Bielsa’s sportsmanlike call was commendable, but it’s all avoided if teams play to the whistle

Bielsa’s sportsmanlike call was commendable, but it’s all avoided if teams play to the whistle

Play to the whistle. It’s one of the most common phrases uttered in most young footballers’ careers, but rarely does it have so much relevance as in Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend.

After Jonathan Kodjia went down under an innocuous-looking coming together with Leeds defender Liam Cooper, Aston Villa looked to their opponents to put the ball out of play.

However, they didn’t.

Continue reading “Bielsa’s sportsmanlike call was commendable, but it’s all avoided if teams play to the whistle”

Why Guangzhou Evergrande’s decision to suspend Wei Shihao for a bad tackle is utter madness

Why Guangzhou Evergrande’s decision to suspend Wei Shihao for a bad tackle is utter madness

Nobody likes to see a player suffer a serious injury, and especially not through a rash tackle from an opponent. While aggression and competitiveness are key elements of the modern game, there are times when players can get a rush of blood and cross the line.

Chinese international Wei Shihao was guilty of just such an incident during the most recent international break when during the first half of a 1-0 defeat to Uzbekistan in the China Cup, he scythed down opponent Otabek Shukurov with a rash challenge.

Continue reading “Why Guangzhou Evergrande’s decision to suspend Wei Shihao for a bad tackle is utter madness”

Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols

Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols

It doesn’t take a medical expert to understand that there should be little messing around when it comes to serious head injuries in football. For example, should a player be knocked unconscious after a clash of heads, it’s probably not best he continues playing.

Yet, for Newcastle’s Swiss international Fabian Schar, that very situation did happen over the weekend.

The central defender suffered a nasty clash of heads with Georgian defender Jemal Tabidze as both players challenged for the ball early in the first half, and the Premier League centre back was left visibly unconscious.

Continue reading “Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols”