Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Friday August 25 2006
City have today confirmed that they have suspended Ben Thatcher until such time as an internal inquiry has been held by the board.
The suspension comes in the wake of a two week fine imposed the day after the game and is to be applauded at all levels.
Some of the criticism the club and manager has had to endure since Thatcher's assault on Pedro Mendes has bordered on the ridiculous. The villain was, and always will be Ben Thatcher. That he was representing Manchester City at the time is shameful but it is nice to see the club acting unilaterally and with purpose.
Regular readers know I am not some sort of apologist for Manchester City's board and management and am often far more critical than in agreement. On this occassion I applaud them for taking a stand and taking action far above the usual defence of players that is prevalent in football.
I accept Pearce's response on 90 minutes was in defence of the player, but having now seen a replay of the incident he has been only damning in his criticism of Thatcher. Remeber Stuart Pearce wasn't the only person in the ground to misread the assault, I do believe one Dermot Gallagher read it in similar circumstances.
All that said I am glad the club have suspended Thatcher, his actions were a disgrace. I am also glad to see the FA show a bit of spine and not hide behind a yellow card for once. Thatcher has been suspended by the club and charged by the FA. Everyone would now do will to keep their attacks directed at the person who aassaulted Pedro Mendes. That person is Ben Thatcher, not Manchester City, the FA or even the referee.
Date:Friday August 25 2006
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