own team's interests. If Martin Keown was still playing for Arsenal and hypothetically he broke someone's leg in a challenge, Arsenal fans would defend Keown. I don't think a lot of people really think carefully about these issues, they just instinctively back their own players."-------------------------------------------------------------------Yep, definitely often true and I'm guilty of it sometimes. But, I am the first to criticise when any Arsenal player dives. Loved Paul Jewell's approach to it - it also meant that refs didn't think the Wigan players were going to dive so it worked in their favour (benefit of the doubt and all that). I think that if players indisputably dive a la Rivaldo v Turkey, Pedersen v Arsenal, even Dida v the celtic fan!, they should be heavily punished just so we can try and get past it. It really gets me down, especially (and here comes the biased bit!) when Drogba goes down for 10 minutes then comes back on and belts in a winner!!! He's a monster of a man and he always pretends he's really hurt. Weird!I did love Keown, but only because he was so old-school. I remember how funny it was when owen at his peak was through so keown grabbed hold of him and pretended he matched him for pace. Straight red, and was absolutely hilarious that he thoguht he'd got away with it!! Tue 21 Sep 2010 16:30:21 GMT+1 Vox Populi I also think the bans for diving that some people are calling for are utterly ludicrous.You can't talk about outlawing strong tackles in one breath and then put diving in the same category.One can seriously maim another professional and end his career. Although we don't like to see players deceive the ref, the worst it can do is rob a team out of 1 point or 3 points in a football game. It doesn't rob people of their career.How can you prove a player has dived? For a start you need numerous replays to prove there was no contact. Different angles can show different views to back one side or the other. Also, if there was no contact, how do you know that he hasn't just gone to ground to avoid a strong challenge, the type that people here are condemning?It's funny to see Arsenal fans talk about strong challenges and then start criticising Nani and call him a diver. Basically when most people seem to express an opinion on football, they're only defending their own team's interests. If Martin Keown was still playing for Arsenal and hypothetically he broke someone's leg in a challenge, Arsenal fans would defend Keown. I don't think a lot of people really think carefully about these issues, they just instinctively back their own players. Tue 21 Sep 2010 16:06:17 GMT+1 SimplyTed LI_74_HEC Winners 2011 - do your qualifications and jobs make your "opinions" right. It was a horrific tackle!and the #25..."Still, life is too short to waste my life trying to educate simpleton's, so jog on!!"Use of the phrase "jog on" come on how old are you. Also, you say you don't want to waste your time but comment again no fewer than 10 minutes later, oh wait it was less than 5 minutes later.Great blog though :) Tue 21 Sep 2010 16:05:20 GMT+1 Dan If De Gea is a favourite, surely so must Aguero?Looking back at past winners, the players weren't particulary standout, but all went on to have great careers. Tue 21 Sep 2010 16:01:36 GMT+1 superflysig Regarding no. 18. Was that just an attempt to create controversy? I know you are a lawyer, but defending someone who appears to be guilty is not required all of the time you know. I have always rated Ujfalusi as a player though to be honest and although it was a heavy tackle, I would not have thought it was a pre-meditated attempt to injure. Apart from anything else, what's the point with that long left? Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:59:32 GMT+1 Nevs_A_Red #48, I totally agree with the comment about the let him know your there attitude. It is ridiculous, and the English game does far too often applaud players who's only mission is to commit fouls, or go in over-aggresively. I remember posting about the Wolves v Newcastle game, and the number of people who defended the way Wolves played - in particular Henry - was appaling. And... what do you know - next match, Henry injures a fellow player! Now I'm not saying he's a dirty player, but he was obviously out to fould and "put himself about" in the wrong way. Had he been sent-off and banned, then maybe it would curb this sort of behaviour.However, none of the tackles that injured the 3 Arsenal players, were actually violent/reckless tackles, or by players who had been throwing themselves into tackles all game, or at all in their careers for that matter. They all had reputations as decent guys, or good tacklers. Particularly the Shawcross incident, he didnt even throw himself in - he just swung his leg to kick the ball - yes it was a hard kick, but he's a big bloke!What I'm trying to say is - too many people seem to not be able to distinguish between deliberate bad tackles that deserve lengthy bans, and unfortunate accidents.On the final point on Arsenal - I have yet to see what I would say was a team going "over the top" against Arsenal. It is just a true fact, that Arsenal are quite flimsy I'm afraid, and managers know that you can upset them with hard, robust - but fair - tackling.#49 - too right. Thatcher should have been banned for life, as it was a pure assault - he could have actually killed Mendes, let alone injured him! Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:57:42 GMT+1 JoC #46 Stevat - you make a very interesting point emphasising just how much the public seemingly leap to the protection of certain footballers, castigating their so-called attackers as being beyond criminality whilst worse tackles made on lesser known players go completely unmentioned. You joke about the groundsman comment but I really believe if that scenario you described ever did happen the media would camp outside the poor mans' house, we'd get stories on the news how he used to pull the wings off daddy-long-legs at school and that he was a weirdo - he'd become infamous.There is a hypocrisy damning Arsenal for seeking protection for their players, whilst it is encouraged for universally popular players like Messi. By the way, why hasn't Arsene put a bid in for David De Gea...don't tell me buy-out clause 100m? Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:53:49 GMT+1 Stevat jcb, there's a growing number of teams in the Premier League that don't believe they are capable of competing with top teams in terms of ability so look to other means to assert their authority on a game. If only they could see it from a different perspective, there's no reason at all why a team like Wolves or Blackburn couldn't outplay Man U or Arsenal. In terms of ability they aren't far apart at all, it's all about mentality and approach. Look at Iniesta and Xavi for instance, technically any Conference footballer is capable of what they do so well - they just don't have the footballing intelligence or vision that sets the great apart from the rest. Man U and Man City in particular have looked a bit dodgy at the back when really pushed already this year, I'd love to see more teams have a go and actually try and win those games rather than hope to snag a goal on the break and stumble their way to a point or a backs to the wall win.Trying to disrupt a teams rhythm is all well and good if you do it by pressing and coordinated defending. You're right to say that some teams cross the line though. However, that game was hardly a dirty game of football, it was just an unfortunate ending to a fairly contested, interesting game. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:48:01 GMT+1 Cuppalicious If it can be determined that a player deliberately went for the man and not the ball thus causing injury, he should subsequently be suspended for the length of the victims rehabilitation along with a cut in salary. The more I watch Thatcher's assault on Mendes the more I wish he was never allowed to play professional football again. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:46:11 GMT+1 jcb211 @Nevs a Red.I do take the point that accidents happen. But on a general note, I think there is a growing number of teams who seek to disrupt opposition rather than play football. That is absolutely fine, and is often so well done that it makes for a great game. And yes, once in a while a fully committed challenge will cause injury. However, what i find frustrating is the mindset of putting in a challenge to let the player know you're there and hopefully in the process cause some pain. It's not rugby, where players never go in with their legs (sooooo much more dangerous), and so it has got to be controlled. I really think that in England the big strong athletes are encouraged to bully the skillful players out of the game, and therefore we lack the diminutive playmaker in the mould of Messi, Kaka, Ozil etc... Instead we have terrific players in the mould of Lamps and Gerrard, but they are a very different breed.In response to why Arsenal fans always talk about this, its because Arsenal have been publicly labelled as not having the stomach to face aggressive teams, and that has manifested in, occasionally teams going over the top. Therefore Arsenal have suffered some serious injuries and one players career has been catastrophically altered. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:27:36 GMT+1 pitroddieloon This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:26:12 GMT+1 Stevat #28, why help Nani improve his diving? He's got a good enough falling technique as it is.#38 makes a very valid point that seems to be overlooked by a lot of people. Had Messi made the same tackle on Ujfalusi, would people be demanding a ban? They should be if that is their conviction. As it is, I think it's obvious there was no malice in his tackle - he was still on his feet and was just too slow to play the ball. Clumsy yes, yellow card probably, but a straight red and vilification is harsh for what looked unintentional to me. Of course I think Messi is superb, and the leading light in World football at the moment. However, it is a contact sport and accidents do happen. Had he twisted his ankle in a pitchside drain, would we look to ban the groundsman for a few weeks? There has been some fairly atrocious tackles this season that far eclipse this clumsy one, two footed knee high jobs should be eradicated without question. Missing the ball and standing on someone's foot by accident is completely different in my eyes. