All new articles are now appearing in the new blog entitled 2012-13 and there will be no further updates here although all the older content from previous posts is still right here and has not been deleted.
I decided to let the latest escapades of Mr Barton die down a bit before mentioning it and seeing what the outcome was going to be of the FA hearing regarding the length of the ban for his actions in the game between Manchester City and QPR on the last day of the season.
Just in case you were living on Planet Zorg at the time, Barton and Carlos Tevez were involved in a minor fracas near the start of the second half which resulted in Barton elbowing Tevez claiming it was in retaliation because “he started it” - sounds like two small school boys. Barton's red card that followed was only really a minor part of what happened as following this he maliciously walked behind Sergio Aguero and with a serious look of intent raised his leg to knee Aguero from behind. There was then an attempted head to head with Vincent Kompany and then more and more fracas followed as Barton was being escorted from the pitch by former team mate Micah Richards as even Mario Balotelli (still on the subs bench at the time) tried to get involved.
Barton then claimed on Twitter that the reason he acted as he did was to try and get a City player red carded too by provoking a reaction. He suggested that this idea had come from a Rangers team mate although when and how this message was passed to Barton in the heat of the moment remains a mystery which makes me doubt very much its truth. This was much more just one man on the rampage having lost the plot and not the opposite with a cunning plan and completely in control of his actions. When Match of the Day aired on the BBC later that evening Barton was at it again on Twitter with his words aimed in particularly at Alan Shearer. He claimed that he could take the criticism aimed at him from Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker – but not Shearer who for a short while was his manager when Newcastle were relegated to the Championship in 2009. The two fell out when Barton was sent off with three games remaining and causing a bust-up in the dressing rooms between Barton, Shearer and Ian Dowie with Barton claiming that he was “the best player at the club”. Shearer had criticised his tackle that had caused the red card calling it “a cowards tackle”. Barton allegedly called Shearer “a shit manager with shit tactics”.
Throughout his career he has been dogged with controversy, incidents and disciplinary problems. In 2008 was sentenced to six months imprisonment for common assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool city centre. In the same year he was also given a four month suspended sentence after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Ousmane Dabo – a former team mate at City at the time.
Other incidents have continued through his time playing at Newcastle and now at QPR. These include conflicts with Gabriel Agbonlahor, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Abou Diaby amongst others. This season he began with an altercation with Arsenal's Gervinho which ended up with the Ivory Coast player getting sent off on his debut. Alex Song then stamped on Barton and received a three-match ban. On moving to QPR he soon became involved in a confrontation with Wolves Karl Henry – something that had happened before between the two and in January he was sent off after allegedly head-butting Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson although the replays did seem to suggest that Johnson did go down extremely easily.
QPR fans started getting on Barton's back as the team continued to dice with relegation with Barton even admitting to some of the worst performances he had put in through his entire career during this spell. Rangers fans even cheered his substitution against Liverpool – a game that they would then come back to win after Barton had left the field.
So we come back to the latest and worst red card of his career against his old club Manchester City and having reviewed the evidence, in its wisdom the FA have given Barton a 12 match ban and Barton has also decided not to appeal the longevity of this suspension which in theory means that we will not see him on a field again until probably October at the earliest. On first glance the ban does make some sort of sense – three red card offences so therefore four match bans for each totalling the 12 matches. But as ex-players now working as media pundits such as Robbie Savage and Danny Mills have already pointed out that this appears to be severely harsh when you put it up against some of the long-term bans handed out recently. Take for example the Luis Suarez ban which the FA themselves described as “This act of racism has damaged the image of English football around the world”. The end result was an eight match ban – just two thirds of Barton's.
It has been said many a time that reputations follow players around and this is a classic example. Whereas Suarez has only been in this country since the beginning of this year, the FA probably do not much idea of any misdemeanour’s that Suarez has committed before coming to these shores. Barton on the other hand has continually been in the public eye throughout his career in England and I guess it is natural behaviour for a referee to believe that if a tackle is committed by Barton the same as lets say Ryan Giggs – the chances are that the referee will be a lot more lenient with Giggs as he would be with Barton.
