Let me be up front, I despise Chelsea. So at first I just thought my horrible anti-Chelsea bias was coloring this. But then I saw that calm, rational Martin O’Neill had the same reaction to the above tackle that I did—specifically: “How the f**k did England’s
Brave Douche John Terry not get a straight red for that tackle?”—and figured that we were both pretty dead on.
Okay, so maybe O’Neill had little bit more invested in Saturday’s FA Cup semi, but hard to argue that Terry shouldn’t have been sent off.
Unless you’re the color guy (Andy Townsend, I think) on the ITV broadcast.
Quote: “He [Terry] actually does take a slice of the ball to start with… When the ball is bouncing like that, you are going to go in studs up. That’s a fact of life as a footballer.”
Somebody help us out. Is he really trying to excuse Terry? Because that’s what it sounds like. First with the whole he-got-the-ball nonsense. And that’s pretty great in itself, because if you watch, from the first two angles, the ball seems like it bounces off the side of Terry’s shin almost as if by accident. Second, it’s almost like he’s intimating that the ball-is-bouncing fact-of-life makes it totally okay to add a second hinge to a guy’s knee.
Of course John Terry is Not That Kind of Player™. Maybe he is just trying to make sure that any potential Three Lions teammate this summer hates his guts. Or maybe Milner banged his wife.
Anyway, not sure who is luckier here, Terry or Milner. Terry for escaping ejection or Milner for not getting Eduardo’d. According to O’Neill: “James is very sore and very, very lucky. We think he’s got away with it. His leg’s in the air at the time. If you see the challenge, the knee bends out. I’ve just spoken to my doctor and he says he’s a very lucky boy.”
This is almost as bad as the non-call on the Agbonlahor penalty in the first half. When Terry puts his foot into Milner, the match was still only 1-0 with more than 15 minutes to play. If Chelsea go down a man with that much clock still in the match, the outcome is very much in doubt.
Hard not to feel sympathy for O’Neill. His squad’s two domestic cup runs have come to an end with Villa being on the wrong end of three really bad calls. The first by Phil Dowd and his inability to rightly send off Vidic in the Carling Cup final, then the two by Webb over the weekend. Refs aren’t perfect (and this season they seem to be worse than ever) but the whole “These things tend to even out” adage is not really panning out for Villa.
Dowd caught a break though. Mike Riley was probably worse in the other semi on Sunday; bad enough even to make people forget that Villa got jobbed as Spurs were maybe victimized worse.
(By the way, ripped the video from here thinking it might get yanked from the youtubes. If you’ve got a moment take in some spectacular racism in the comments).