Sunday, June 13, 2010

Simon Says ...

... get something back.

So what do I mean by that?

I mean if you give a caution to a player, you better get something back for it.

Simon did ... lets see how.

Take a look at the official match report, you can get it here. There are a couple of things that stand out. First, there were what I would call an "average" number of fouls for the matches played so far. We will see in the month ahead if that stays true to form. Second, we saw with (6) cautions what is an "above average" number of cautions thus far ... in fact this now places FRA, ENG, and USA in a tie for 1st for cautions. Were so many needed? Lets review what they were. 

In the 26', MILNER was booked for Persistent Infringement. Did anyone catch the referee holding up two fingers when he was booked? He was letting everyone know this was his second foul, and as it turned out, his last of the match.

By the way, did anyone catch who he fouled? It was CHERUNDOLO. Hang on a sec, that's important.

In the 39', CHERUNDOLO was cautioned. Sound familiar? He committed that one foul and that was it.

So, Simon says stop with a caution to (2) players, and neither commits another foul in the match. I would say he got something for those.

In the 47', DEMERIT knocked down a ball with his hand and got exactly what he deserved, a caution. That as cautions go, was an easy one. But note, if Simon does not give that one, his World Cup experience I predict would have ended early.

In the 60', CARRAGHER landed a nasty over the ball tackle on FINDLEY. While the caution was warranted, I was wondering if Simon was thinking red given the challenge. Remember who was fouled here too.

In the 61', GERRARD goes over the ball onto the knee of DEMPSEY (the goal scorer).

By the way, after these cautions, neither player committed another foul the entire match (keep in mind they still had 30' to go plus stoppage time). Not bad ... certainly got something there.

Even Harkesy when calling the match on ABC was saying after the GERRARD foul, that it changes the mindset of the defender after a caution ... the part he did not say was if the caution was the right decision, and was delivered with effect.

Finally, in the 74', FINDLEY (the recipient in the 60') finds GERRARD with a tough tackle, and yes, that too was his last foul called of the match, but I am sure wanted it to count on a guy that just really tackled one of his own.

So in looking over the cautions that Simon gave, he got something back for each and every one of them. He either got (a) that player to stop, (b) set an example for OTHER players to stop, (c) did not allow retaliation to go unpunished so there would not be more, and (d) protected the integrity of the game from silly stuff.

So, the next time you are ready to raise a caution in the air for all to see, stop and think ...

What are you going to get out of it that will help your game that day?

If the answer is nothing, don't even take it out of your pocket, it would be meaningless.

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