Tuesday, September 20, 2011

United march on, but injuries taking toll: Should Ashley Cole be forced to pay Chicharito's wages??

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Manchester United's fine early season form continued with that dramatic 3-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday at Old Trafford. But sadly, much of the post-match talk has been dominated by Ashley Cole's reckless challenge on Hernandez. Challenge isn't the right word - 'assault' would be more accurate. Cole took his eyes off the ball as he launched into United's young Mexican striker. That tackle could quite easily have ended the striker's career. TV replays clearly showed the lower part of the striker's leg bending under the force of the impact - it was sickening. Thankfully, Hernandez will only be out for two weeks. The weekend before, Bolton striker Kevin Davies injured three United players when taking out Patrice Evra, Jonny Evans and Tom Cleverley. The Bolton striker was every bit as reckless as Ashley Cole.

Keivn Davies should have been sent-off at the Reebok, but referee Andre Marriner failed to take the correct course of action, when only branishing his yellow card once. Justice was not done. The same can be said of Phil Dowd, who only booked Cole on Sunday. The referee should have sent Cole off and if there's any justice he should also have awarded a penalty. The fact that the ball had just gone out of play shouldn't come into it, the intent was there and that should have been enough. In those situations the referee should have the discretion to award a penalty kick - that punishment would fit the crime.

As a direct result of the Davies and Cole challenges, United have been denied the services of two influential players. If we cannot rely on referee's to do their jobs properly, then perhaps we need rule changes to enforce reckless players of opposing clubs to pay the wages of those who they've injured. If that happened, then maybe the perpetrators would think twice before launching themselves into two-footed airborne challenges.

United are in action tonight at Elland Road in the Carling Cup. Ferguson will use competition to blood a few youngsters, but whatever team he starts with, it will hopefully be a least a match for our old friends from the wrong side of the Pennines.

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