I’ve had time to think about the tackle by Dan Smith on Abou Diaby, who we now know is out for at least 9 months – a devastating time out for a young, promising player who really looked to have got into his stride at Arsenal.
I think it’s pretty clear that Dan Smith had no intention of getting the ball – various pictures and downloads over the internet can prove that, and I think everyone agrees that a yellow card for such a reckless, horrific and career-threatening tackle is totally ridiculous.
When I first saw the tackle on Sky Sports, I kept hearing co-commentator Brian Marwood defending the Sunderland player saying things like “he was going for the ball..” or “he didn’t mean to hurt him…”.
My first reaction was that it was a disgusting tackle, if indeed you can call it a tackle.
The reaction from the Arsenal players after the incident was spot on, with Toure, Fabregas, Henry et al showing their dismay at the whole situation, rightly condemning Smith for his pathetic and cowardly attempt to ‘win the ball’.
And apparently Dan Smith has had only a few professional appearances, of which his first he received a red card.
Not bad going for a thug.
The problem is that the tackle was totally uncalled for, it was at the end of the game when the match was well out of reach so the only explanation is that Smith was frustrated and obviously wanted to hurt Diaby.
Now the promising midfielder is out of the Champions League Final, out of action for 9 months and is going to have a hell of a time regaining the same form he had.
At the beginning of the game you felt sorry for Sunderland because of their situation, but afterwards after numerous dangerous tackles you just felt that this bunch of thugs can go f*ck themselves – as Henry said, are these guys actually playing football here?
Toure spoke out and said he could see it coming, which was sad. I was surprised that Henry and Fabregas came out for the second half – you thought that Wenger would rest them and you knew how Sunderland were playing that they could injure one of our players.
Unfortunately that happened to Diaby.
We’ve all heard about Arsenal threatening legal action over the tackle. They are right to look into it but it probably won’t get them anywhere – but it does highlight the problem of insufficient punishments to clearly reckless behaviour.
It does seem that the media in particular are glossing over this horrific incident – is this because Diaby isn’t English? I’m sure more people would kick off if Dan Smith injured Rooney in the same manner. In fact, if Smith did that to Rooney I am certain he would be booted out of the country!
You can be sure The Sun and similar newspapers would have Dan Smith’s picture on the front page behind bars with a headline: ‘This Man Ruined Englands World Cup Dreams…’
Because the challenge by Paulo Ferreira on Rooney was innocuous you cannot place blame on the Chelsea full-back. But you can guarantee if Ferreira had any blame for the injury, he would be public enemy number one.
But because they can’t blame anyone now they’re blaming the actual boots, which is a whole other arguement…
And if this happened to John Terry? You can be sure Chelsea fans would put pressure on Dan Smith like they did to Anders Frisk, to the extent where he had to retire because of death threats.
Am I condoning such behavour from fans? Of course not.
But I feel Mr Daniel Smith has got off very, very lightly.
And that’s an under-statement.