Hello once again, and let us delve into the most recent controversy in the footballing world, involving an old regular in Chelsea F.C. and a new addition in the form of a certain ball boy.
Right, first things first, let us get the analysis of the incident itself out of the way. Now, I think we can all agree that both parties are to blame. Charlie Morgan, as he infamously posted to his Twitter account before the game, came out to time-waste for the Swans. He takes a very long time to get to the ball and by the time he does, Hazard is upon him wanting to get the ball back. The pushing from Hazard doesn't help as it enables the youngster to fall onto the ball and shield it from the Belgian. What happens next however should NEVER be done on a football field if you would like to remain on the pitch. Swinging your boot in the direction of someone lying on the ground is a red card offence whether you touch the ball or not and the referee was absolutely correct to take the action that he did.
Hazard will now have to wait for further FA judgement to be handed out to him as although it's quite clear that his kick was not malicious, it was still dangerous and sends completely the wrong message on how to handle those sorts of situations. Stepping back and getting the referee involved would have been the more sensible course of action.
It is certainly ironic that this incident has happened with Chelsea and any Chelsea fan that is feeling outraged should first consider these two points:
1) Even if this incident had not occurred and absolutely no time had been wasted, Chelsea would STILL have lost the tie.
2) Chelsea would not have won the Champions League last season had they not based entire game plans around time-wasting and conning the referee. Time-wasting and cheating in general has benefited Chelsea a hundred times more than it has hindered them.
Now let us move on to the delightful young moron that is clamouring to get his 15 minutes of fame (and succeeding) and my main point that I would like to express to you in this blog.
He certainly looks like the sort of lad that you wouldn't be particularly distressed to see introduced to a fist at a not particularly subtle rate of knots.
However, that aside, the image does look familiar doesn't it. That is because we now see this sort of picture in every football game we ever watch. We see our favourite players whether they be Luis Suarez, Santi Cazorla, Gareth Bale, Robin Van Persie or Cristiano Ronaldo flinging themselves to the ground every week under little or no contact and holding themselves in a similar way as though they have just been run over by a passing buffalo. Yet of course they are not too mortally wounded to not be able to look towards the referee to try and see if their ruse has worked. The body language in Charlie Morgan's case actually reminds me of Mr Orange as he lays in the back of a car after receiving a bullet to the gut.
We can all laugh and point at him and say "Haha look at him, he thinks he's a professional footballer!". Yet what worries me is that this sort of behaviour is now what we associate and expect with professional footballers. Why is Charlie Morgan acting like this? Simple. Because he sees the top professionals in the world doing it every week, thus making it perfectly acceptable to emulate for the young, naive and impressionable youth of today. Charlie Morgan is living proof of that.
Now we have had instances in the recent months where players like Suarez and Bale have been booked for simulation somewhat harshly. My opinion is as follows: excellent. Without trying to shove the moral of 'The Boy who Cried Wolf' down your throats too much, as it stands in these players minds, they have more to gain by going down than staying on their feet. That is what we need to change and it will take many more harsh decisions on many more players before the message is received and acted upon. It's a sad fact that it has resorted to two wrongs making a right, but it's important in tilting the odds back in favour of the defender. Players may have been wrongly accused of simulation, but you can bet that they have still benefited from simulation ten times more than they have been punished for it.
Whilst the top footballers are allowed to get away with diving, time-wasting, and general gamesmanship, the further warped the image of the game will become. Gone is the beautiful game that was played by men, now we have a low and underhanded farce that is played by little boys. And unless we can help referees to come down harder on the culprits, it will only get worse..