I must be missing something. I’m sure I am. I have to be.
How else could something so unfathomable be unfolding before our eyes.
Incident one. Your favourite man of the people and mine, Ashley Cole is lucky not to break Anthony Hutton’s leg with one of the worst tackles seen this season. He then breaks enough rules for roughly 8 yellow cards in the form of dissent. Throw into the mix an unashamed display of bullying tactics from his team mates, and what is the sum total? A yellow card.
Undoubtedly upon seeing the replay, Mike Riley will have quickly realised he made a mistake and will have been painfully aware he should have sent Cole off. However, the FA say that further punishment is not an option, as Riley dealt with the incident at the time with a yellow card.
Now, onto incident two. John Eustace mis-times a tackle in the early stages of a game with Stoke. Our old chum Sir Robert of Styles is quickly onto the scene with his red card. After all, it had been a good couple of minutes since he had been the focus of attention, and calling Watford players for foul throws was starting to get boring. Anyway, a disappointed Eustace trudges off the field, Watford players and fans disbeleiving, Stoke players and fans likewise. However, despite what appeared to be an appalling decision, there wasn’t much in the way of the protest on the field.
This is when things get even worse. A couple of days later it transpires that Styles, seemingly not happy with the three match ban that Eustace would now serve, had reported him for not leaving the field of play quick enough. An act which apparently is worthy of an extra two match ban. This means Eustace was facing a five match ban for a mis-timed tackle and a refusal to sprint from the field of play after being harshly red carded.
Today it was revealed that indeed Eusatce will face an extra match ban, added retrospectively, for what Rob Styles deemed failure to leave the pitch quick enough.
So. Lets recap.
Ashley Cole nearly breaks someone’s leg, hurls foul mouthed abuse at the referee for a period of 3 to 4 minutes, and gets his chums to join in on his behalf. He gets booked at the time, and nothing can happen after the event as a result. No ban, and Chelsea just carry on with their first choice left back. He does apologise two days later though. Great. It was just so heartfelt too…
John Eustace gets sent off, perhaps wrongly. There is no great comotion, yet after the event he gets another match added to his ban for failing to leave the pitch quickly enough. He gets a four match ban and Watford are without one of their most influential players at the most important stage of the season.
I hope the question I am asking is obvious, but just in case it isn’t, here it is.
How on gods green earth can rules be in place that mean a player can be punished retrospectively for minor offences, seemingly on a whim, whilst potentially career threatening, borderline criminal offences are continually allowed to go unpunished?
Can anyone help?