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Thursday, January 05, 2006

"He'd no alternative but to make a needless tackle."

Are there more horror tackles in the game these days, or is it just TDH? There's no doubt that the art of the tackle, once the finest exponent of the English footballing tradition, has suffered from a lack of masterful practioners lately. How many Premiership hands can you name who know how to carve the ball out the way Parker, Redknapp and dear departed Vieira do? Probably not more than one per team, and there's the shame of it.

TDH doubts that players are any more susceptible to injury now than they were in the past, gripes about soft boots aside. Yet the list of the injured and punished grows every week, as the press replay freeze-frames of Essien, Reo-Coker, Sommeil and the likes.

What to do? Are the punishments for bad tackles too weak? Perhaps they are, but stiffening them might not be the best solution. It would be a shame if a flurry of cards and suspensions turned the Premiership into La Liga.

A better idea would be to improve players' training. TDH doesn't know exactly how the FA should do it, but a league-wide return to artful tackling would surely serve its interests. Instructional videos? Lectures by former stars? Tackling exams? Well, it's time to try something....


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

could just be that our tolerance threshold for tackling is falling faster than the players' intensity. Football gets less physical with each passing year. Just 15 years ago, it was acceptable to crash through the back of a players legs to get the ball. It took the premature retirement of one of the greatest centre-forwards of all time (San Marco) for the rule to change.

8:08 AM  

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