OK, so since I tend to use the sins of Chelski as moral parables, I should restore the balance with this one.
Chelski’s Hazard did NOT kick the Swansea ball boy. He tried to get the ball from him and eventually kicked it out from under him. He shouldn’t have done that, he should no doubt have drawn attention to the officials that he had tried and the ball-boy was resisting. Fortunately the red-card seems to be the end of any “punishment”, but I’d say that was harsh if probably the letter of the law applied by the official for “excessive force”. He and Chelski seem to have taken their punishment on the chin, and responded appropriately.
The ball-“boy”, on the other hand, should be shot, along with his “coach”. Or made a public example, if the death penalty isn’t an option. Disgraceful behaviour by a 17-year-old, no doubt a football apprentice, as old as some in the professional game these days, rolling about like a true-pro actor for the cameras, no doubt doing as instructed by his coach – to waste time on behalf of his team and interfere with an opponent trying to get on with the game. Correct me if I’m wrong about the young man, his club and his coach, but … jeez … Swansea too, who had seemed model professionals on the pitch. This stuff should be stamped out of the game hard.
[Post Note – Oh yes, look, it was indeed pre-meditated:
I wasn’t wrong about the “boy”. Called in because he was needed for time-wasting.
Harry Rednapp – “He [Eden Hazard] kicked the ball from underneath him and the whole thing got blown out of proportion. You only have to see that he was tweeting before the game that he [the ball boy] was a super timewaster, I think it was disgusting the way he behaved.”
Heads must roll at Swansea. ]
[Post Post Note – Oh and the FA is planning further punishment of Hazard- shame – hopefully a matter of formality for an off-the-pitch action – this is a million miles from the Cantona precedent. Pretty weak wording – no doubt because these are issues for the competitions, beyond the FA’s jurisdiction – also saying the ball-boy’s action was “inappropriate” and clubs should control this. And finally – for Hazard – the buck stops there. Phew!]
[PS Unconnected but related, re Robbie Savage’s rant on 606 last weekend about justifying the “professional foul” – taking one for the team – I already addressed a few of years ago with John Terry’s cynical mis-calculation – game-changing rules change. That’s why we have judges in court and referees on the pitch, to notice the game-changers and have the courage to apply them. Any idiot can apply the existing explicit rule – rules, remember, are for the guidance of wise men, and enslavement of fools.]