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:21:52 GMT+1 Nevs_A_Red #33 - Shawcross didnt dive in! He was swinging to kick the ball, and caught Ramsey in a very unlucky way. There have been many many worse tackles than the one's that injured Eduardo and Diaby too! (May want to look at a collection of Eboue's best here!) Fact is, that there are very few tackles where a player goes in to hurt another player, unfortunately, unflinching commitment to win the ball can sometimes be seen as reckless. However, can you imagine if one of your players bottled out of 50-50's - just to be safe that they didnt actually injure the opposition player? You'ld want him off straight away. It is a risk in the game that we have to accept - sometimes accidents happen!If you want to look at something for comparison - look at Valencia's injury against Rangers - now there was absolutely nothing at all wrong with that tackle, yet he is possibly out for the season. Smith against Liverpool. the list could go on.It is less the tackle that injures the player, but the whole gathering of circumstances - the connection, the position of joints/bones, how much weight is on the particular foot, the solidity of footing of either player.It is only when we can see a tackle where the player has blatantly set out to foul, and then injures the opponent, that long bans should be brought in.In short - accidents happen. Deal with it. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:20:35 GMT+1 jcb211 At 3:28pm on 21 Sep 2010, LI_74_HEC Winners 2011 wrote:No worse than the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and any Arsenal player diving or play acting to gain an advantage!!Then again, the simpleton that is the football fan are clearly lacking intelligence to understand that 'alleged' bad tackles are no different to 'diving and play acting', both are blights on the game.Still, life is too short to waste my life trying to educate simpleton's, so jog on!!---------------------------------------------------------I don't know why you are resorting to insulting people on this forum. Firstly, all it shows is that you can't argue your point succinctly, and secondly, you have absolutely no idea of the intelligence of the people you're insulting. I'm sure there are many others here who went to Oxbridge, and even some who managed to get into the Magic Circle. Quite incredible.As for your actual argument, I don't think it's fair to say that Messi and the arsenal players play acting when Messi's ankle looked horrible under Ujfalusi's challenge and some of the challenges dished out on some of the arsenal players (eduardo, diaby, ramsey, fabregas) did look pretty painful. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:17:45 GMT+1 Pickles91 The tackle was horrific. When I saw Messi stay down I feared a horrible break, and when you look at the replay there is no doubt it was deliberate. He has gone over the ball even though it was clear he hadn't a chance of winning the ball.Tackles like that should result in a 7 or 8 match ban not 3. These tackles would stop then, you go over the ball you lose 1/5 of your season. These tackles can end careers, so for doing one you should lose a big chunk of your season. I'd rather watch Messi than a defender who can't tackle.Ban these tackles, it's ridiculous. It wasn't even a question of whether Messi was too quick it was just a horrible tackle. Hopefully that defender doesn't end any careers, because if that's him not meaning to hurt someone he's going to end someones career. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:13:27 GMT+1 Londoner in exile returns The tackle on Messi was bad [not the worse I have seen though] and a red card was the only action that could be taken by the referee. It is impossible to say if the tackle was aimed at harming the player, only Ujfalusi knows if that was his intention. The basis of tackling is to take the ball and not the man. It would be ridiculous to ban tackling but there are certain players who time and time again fall foul of the rules, the late tackle being one another going in over the top with studs showing. The tackle from behind was outlawed for a very good reason, players could not take the ball without taking the man out at the same time. Is it because the game is now faster than ever before? That arguement probably has some merit. I think it could also be that certain managers send teams out with the instructions of taking no prisoners and with a get at them attitude, obviously without the instruction to hurt the opposing players. By the time the players are on the pitch, the message is forgotten and it's take the ball at all costs.How do you stop the horror tackles even without the supposed malice? The answer is lengthy bans for offenders. There is another answer, teams using defenders who can tackle. We see it so often, defenders going to ground almost guaranteeing a free kick being conceeded. Sadly tackling which is a skill just as the ability to score a goal is but it is a dying art. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:09:32 GMT+1 weezer316 #18Speaking of issues, I think your socially inept. Your mother jobs, qualifications and you ridiculous point about self esteem (bearing in mind your urgent need to bring up your mums cambridge education!?!?!) are irrelevant. She could quite obviously be the smartest woman in the world and feel bad about her sons awful posting calling its an excellent tackle. It was clearly anything but. It wasnt malicious but that doesnt mean it was a good tackle Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:08:52 GMT+1 SummersIron Why would Ujfalusi deliberately try to injure an opposition player in the 93rd minute of injury time? He might have intended to foul Messi, even to hurt him a little out of frustration, but I seriously doubt there was any intent to put him out of action. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:03:15 GMT+1 El_Snoopio The foul on Messi - I don't think he meant to injure him but he knew he was too late to get the ball and made sure he stopped Messi, clumsily.With regards to the number of bad injuries in football now - I'm not sure the tackling is strictly to blame, they seem to be from players getting their studs caught in the turf when tackled (like Valencia did recently in a clear nothing incident). I wonder if changes of boot or to the pitch has made it more common a problem, as player's grip has improved.With regards to Shawcross, if I recall correctly he was pulled back by Diaby before he throw himself into the tackle - looking back on it Shawcross should have stopped and hoped the ref game him the foul. I can't help but feel though the sneaky foul by Diaby takes a role in it, slowing Shawcross from reaching the ball in time and hence lunging to make up for it in the heat of the moment. Tue 21 Sep 2010 15:01:07 GMT+1 Bongsmon I know the link was provided to show us a clip of the tackle on Maradona but I wound uo watching all of the clips & feel i should point out the common misconception which the link states whereby Roy Keane "pretty much ended" Alfe Inge Haaland's careerIt was a shocking challenge admittedly & one with some definite malice behind it as Keane explains in his autobiography BUT Inge Haaland's career was ended due to an injury on the knee that Keane didn't stamp on & had nowt to do with Roy Keane at all. I should point out that I am no Man United fan but I always wonder why that myth has been allowed to persistAs for the challenge from the other weekend on messi - I didn't see it live & certainly can't judge it from a still photograph. Many challenges look far worse when frozen or slowed down when at real speed they can appear to be (& often are) simply genuine challenges in which the tackler has been beaten by the speed & trickery of his opponent (as in the Taylor/Eduardo incident)I also hate the phrase about skilful players being "protected" - the laws of football are there to protect everyone playing it & there shouldn't be differing applications of that depending on whether the player on the receiving end of challenges is particularly skilful or not Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:50:18 GMT+1 beautifulbarrettboy This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:50:15 GMT+1 wil35116 This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:48:54 GMT+1 beautifulbarrettboy This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:44:24 GMT+1 Stew10 I think we have to appreciate that it is increasingly difficult now for some refs (certainly in Scotland anyway) to distinguish between 'good and bad' tackles, and huge inconsistencies in how they interpret some challenges. The tackle on Hinkel by Lafferty in the third OF game last season being a case in point where the latter clearly should have been red carded but somehow escaped with a booking from a ref otherwise known for being a stickler for the rules. I think football is a contact sport (perhaps some Arsenal fans would disagree!!) but agree with #17 in the description of dangerous tackles and the less of them I see the better the game will be for it.And to echo some other points, simulation is not the mirror image of bad tackles! There will always be a class of 'imposters' (the likes of Nani, Kyle Lafferty, Eduardo and CRonaldo) who all go down in a light wind but my understanding is that UEFA have allowed simulation to be dealt with retrospectively by individual associations: testament to the pressure from Gordon Smith the ex-head of the SFA. I think that is correct but no doubt someone will tell if I'm wrong. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:44:02 GMT+1 RiquelmesFinalBall Someone Less Imaginative Stole My Username, anyone probaly would be shocked and devastated at breaking someones leg, but that still doesn't defend the fact he dived in so recklessly. This needs to be clamped out of the game with long bans. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:43:58 GMT+1 RiquelmesFinalBall I feel comparing the Ujfalusi tackle with those on Arsenal players is justified. I honestly feel, like Ujfalusi, Shawcross went into his tackle on Ramsey with a "let him know your there" mentality which is sadly built into the British footballing mentallity.(Apologies for switching a European blog to the EPL). Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:38:54 GMT+1 UnpleasantTruth Phil - Valencia are an interesting package - the last team outside of the Clasico Cartel to win the league.What do you think it would take for them to challenge again? I know Silva and Villa are gone but they still have a great spine and some solid hard-workers supporting them - it would great to have a third front opening up in La Liga.And it will have to be Valencia, as I have all but given up on Sevilla, who despite having pretty good finances are falling apart quicker than a sub-prime mortgage. Ramos, what did you do? Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:37:30 GMT+1 thefrogstar Stuart J (#4), You're not being cynical enough if you're suggesting that if every foul went un-punished then there would be no diving/simulation in football.Some players will dive to try and deceive both their team mates and the crowd, usually to hid a glaring miss or slowness in going for a ball.Of course, it's much harder for a player to dive when he's lying on a hospital bed, but I don't think any of us really want that. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:37:07 GMT+1 brian I am not defending intentionally damaging tackles, but some of the posters here seem almost to be arguing against hard tackling per se. Can they not see that, without the physical contact element, football would be a very different game? Basketball with the feet springs to mind.I admire the way Arsenal play but would people want to see a PL comprised of 20 Arsenals? Variety is the spice of life! Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:36:37 GMT+1 beautifulbarrettboy to LI_74_HEC Winners 2011Arent you precious throwing about your degree and job title. Well i suppose that means you are just always right and immune from criticism. Yes you are allowed to express your views but be prepared as this is a forum that you may get certain takes on your opinion. You don`t see me throwing my bronze swimming certificates about even though im extremely proud of them. Do people a favour and don`t come back. P.S please can you check my spelling?Back on the actual subject, i too would love to see retrospective punishment brought in for divers and cloggers alike as its usually easy to see if its intentional or just plain stupid. EG: Nani for his atricous diving should be banned for 3 weeks and forced to attend a scuba diving class! Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:35:18 GMT+1 LI_74_HEC Winners 2011 This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:32:44 GMT+1 Nevs_A_Red #2 - why when the subject of bad tackles comes up, does an Arsenal fan always come out crying about his team? lol. Yes they have had 3 tackles that seriously injured players, but they were more poor tackles, than dirty tackles - particularly the Shawcross/Ramsey incident. Arsenal are the biggest hypocrties around with regards to this anyway - remember the days of Adams, Keown, Winterburn, Dixon, Vieira, Petit?? Remember the worst disciplinary record in the EPL?? exactly - the phrase "what goes around comes around" springs to mind (please dont take this as me saying players deserve severe injuries - I just mean, that you can't moan about something your most successful side was built around!).Back to the subject, I'm delighted to see Valencia doing as well as they are - hopefully they can keep it up and break the Barca/Real stranglehold! As for the tackle on Messi....shocking, absolutely shocking. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:29:16 GMT+1 LI_74_HEC Winners 2011 No worse than the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and any Arsenal player diving or play acting to gain an advantage!!Then again, the simpleton that is the football fan are clearly lacking intelligence to understand that 'alleged' bad tackles are no different to 'diving and play acting', both are blights on the game.Still, life is too short to waste my life trying to educate simpleton's, so jog on!! Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:28:43 GMT+1 Gavelaa It was a very bad tackle, and he was deservedly sent off. But who are we to suggest he definitely meant to hurt him? I don't think criticising his president is justified either. Does Ujfalusi have a record of doing such things? I have seen far worse tackles in England, what made it look so bad was the camera picture of Messi's ankle joint folding. That has turned this incident into a complete melodrama. Messi is my favourite foreign player, best in the world no doubt about it. But it was a tackle of frustration, and if we can possibly look beyond who the tackle was on, is it still as bad? If it were Ujfalusi on Pedro for example, with the same consequences, then I doubt there'd be this much furore. Thankfully it isn't a serious injury and we can forget about it.By the way, if you want to see a tackle-lunge blockbuster, Fellaini on Kyrgiakos and Kyrgiakos on the same tackle! Last year's Mersey derby at Anfield. Both men went in two-footed, Kyrgiakos sliding in on the ground, Fellaini jumping in. Both red card offences, only Kyrgiakos was sent off though. Fellaini out for the season, in part because of his own horror tackle. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:27:13 GMT+1 crippledsheep Congratulations to Valencia, a team I have always hada soft spot for, and a club that has been shamefully mismanaged.At the risk of sounding like I am playing devil's advocate (and even worse, sounding as foolish as #12), I have watched multiple replays of the Ujfalusi foul and I really don't consider it to be anything like a horrific challenge. I'm not suggesting he didn't deliberately foul Messi, but at worst it appears to be nothing more than a trip. His feet haven't left the floor, his studs don't appear to be showing, it's just a cynical trip. I think that any injury is just unfortunate, in fact it is hard to see how Messi has been so badly hurt. Presumably Ujfalusi caught him on the bone?I can't help but feel that there have been far worse fouls which haven't caused injury, and we probably wouldn't even be discussing the matter had it been Iniesta or Pedro who was fouled. