Despite all the hand-wringing from the weekend, I actually quite enjoy the dark side of football.

For my latest project I’m watching a load of old games.  Today’s is Italy v Argentina from the 1982 World Cup.   This was a belter, with lenient refereeing and fouls galore.  Great fun.   Diego Maradona v Claudio Gentile was a key duel:

As I say, terrific.

So does that make me a hypocrite?  Very possibly.  But I’m watching Italy v Argentina as a neutral, Fulham v Wolves is different: if my team is prevented from winning by unfair tactics then I will, of course, be outraged.    It’s how it works, isn’t it?  Part of football’s great pantomime.

27 thoughts on “Hypocrisy?

  1. I tell you what else is interesting: this is the second ttime I’ve watched Italy v Arg – the first time I was watching Passarella of Argentina, the second (now) Scirea of Italy. Frankly it’s a completely different game. So it’s probably no wonder we’re arguing with Wolves fans: we’ve both seen different matches.

  2. Hi, weltmeisterclaude
    I understand but my point, as I said, is about the timing of your comments. Many people are deeply upset by what happened to Bobby. And despite what you might understand about the incident, the strong evidence is that it was no ‘accident’. I take it you’ve looked at the photos.
    You might also want to look up Law 12 in FIFA Laws of the Game:

    Serious foul play
    A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality
    against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
    A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
    serious foul play.
    Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the
    front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force
    and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
    Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless
    there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send
    off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.
    A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off and play is
    restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred


  3. Perhaps you had to be there. It was a full-blooded power tackle (nothing wrong with that)
    Although Henry may have intended to get the ball if he could (and he did) he also intended to stop Zamora whatever – hence the scissors move and having hold of a chunk of his shirt & pulling him down (the actions that did the damage). By definition, ‘serious foul play’. The winning of the ball is not the issue, it’s the follow through that broke Bobby’s leg and the evidence of intent is there for all to see in the photos if you weren’t a first hand witness.

  4. Best commentary on Henry/Zamora that I’ve seen is from a previously unspotted poster on TIFF called Chris: Monday, September 13, 01:27:00pm (

    “I have looked at that tackle again and again and he did get the ball first. Alan Mullery used to make tackles that got the ball first and clattered the man second and we loved it. we’ve had a few down the years who could do it. I played a lot of football myself and made the same tackle time and time again, being a slow centre half. There is a way of doing it cleanly. Twist your hips as you go down and after you have got the ball you roll onto your front and your legs don’t wrap around anyone. Henry chose not to do it and clatter Bob instead. Those days are gone and while he didn’t mean to break anybodys leg he did mean to clatter him.”

    Chris also draws the apt conclusion:
    “If you play right up to the maximum that the law allows you cannot help but go over that line frequently and injure people. You are then being dishonest if you claim to be hard but fair.”

  5. I also was there albeit on the other side of the pitch. From my unideal position my feeling at the time was that it wasn’t a bad foul.

    I watched Football First but turned away when they showed the tackle half a dozen times from different angles in slow motion and am thus unable to analyse it further. I’m not convinced that doing so is helpful in deciding or guessing the intent of the tackler or the referee’s competence.

    The problem with Wolves is well expressed by Chris’ second paragraph above and the problem for Dowd, a referee who likes to let a game flow, is that there weren’t early horror tackles merely a succession of close to the line niggles. He clearly lost patience in the second half.

    I despise the Wolves way of playing but I’m not convinced that the Zamora injury was anything other than an accident (perhaps one waiting to happen) or that Dowd’s refereeing was a cause.

    What we will see, I think, is that referees will be primed to stamp down on Wolves in the next few games. Whatever we may think they aren’t collectively, interested in doing anything to encourage this type of play. I think Wolves have been found out.

  6. davidgrantsinclaire / tony

    Look at the photos I linked above (they’re not nasty) Clearly a foul (follow through after contact with the ball), intent, violent conduct (using FIFA definition of)

    1. it’s not *clearly* though is it? You could equally ask how he’s supposed to win the ball without impeding Zamora afterwards (and yes I can see the shirt pull which isn’t nice). I’m not condoning the tackle or anything, but bringing this (ambiguous issue) up diminishes the wider (unambiguous) point of Wolves’ dirtiness, which many of their fans are still putting down to a Match of the Day witch hunt.

    2. A scissors tackle is one of the most dangerous – that’s why it draws yellow and red cards, someones leg might get broken!!
      A defender avoids this by rolling his hip as he tackles – unfortunately Karl Henry does not have this level of skill but what he did was serious foul play that cannot be excused as ‘clumsy’ or ‘awkward’.
      Wolves supporters (most of them) are in denial over this and their team’s strategy, sure enough.

    3. I didn’t say what happened wasn’t a foul, I was merely pointing to the fact the FA know Wolves are a punk team and fined them accordingly. It was most definitely a foul, but I have to agree that even with photographs it is hard to determine intent to harm.

      And there’s no ‘e’ at the end of my name. Perhaps some Caledonian relative that still spell Sinclair that way, but the American branch dropped it some time ago. :-)

      1. Noooooooooo, David.
        Intent is not an issue, no more than getting the ball is. FIFA rulings say the ref as to determine whether a tackle endangers an opponent, pure and simple. If it does then it’s a red card offence. As was said above, the scissors tackle is one of the most dangerous in football, strictly not allowed, and the photos clearly show that happening.
        (apologies for the mis-spelling of your surname earlier btw)

  7. Whether or not it was a foul doesn’t seem an issue for me. The cleanest of games will have a dozen of those.

    It’s whether the tackle went beyond what is acceptable and my point is that Wolves did that collectively but hardly at all in individual incidents.

    1. They committed fouls “hardly at all in individual incidents”???? I’m only concerned about one tackle. It happened. It was bad.
      I won’t bore you with details – they’re all in my posts above.

  8. On a slight tangent – I was pleased we got rid of Michael Brown. I think he could be labelled hard but fair? Hmmm not so sure about the fair. i think he was just dirty sometimes and not Fulham style. Thoughts?

    1. I agree of course.

      We all looked the other way when he stamped on Ryan Giggs and sort of pretended it hadn’t happened. Except that type of thing did happen quite often with him.

    2. Oh, thank Christ… I felt like I was the only one. In my short time as a Fulham supporter (I’d put it at five or six years now?), he’s clearly been, far and away, my least favorite player to watch.

      I currently live in San Diego and we had an absolutely awful friendly scheduled here over the summer, with a ravaged Portsmouth squad playing Club America (Mexico) in the rather cavernous Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers.

      Club America basically bosses around a Portsmouth youth-squad that only shows faint signs of quality from Dave Nugent, with the few other experienced, full-timers not standing out…

      …except for Michael Brown… who happened to start two separate incidents with America players behind the play.

      No touch on the ball, can’t shoot for shit, but he’ll kick the hell out of you and give you a stomp for good measure. I never looked away from that and the moment he left was a complete blessing.

      I’ve waited to get that off of my chest for years, just never had a proper audience. Apologies for angst.


  9. and then there was PETER STOREY
    Ask Ray Lew about Storey.
    An enforcer of the deadliest kind acquired to save FFC from relegation. He kicked Ray Lew up in the air and caught him again on the way down.
    Certainly did stiffen the Fulham defence but alienated most supporters. Went down for several prison spells after leaving Fulham.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s