Earlier we ran an article entitled ‘Koscielny red card right, Kompany dismissal wrong’ which explained clearly the very good reasons why such an opinion was indeed true.
However football is a game of many varying opinions and without a contradicting story, well we would not be doing the game justice.
So we figured there should be a devil’s advocate article to go with it in which we discussed the other side of the coin in relation to Mike Dean’s big two sending off decisions at The Emirates yesterday:
Laurent Koscielny sent off for Arsenal
The game had barely got started when the early pressure Manchester City were putting on Arsenal told. When the ball bounced into the path of Edin Dzeko a moment of confusion befell French international Koscielny forgot what sport he was playing and rugby tackled the Bosnian to the floor.
Absolutely 100%, undeniably a foul and a certain penalty and a stupid foul by the Frenchman. Dzeko certainly had the opportunity to get his head to the ball but the argument here is whether it was a ‘clear’ goalscoring opportunity.
On the one hand it is simple to say that Dzeko was yards in front of goal with a potential header lying in front of him. On the other Dean actually had the luxurious advantage of witnessing how quickly Wojciech Szczesny managed to scupper the attack with a flying punch. There could be a definite argument that therefore the referee could have erred on the side of caution and a booking would have sufficed; but only due to Szczesny’s prompt intervention.
In terms of Niall Quinn’s theory that a yellow would have been fine considering the timing of the infringement Mike Dean is a professional referee and if he felt it was a red-card it does not matter if the offence occurs in the first, 15th or 90th minute his job is to make those decisions.
On this occasion however there was certainly enough doubt to say that Dzeko was not denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Verdict: Wrong decision
Vincent Kompany sent off for Manchester City
Kompany was harshly treated for a tackle on Wayne Rooney in the FA Cup last year and has once again dove into a hard tackle and received his marching orders as a consequence. The Belgian is that type of player; uncompromising in the tackle and hungry to win every ball.
Wilshere had run the ball loose and Kompany was therefore more than entitled to go into the challenge. But his challenge was reckless enough to warrant a red-card.
The flipside argument is that he went in with one foot but you can see from the reverse angle and in particular the angle that Dean actually had that both feet leave the ground. While there is never any concern of genuine malice from the skipper; who is one of the most well respected players in the league amongst players, coaches and the officials; his attempt to win the ball fell into the category of a lunge.
While nobody wants to see tackling go out the game on this occasion the punishment likely fit the crime. As soon as both feet leave the ground the player is playing roulette with the referee’s decision process. On this occasion Dean went for red.
Verdict: Right decision
This is just highlighting how both incidents could be perceived differently when looked at closely on replays from various different angles. Mike Dean certainly did not have this luxury so should not be blamed regardless of your view on the incidents.
Personally I think he got them both bang on but there are so many opinions on the matter…
What is yours?
image: © wonker