It’s enough to make your blood boil, those diving, cheating football players who writhe around in agony at the slightest physical contact with the sole intent of getting an opponent sent off. That is undoubtedly what Chico Flores did yesterday in the Swansea game, and it worked. Had Flores not fallen over, or even fallen over without the histrionics, it is fairly likely that Carroll would have stayed on the pitch. The fans (probably of both sides), the West Ham players (and probably most of the Swansea players apart from Flores), the managers, the media – everyone has said that the red card was harsh and should not have happened. West Ham have, of course, stated their intention to appeal. But what is the likelihood of the red card being rescinded? Rather slim, in my opinion, and rather gets my goat.
In order to get the red card overturned, there has to be no evidence of intent to harm/injure the opponent. Yes, Flores was climbing all over Carroll and yes, Carroll should probably have got a free kick. But looking at all the evidence in the cold light of day, Carroll looked to have flung his arm back in Flores’ direction in frustration. Look at the video here:
I know he only brushed the top of his head, but in the law of the game there only has to be intent. The powers that be will look at the evidence and the referees report, and obviously a lot depends on what Howard Webb puts in it. It is clear though that Webb consulted his linesman before reaching a decision, and I am guessing that the lino was asked if he saw any intent. He obviously thought he did and I think that is what swayed Webb’s decision too, as well as Flores’ disgusting behaviour.
I don’t agree with this and it makes me angry, as without Carroll, West Ham seem to lack any potent attacking whatsoever. Three games without him means not many points when we need them desperately. The law is an ass and needs to be changed. Christ, Norman Hunter would be turning in his grave! There is no room for common sense in the laws these days it seems.
I hope I am wrong but I just can’t see the decision being reversed. Maybe Webb will change his mind about his decision and state so, but I can’t see it happening myself. In an ideal world it would, and Flores would get a two match ban for simulation. Here’s hoping!