The Daily Mail is reporting that Arsenal defender Kolo Toure thinks that Sunderland’s Paul McShane deliberately tried to injure Alexander Hleb with gonad jeopardising tackle. McShane lunged for Hleb’s nether regions and then followed through with a knee to the head in the final minute and received a red card for his efforts.
“When I saw that on the replay, I thought the intention was bad. I think sometimes it is better to show the red when somebody makes an intentional foul. The referee did well to send him off. The damage could have been a lot worse.”
Poor Hleb has now been dished out two horror tackles in as many weeks, and Kolo Toure is starting to wonder if there is a bounty on his teammate’s head. Toure said:
“I spoke to Alex afterwards in the dressing room and I said, ‘They want to kill you.’ He is such a great player. Teams want to stop him. But he is okay. He was having a massage afterwards and seemed alright.”
The noises from the Sunderland camp, however, point to a gross miscarriage of justice. Kenwyne Jones said:
“It wasn’t intentional. Paul McShane is not one to come in and do something like that.I think it probably was a bit harsh because the player was already on the floor before he even came into him. What can you do? We could appeal but it’s already happened.”
Jones then added a nice bit of big teams always get their way thinking, by uncorking a classic ‘them against us’ paragraph. Jones said :
“They are a good team but a lot of things when you go to the big teams go their way.I ‘m not going to comment any further on that – I may get into trouble. The decision-making was inconsistent. We had a few decisions that went against us. Cards were dealt out to us but when it was the other way around, they just had a slap on the wrist. But that’s what happens when you come to these kind of matches. It is hard to take that but it happens.”
So was McShane trying to perform a castration on Hleb with his studs whilst trying to knock him out with his knees or are Arsenal always given the benefit of the doubt?