Whelan, It Was Really Nothing
In an astonishing demonstration of just how scattergun the Football Association's disciplinary processes have become, Stoke's Glenn Whelan's blatant stamp on Javi Garcia goes unpunished...
It's tear your hair out time again over the subject of tackling. City captain Vincent Kompany has seen read twice these past two January's over athletic ball winning tackles against the rags and Arsenal respectively, the latter one overturned on appeal. Lest we forget the massive witch hunt that saw Mario Balotelli banned for a far less blatant stamp on Spurs Scott Parker last season.
Fast forwarded to the City's hard fought FA Cup win at Stoke over the weekend and the most blatant of two footed stamps from Whelan on Garcia early in the second half went uncautioned by referee Howard Webb. Despite universal condemnation by hacks and pundits football wide, the FA aren't even going to look at it. Stunning.
Whelan's himself's take on his lunatic jump beggared belief:
'I've gone in for the challenge and I don't think I tried to be dirty but if it looks that way on TV then I'll have to hold my hands up. I don't think I caught him as much as he was rolling about.'
To Garcia's credit he got up. Would that this were a serial screeching turf plummeter like Luis Suarez or Ashley Plunge on the receiving end. Furthermore, City boss Roberto Mancini has kept his counsel. Stretford's Sir Alex Ferguson would still be openly on the case with the media and well Whelan and Stoke gaffer Tony Pulis, who didn't see the incident will know it. Whelan continues:
'Obviously he's felt it so you have to take that. I've caught him harder than I thought. Hopefully nothing will happen with it. People have talked about tackling going out of the game but it's only going out of the game because we're not allowing it. If you're getting pulled up on little things every week then people will stop...It's the English game, the old-fashioned game, and that's what the Premier League is so good for... Hopefully tackling can stay in the game and people just get on with it.'
So that's alright then. As VMC understands it, the Football Association will only take action and make sanctions after games for off the ball incidents. Howard Webb's latest controversial report would make for interesting reading. Did he see it?
As for Whelan. Were he called Glenn Balotelli, the stamp below would have gone viral on Mars, nevermind Planet Earth.
As the FA statement read at the time of Parkergate:
"The FA is only able to take retrospective action where a match official has indicated that they have not seen an incident."
all times East Manchester
Tu 29Jan 19h45 QPR, Loftus Road, PL
Su 03Feb 16h00 Liverpool, The Etihad, PL
Sa 09Feb 17h30 Southampton, St Mary's, PL
Sa/Su 16/17Feb Leeds United, The Etihad, FAC5
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 15h00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL