Saturday 04, February 2012
The end of the slide tackle?
WITH the recent controversy over particular challenges in high profile games, the
question has been asked, is this the end of the slide tackle? Elliot Millward investigates.
A strong sliding challenge is one of the greatest sights in football and has long been a key part of the English game.
Supporters cheer a well-executed slide tackle as loudly as they would a
goal on some occasions.
But with the recent sending off of Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany in the derby for a double footed tackle, then Liverpool’s Glen Johnson escaping punishment for a similar challenge against none other than City, the slide tackle has come under the spotlight.
Every time a player goes to ground to win the ball, they know there is an element of risk. Now that risk appears to be higher. Mistiming or misjudging a tackle by the narrowest of margins can result in harsh repercussions.
The role of the defender is becoming harder and harder, making it easier for attackers. Defenders are now much more hesitant to commit to a slide tackle, even when they believe they can win the ball, as they know they could face punishment.
The English game has always prided itself on its strength and toughness as well ability and technique. Yet this sense of pride could be eradicated by the eagerness of officials to show yellow or red cards to players who slide tackle.
When a player wins the ball - as Kompany did - and is subsequently sent off, it will surely have an ongoing affect, not only on the player committing the tackle, but those who witness the challenge also.
Nowadays a double footed is deemed dangerous, but to send the player off when he has won the ball is sometimes harsh. Referees must judge each situation on its merits rather than sticking to the letter of the law every single time.
If a player has gone in with excessive force and won the ball, they should consider giving a foul and speaking to the player. They could advise him that the challenge was a bad one and if repeated he will be punished. This option is surely better than instantly brandishing a red card and often ruining the spectacle.
If the game continues along this worrying path, football will become a non-contact sport where skill and flair survive but sadly strength, toughness and the slide tackle are consigned to history.
IT was party time at the Hawthorns as West Bromwich ... Read more
MANCHESTER City end their 2012-13 Premier League campaign with a ... Read more
MANCHESTER United travel to the Hawthorns on Sunday in what ... Read more
Sports writer and Sale Harrier Luke Betts provides the inside ... Read more
MANCHESTER City travel to the Madejski Stadium for their penultimate ... Read more