Friday, August 25, 2006

Storm raging over Thatcher 'challenge'

There is a real storm beginning to develop around Ben Thatcher following his clash with Pedro Mendes in last nights game, which left the Portsmouth midfielder in hospital, requiring oxygen and suffering from seizures.

Universal condemnation has followed - ranging from Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, the FA, the police, mainstream media and even Alan Pardew all queueing upto to criticise Thatcher.

For his part, Thatcher has remained quiet on the subject although it is revealed that he has written to Mendes offering his apologies - although there is no indication of him admitting any guilt. Stuart Pearce has also been cautious on the subject, refusing to criticise Thatcher (so far) although he did say that action could be taken once he has properly seen the incident again on video.

Whilst there is clearly no doubt that Thatcher was guilty of a crude and violent assault, a concern for me is that the FA will now override it's own rules by using video evidence to further punish an incident in which a referee has seen and taken what he feels (rightly or wrongly) is appropriate action.

Video evidence (as it stands) is used to met out punishment for an incident that a referee has missed but if it can now be used for 'exceptional circumstances' then I fear that the FA could be heading in a direction where they will be forced to interpret and adjudicate on incidents in every game, undermining the referee's decisions and authority.

Surely the question needs to be asked of why Dermot Gallagher felt it only warranted a yellow card? He was not far away from the incident and must have seen it in full? Maybe he saw a challenge but not the elbow and this is what the FA may now use as reason to charge Thatcher.

Clearly Thatcher deserves far worse a punishment than he was handed out last night, but with talk of the FA now acting, and even the police being involved in the matter, it is the wrong way of going about it.

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

Matthew Taylor was interviewed after the game and he said that Dermott Gallagher told him that he had not seen the incident but realised that "it looked bad" so he booked him !!

Alot depends on what the ref says in his report - if he says he didn't see the elbow because he had an obstructed view etc and so gave a yellow for an OTT tackle but now realises that it was a straight red then technically I guess he's squared away the yellow card and still left it open for the video panel because he didn't see the elbow.

DOUGIE said...

There is no defence for Thatcher and I am ashamed that he wares our shirt. SP should stand out as a manager and get rid. Look how players like Dunne, Tiatto and Barton were dealt with. They were told to change there ways or get the sack. No defence can be made for what Ben did. He spat his dummy out and asked to be transfered because he is such a soft get at home. Well if I met him he would get a kickin and I am proud to be blue but he is a scumbag when it comes to a pro-career in football. That behaviour belongs on the sunday league pitch, which I don't agree with but thats where the assault he made, is more often than not, witnessed. get rid I say he offers very little for us and I am sure there are youth players who behave better and more mature...

Anonymous said...

Thatcher should be banned from playing football ever again. There was no intention to get the ball and the objective was clear as he ran 20 yards to elbow an opponent. His actions bring the game into disrepute and no punishment is too strong. we need to get this behaviour out of football before we teach the youngsters watching football that what was done by thatcher was acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Thatcher should be banned for life. This is not an over reaction, why? Least we should forget that this is not the first time Thatcher has deliberately assulted a fellow pro. Once is wrong and dealt with by punishment, a repeat offence proves that the guy is a thug... Come on SP sack him and restore our faith in football. Coppers

Anonymous said...

Whilst I was disgusted by Thatcher's assault, I am nore disappointed by the attitude of the club and the manager. This was not the sort of incident which can be dealt with internally. It needed a very public condemnation, although perhaps Pearce is pleased with Thatcher's effort. After all, if the rest of the team could have done similar, Portsmouth would have been down to about 8 men and maybe then we could score.
The club's silence is a disgrace and I'm embarassed to be linked to them. Thankfully, I can't make Saturday and I feel that my current season ticket will be my last.
I'm just looking forward to the AGM when I can tell them what I think of them

Danny Pugsley said...

I'm disappointed in the clubs approach to this as well. Pearce has been relatively quiet - actually saying 'high tempo' challenges are what he looks for from the side.
I know the club have now announced that 'internal action' has been taken, but surely they need state what this action is (ie. ban/fine)? Maybe it is an attempt to ward off any further action from the FA and police?

Anonymous said...

The wrong way to go about it???? Are you mad? He could have killed Mendes!
Clearly this is not a one off for the idiot and there is no place for this in football. I write this not only as a Pompey fan but a fan of the game and there can be NO DEFENCE for his actions and it is encouraging to note the reaction of the Man City fans to his actions.
I for one am grateful that it was caught on camera and will lead to further action.
And writing a letter of apology just doesnt cut it Thatcher you moronic twat.

Anonymous said...

These foregeniers are just taking the p*ss out of our game now , as if its not bad enough that they dive and roll and cheat , this Mendes character , has to go one further and take up a hopital bed !! NHS has waiting lists as long as your arm and this guy takes up a bed to get Poor Ben booked. I think the UN should send in troops to stop this kind of thing.