Red cards, retaliations and reckless lunacy

There’s been a lot of colourful comments about these incidents so to add my petrol to the fire… If you’re a Chelsea or QPR fan then read no further, you have been warned.

Nemanja Matic
Everyone goes on about Ashley Barnes’s tackle being a leg breaker, but let’s just hold off with the emotive language and have a look at the incident again.

Throughout the game, Matic was getting angry because he felt he was getting nothing from the officials, so in some ways, Morinho had a point. If any of the earlier challenges on Matic had been punished, he wouldn’t have blown his fuse over this one.

Let’s face it, that’s what it was all about in my view; Matic deciding enough was enough and he had to protect himself.

So, we look at it again.

Barnes on Matic

Barnes plays the ball before Matic appears and in completing the motion, makes a really heavy contact with the leg of Matic. Now, can we say that Barnes went on with the intent to deliberately tackle Matic in that manner? Hard one to call.

Curiously, there wasn’t much reaction from the players, who through experience, can tell when it’s a nasty, malicious tackle. When it’s a bad one, the instinctive reaction of the players kick in, this time there was little, to my view. Most of the reaction comes AFTER Matic loses it and bowls over Ashley Barnes.

So let’s just stop demonising Barnes. By no means is he innocent, as it’s the style in which he plays, but in no way is it a deliberate, malicious tackle with intent to injure Nemanja Matic. A nasty incident, true, but it all comes down to the referee’s earlier decision making; a card earlier would have saved a sending off.

Joey Barton
Oh, Joey. When will he ever learn? What on earth was he thinking?

Reading some of the QPR message boards, it appears most of the supporters have had enough of him after this incident and his faux apology is the latest in a long string of them, after he’s proved once more he can’t control his actions.

Ok, the original tackle by Darrell Furlong on Nikica Jelavic isn’t clever, that’s not the issue. The impending yellow card for that is about right. However, captain Barton (who made HIM captain, for pete’s sake?) decides he needs to ‘protect’ Furlong from the naughty words by Hull players to the referee.

He takes exception to whatever Alex Bruce trotted up to say, giving him a shove away, then when Tom Huddlestone adds his twopenn’th, Barton loses it and without thinking, swings his hand in an underarm fashion to clip Huddlestone in the fruits.


Some of the fans or QPR are suggesting that Bruce and Huddlestone should be disciplined as well. For what??? Bruce makes no contact with Barton, and neither does Huddlestone. To put it bluntly, Joey Barton couldn’t deal with it. He’s his own worst enemy and I’m sure he’s been in the referee’s ears more than once to try and get a player booked, or even dismissed.

Pot calling kettle black, in more ways than one. If anyone in the future decides to offer Barton a contract, they cannot complain if he racks up more disciplinary issues, he has form and not good form either.

Just don’t ask him to name the capital of Thailand, will you?

Shab Khan
Ok, this one you probably won’t have seen, although you might have on social media, but it puts Matic and Barton to shame. I have never seen the like on a football field and I doubt you will have either.

Worcester City at home to Stockport County. Apparently a bit heated at times, with one sending off already for Stockport. Into the 89th minute and Stockport County’s Charlie Russell upends Khan by the touchline with a rash challenge, but the full back’s response will leave you flabbergasted…

Shab Khan

He picks up Russell and slams him to the floor WWE-style, and everything kicks off. Referee Antony Coggins (hah, there’s a name known to the fans of my club, Hampton & Richmond Borough) must have felt he was in the ring somewhere as he had to effectively fight to restore control.

Russell, in the end, got a yellow card for his somewhat reckless challenge, and Khan? Well, he got the red card and I suggest that might be his season over. He’ll get at least 3 games for the red card and if the referee’s report is sufficiently strongly worded, he might get one or two more. All before his club makes a decision, and Worcester City will have to make one, no doubt about that.

No doubt the lad will claim provocation, but that’s no excuse and we don’t need that kind of incident. Khan’s future is now on the line, its up to Worcester to decide how they want this to go. Discipline the boy and a line will be drawn under the matter, do nothing and it turns into a farce. It’s Worcester’s call now.

Manchester Evening News


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