NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Joey Barton of Newcastle goes to ground clutching his head after a clash with Gervinho of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on August 13, 2011 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Morning, everybody, or just about, anyway. Here are your Arsenal links for today, interspersed with thoughts about what incidents yesterday.
Before we get into yesterday, two things to check out tactically:
And now, to yesterday:
SBNation's Newcastle blog Coming Home Newcastle has their thoughts here. Check it out.
However, that Barton escaped with just a yellow is ludicrous. That he’s been booked means no further action can be taken and the referee and his assistants have demonstrated once again that this is a rule which has to be changed. They didn’t see the full extent of Barton’s aggression, otherwise he’d have been gone too. There is no other way to classify what he did except violent conduct. Their ineptitude means justice was not done.
Arsène Wenger defends Gervinho after his sending off at Newcastle [Observer]
That much is true, though the letter of the law is that raising one's hands constitutes violent conduct, so Gervinho will now be looking at a three-match ban, unless Arsenal manage to successfully appeal. Pardew advised them not to bother.
This needs a little clarification: nowhere in the laws of the game is punching, slapping, or raising hands specifically addressed. This must be said, because almost every single commentary about the incident yesterday mentions that act as the reason Gervinho was sent off (the Observer, here, at least makes it clear that it constituted the violent conduct for which Gervinho saw red).
Let's be clear: Gervinho was sent off because what he did, slapping Barton, was adjudged by Peter Walton as violent conduct. And that is fine. It is the referee's discretion, and Walton made a judgement. But "raising one's hands" is not a straight red every single time. It's just not.
And, having watched the incident again,
two four things:
- It was not a dive. Please, everyone in the world, stop saying it was a dive. Henry Winter, in a column in the telegraph which is horrible, and which I will not link to, said it was a dive. Alan Pardew said it was a dive. It was NOT A DIVE. There was contact. If what Frank Lampard did earlier today is not a dive, then Gervinho's fall yesterday was not a dive. He was tripped, softly or no. The referee said play on.
- Once the referee said play on, THERE WAS NO NEED WHATSOEVER for Joey Barton to take any kind of action. The central problem with what happened yesterday is that Barton felt he had to take matters into his own hands. He then picked up Gervinho, violently, by his collar, jerking him to his feet and shaking him, all while screaming in his face. Gervinho tried to separate himself, and when he couldn't, he slapped Barton, and the rest goes pretty much according to Arseblog's description, linked above.
- Read Arseblog's piece again. It's excellent, particularly in his description of what kind of bully Barton is.
- I no longer want to consider signing Barton, except perhaps to keep him from aggravating Arsenal's players.
Anyway; have a good day, everyone. Udinese coming up this week; more on that tomorrow.