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Before I started to think about my topic for the day, I was telling myself that I will not talk about the dangerous tackling. But it all changed as soon as I saw the yet another high challenge which lead to another broken leg. This was the Cagliari versus Roma game on Saturday, the highlights of which I saw while doing my customary channel surfing. Here’s the video.
Karl Henry was talking about his persistence of continuing in the fine arts of tackling and claimed that it is a part of the professional game which should never be forgotten. Even if others stop doing it, Henry himself will not. That article came out on Saturday mornings and a couple of hours after that, he had broken Bobby Zamora’s leg.
Abou Diaby may not be able to walk at the moment, according to Arsene Wenger, but he can consider himself extremely lucky see that his entire leg is still intact and connected at the correct places. Paul Robinson had left one boot on Diaby’s shin and had the audacity to went down pretending to have hurt himself as well.
Can all 3 incidences happen because of coincidence? Of course it can be. Did it happen because of inexperience? Not when the 3 individuals are Nicholas Burdisso, Karl Henry and Paul Robinson. The 3 of them have been in the game long enough to know that accidents can happen everywhere on the pitch. Football is a contact sport and there is bound to be injuries. However, every single player must be aware that they could do their part to prevent nasty injuries.
I do not want to take the competiveness out of the game because that is not what the game needs. Passion are so strong sometimes that players lose their heads. The idea of getting back at the opposition could end up really badly if one is not careful. Wenger once said that tackling is a fine art and the boss is rarely wrong.
There is no point in still sticking out the boots if you know that the chances of getting the ball is close to zero. This is not a game of joust. This is not a competition to see who will pull out of the challenge first. Any full blooded challenge to make sure that the opposition knows that you’re there is stupid.
I also question the fact that many players leave their feet off the ground when tackling. Whether or not any contact is made, the fact that the action is done so, can lead to serious repercussions. The referees are aware that any high challenge is a foul. The players know that as well, but somehow thinks that they could still get away with it if they got the ball. The touch on the ball would be very insignificant should anything crack during that process.
I fell in love with the sport because of its competitive nature and the passion that is involved. But every time I see a very serious injury happen due to recklessness, my love for the sport is tested. A little care and awareness on the player’s part need to be created, or they risk people losing interest in the game.