This most recent incident – highlighted by the fact that it was such an important game for both clubs (although it really should make zero difference) and being transmitted live around the world at the time has surely now just put the icing on the cake for Barton. Any slightest glimpse of a chance that he had of proving himself a reformed character has now gone whatever he now does in the future. Will Mark Hughes keep him or even play him at QPR next season remains to be seen and if he does try to off load him will there be any takers? If QPR are going to do any better than this season they need to keep eleven men on the pitch more often - playing with ten men on nine occasions is never going to help matters. Personally, I would look to ditch him if I could (depends what is in his contract I guess) because for all the good that he does have in him, he is a targeted player. The other players know this, the fans know this and the referee's cannot avoid this too.
Below is some video of the action. Note that at the start Paul Merson's Sky commentary is out of sync with the BBC pictures but then amazingly matches moments later - I guess that the magic of Match of the Day editing and not having the game live.
His name is Ronni Bendtsen - and he joins the ever-growing list of players that.....how can I explain it? To call him a "cheat" really undervalues that term. To me a cheat is somebody is conniving, perhaps in some ways quite clever as they have managed to bend the rules to their own advantage. But what we see here is just plain unforgivable in anybody's book. If I were Sepp Blatter I would introduce some new rules of which one would include any playing feigning an injury such as this will be banned for life, the red card is automatically rescinded and the game is awarded to the opposition. I might even suspend the guilty team, suspend the manager and so on because only such strict actions such as these are going to rid our game of morons such as this for good. Every year we see FIFA and UEFA supporting fair play and every year we see more and more idiots such as Bendtsen still doing it and getting away with it.
After the awful scenes at Tottenham last month that saw Bolton defender Fabrice Muamba have a heart attack on the pitch and is very fortunate to still be alive and recovering today - the same thing has happened again so soon after this with the ultimate tragic circumstances where the medics failed to revive the player.
Italian Under-21 international Piermario Morosini has passed away today during a Serie B game playing for Livorno against Pescara. Tragically the player (on loan to Livorno from Udinese) has died, the match was abandoned and all other Italian matches this weekend have been postponed as a mark of respect.
How can this have happened twice in such a short period of time? After what happened to Muamba I am sure that there were many players not just in England but across the world that had extra health checks administered and clubs would have been keen with many even insisting upon these checks taking place.
Just to recap - If you are expecting a video of this incident to appear on this blog then you are wasting your time. The concept of this blog is to provide video content that might make you flinch and go "ouch - that hurt" or it might show some really stupid incidents whereby whole teams have been involved in a fight amongst themselves, the opposition or even the match officials. But the intention of this blog is not to show videos that resulted in very serious injury or even death. I am sure that these videos have been posted elsewhere and the curious and especially the morbid will track them down but they are not for this site. This article is written in respect of the actual death today of a professional footballer and no more with its intention to inform.
Strictly speaking - this video features a dust devil and not a tornado but whatever it is - it is of a violent and potentially brutal nature hence it features on this particular blog. I think it is one thing to go lets say tornado hunting following those weird weather systems and placing yourself as close as possible to the danger and then keeping your fingers crossed that the twister goes the other way at the last second. I am sure that many people do it just for the adrenallin rush - most of them must in reality be a bit nuts - in a way its a bit like a game of chicken.
In this instance though, none of these kids or anybody attending this game could have foreseen what was about to happen next. No stormy skies - in fact pretty clear and blue and from nowhere and within seconds - chaos!
It is common knowledge that over the years that the game has changed in the way that red cards have been issued. For example, back in the 70's rash tackles and challenges that by today's standards would only be considered as actual grievous bodily harm have no place in the game and players such as "Chopper" Harris and Tommy Smith would probably never have become the players that they did back then.
Coming forward in time to 2010 and the FA Trophy Final at Wembley between Stevenage Borough and Barrow at Wembley Stadium and here we see two red cards issued which can both be easily described as without question and if anything should have seen much more action taken (especially the second one). Robin Hulbert - the Barrow player seen using an elbow for the second one was quoted as saying that leading with the elbow is "just part of the game" - in this instance he should have been charged with assault. Stevenage player Charlie Griffin was left needing stitches around his left eye, a broken nose and broken cheekbone. I have to ask myself the answer to this analogy - God forbid should Griffin's injury been any worse would the police then charge Hulbert with manslaughter or even murder? Back in the real world then why was he not charged with assault?
