To a defender, a great goal-saving tackle is even more satisfying than scoring the game winner. But a bad tackle can end up with someone in hospital (usually Stuart Holden).
A string of bad tackles and inconsistent refereeing decisions have blazed through the Premier League like a Joey Barton cigar through a young man’s eye. First, Kompany went in recklessly with a two-footed, studs up challenge on Nani. Not only did he make zero contact with the Portguese player, Nani didn’t even try and con the ref with some strategic moaning and face-clutching. Nonetheless, Kompany was hit with a four match ban. Not too long after, Glen Johnson and Benoit Assou-Ekotto both committed dangerous tackles that went completely unpunished.
In order to straighten the mess out once and for all, referee Mike Riley has decided to intervene.
Mike Riley, general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Limited, has met with the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and the League Managers Association (LMA) as well as leading referees to clarify exactly when a tackle will be deemed dangerous.
“We wanted to get a collective game view rather than just a referee view as to where to draw the line,” Riley, a former FA Cup final referee, said in a statement.
By their powers combined (Go, Planet!) they have put together a “How to Tackle” DVD that will be sent to every club in the Premier League. The hope is that everyone will get on the same page and finally understand what warrants a red card or a yellow card or a high five for being totally awesome.
This is an adorable idea and it will not accomplish anything.
“Mama mia! I’m-a not allowed to-a step on a-Scotty Parker’s head? I-a feel a-so ashamed! I wish I had a-seen this-a DVD sooner,” Mario Balotelli isn’t going to say after watching the DVD.
But I appreciate their efforts. And to show that I’m doing my part, I will leave you with the greatest tackle ever made by the greatest defender in Premier League history. Do it like that, and you’ll never go wrong.