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:23:14 GMT+1 hackerjack if I had then erased anything sordid or relating to my personal life, Valencia sitting pretty in La Liga's number one spot would have featured very near the top.-------------Oh come on. You really didn't think they had a chance of beating the mighty Racing, Malaga and Hercules? What drivel. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:21:27 GMT+1 nunsandwich In reference to point 17: Most leg breaks and serious fouls are down to misstimed challenges, that if timed correctly would result in a clean tackle. Little or no careers are ended by deliberate punches or elbows however 'dirty' they are. The majority of these bad challenges are down to interpreation did the tackler mean to do it, if you look at 2 of the most recent cases Eduardo and Ramsey both Taylor and Shawcross were visably shocked by what had happend and neither had a 'dirty' repuatation, Shawcross in particular was very unfortunate that Ramseys foot stuck in the turf. So if you want to stop danger in football then you have to stop football, perfect example being last season when Bowyer put in a good challenge on Modric and broke his leg ( and yes I am a Spurs fan) Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:20:58 GMT+1 UnpleasantTruth 12# - You are clearly football illiterate if you don't know that an 'excellent tackle', as you put it, is one that wins the ball without question.I don't know which imposters you speak of; I'm pretty sure that's Lionel Messi in that picture, rather than an agent of identity fraud. Physical contact and tackling(block or sliding, hard or otherwise) are integral parts of the game. No-one is arguing against that. If we take the injury out of the argument, however, the truth remains that Ujfalusi's tackle, and other's like it are bad football, for the simple reason that you are giving away a free kick, and therefore a tactical advantage to the opposing team. Hardly the stuff of champions, eh?Lily-livered? No, just not thick. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:18:35 GMT+1 Vox Populi It's very difficult to know what is going through a player's head when he makes a challenge. I don't know if Ujfalusi's intention was to hurt Messi but it was certainly a dreadful tackle.What amazed me was his reaction afterward: he protested to the ref! Unbelievable.While it was a terrible challenge, I cannot understand the efforts of Arsenal fans to hijack this blog and start moaning about what happened to Ramsey, Diaby and Eduardo again. The Ujfalusi tackle on Messi happened in a different game, in a different league, in a different country. Are you going to start moaning again whenever a player gets injured from a tackle anytime, anywhere?I remember the Ramsey incident well, and Shawcross was shocked at what he had done and started crying moments after. There was no way it was deliberate. Ujfalusi on Messi, I'm not so sure. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:15:05 GMT+1 LI_74_HEC Winners 2011 This post has been Removed Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:05:33 GMT+1 JamTay1 Why do some posters on here compare the two offences of diving and dangerous tackling? If a player dives he may win a penalty or get a player sent off, in essence it's no different to appealing for Corners that you know aren’t yours, or claiming a ball crossed a line when it didn't. All footballers cheat to a greater or lesser extent and always will.However a dangerous tackle COULD END A CAREER. An earlier poster mentioned Eduardo, he was never the same in an Arsenal shirt after a crudle 'tackle' put him out for months. This is a far bigger problem in the English game where it is accepted that roughing people up is ok. If you go into a tackle in a reckless way that could injure a player it is a red card, no arguments that is the rule. It doesn't matter if you touch the ball (a fact almost all English players, journalists, pundits seem to forget). Dangerous tackling and the mindset that roughing players up is ok is the biggest problem in English football, and it is very interesting to hear that it is an issue that is been talked about in LaLiga. Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:01:48 GMT+1 RedSoxGooner LI_74_HEC Winners 2011 - #12Your mother must be so proud. Tue 21 Sep 2010 13:53:03 GMT+1 nunsandwich I for one am pleasantly surprised to see a story about tackling in the Spanish game, as long as the refs get the red card decisions right but don't forget tackling is a massive part of the game then I think the sport will be better for everyone. Barcelona are clearly one of if not the best team in the world, however some of the tactics they use are questionable at best. I dont think ive seen a game where Busquets has'nt tried to get someone sent off, be interesting to see what Pep says this season which Javi smash puts in a few of his reducers on some of the opposition. Tue 21 Sep 2010 13:41:37 GMT+1 The Sergio Busquets School for Performing Arts gazza11984=========================I think signori meant he was suprised to see a straight red. Tue 21 Sep 2010 13:16:53 GMT+1