But surely - as bad as all of this was - what actually compounds this is the ITV commentary team who must have still been living in those past periods of the 70's with what they said. I believe the co-commentator was Gary Johnson and how he can say that the first red was given after a fair 50/50 challenge for the ball and failing to mention a leg going in studs first to the mid-rift and claiming it was fine because it was not two-footed! The referee showed the red card "without any consideration" - he didn't need any! "I think he's unlucky - it's a shame being in the final - its a marginal call" - are you kidding me? So the rules are different because its a Wembley final? Maybe its because like Gary says later on that the Wembley facilities and medical teams are excellent - well that makes it fine then to utilize this and go in with the over the top challenges? I hope ITV reviewed this tape afterwards and handed their own reprimands.
If you are going to attack a referee - then you could face what happened next to this guy - arrested on the spot!
In the heat of the moment, his brains have gone AWOL - we know it happens, we have seen it many times before - even within this very blog. But alas sense always appears to be halted in its track as the red mist descends down and players turn into raging bulls. If steam could come out of their nostrils - it probably would.
In this instance we see Raimundo player Derlan losing it in a game between his team Sao RaimundoAM and Iranduba in the Campeonato Amazonense regional league in Brazil. In other instances including videos seen right here, we have seen many referees that appear to be completely unprotected or needy assistance is very slow in coming. In this instance, the response is first rate and quick and decisive - I bet the ref was pleased!
Action from a "ladies" match in South Carolina. This insignificant trip resulted in a total of 11 punches being thrown (although some of them look more like slaps) as well as some hair-pulling. Note to the culprit in this instance - Annette McCullough - ice hockey is played with sticks and a puck and the surface is white - not green. She is now facing assault charges handed out by County deputies which she received before leaving the ground.
The following video shows the lunatic fringes have spread to Tanzania - perhaps they have been on this blog and been watching too many South American clips! The biggest curiosity has to be the referee as I am trying to work out what he is doing. It is difficult to make out what is in his mindset as surely as soon as the first punch was thrown he should be straight out of there and the match should be abandoned (in my opinion and that is what I would be doing in his shoes). It's almost as if he is asking for more trouble.
The other point worth raising is the guilty player shown in this clip - Stephano Mwasika of the Young Africans Sports Club (aka "Yanga") could be banned for up to one whole year (which is the maximum allowed in this league). Whether it is this incident, the infamous Cantona kung-fu kick into the crowd or many of the other attacks on match officials as seen on this blog, I cannot believe that any of these players will be allowed to play again - ever! If you have ever played or been involved at grass roots football in England for example, I guarantee you that for a lot less than you see going on here, you could easily be receiving a sine-die ban which in affect would see you potentially banned from playing for life and that includes any affiliated football team or league. And here we are all thinking that we really are all playing under the same set of rules - yeah right.
Note - there is no sound on this clip but just having the visual gets the message across without any problems.
A while back I posted a video showing Rangers player Kyle Lafferty going down from a "severe" head-butt. It ended up being added to the Funnies blog because it was so pathetic. Well here we have another case of "The Lafferty's" which is how I will now address them. The latest player to join the Laffery Club is Borussia Moenchengladbach's Brazilian born Belgian Igor de Carmago. It is also interesting that on de Camargo's page on Wikipedia it states and I quote "He can also play as a diver".
His victim here is Czech defender Roman Hubnik playing for Hertha Berlin who must have known what was coming next. If he had acted more quickly his only defence was to go down in exactly the same way at precisely the same time and then let the referee decide.
All of FIFA, UEFA, the press, the pundits - all want this sort of action outlawed in the game yet it still persists - why? Simple - players continue to get away with it as we see here. Any referee that buys into this is as guilty as the player that has perpetrated the act. If players want to go down in this way then I have a solution - why not shoot them for real as this is an action that they seem to be trying to portray. But really the authorities need to act strongly and any player found guilty of this kind of Lafferty play-acting needs to banned from all football for a minimum six months but preferably at least a year. If I want to see terrible acting I will go to the local theatre or go and watch a cheap movie - just get it off of the playing field PLEASE!