Birch him! Flog him! Hang him!

CoymayWhat a tremendous day it was for the sports fan yesterday.If you love golfing team tournaments like the Ryder Cup, like I do, there was the Solheim Cup starting before 7.00 am and then, right up until the end of the France v Italy Rugby World Cup game at about 10.00pm, there was exciting, top quality, sporting fare on offer.

Best of the lot had to be Japan’s truly astonishing win over South Africa in the rugby  - a triumph of positivity (I was swearing at my telly in frustration at Japan’s stupidity in choosing to go for a scrum after being awarded a penalty when 32-29 down in added time!) and courage which, surely, has to be the biggest upset in the history of the game – in fact, I’d put it down as one of the biggest in any sport.

However, there was so much more to enjoy on this terrific day – unfancied Georgia had beaten the relative giants of Tonga a few hours earlier in the rugby, there was a cricket Cup Final that looked like ending in a routine win for Surrey until Gloucestershire got up off the canvas to KO them in a memorable last few overs, West Ham inflicted a second successive home defeat on a Manchester City team which the pundits were handing the Premier League trophy to already this time last week and Great Britain, through the Murray brothers, took themselves to the brink of their first Davis Cup Final appearance in thirty eight years with a heart stopping doubles win in their Semi Final tie with Australia.

So, against that little lot, Rotherham 2 Cardiff 1 looks pretty mundane, but, judging by the opprobrium being directed at City goalkeeper and captain David Marshall after his red card which, seemingly, decided the match, there are an awful lot of people around who are absolutely and totally outraged following our second defeat in four days.

What happened to get supporters so hot under the collar? Well, the first thing to say is that, initially at least, I was totally ill equipped to answer that question. I was watching the tennis with the sound turned down to listen to Radio Wales’ commentary of the match at the time, but about twenty seconds before Marshall’s loss of sanity/moment of madness/crime against humanity, the phone rang.

Referee Keith Hill shows the red card to David Marshall and the task for a City side playing poorly becomes so much harder. If the official's reaction might not have quite fallen into the kneejerk category, the reaction of many online observers certainly did.*

Referee Keith Hill shows the red card to David Marshall and the task for a City side playing poorly becomes so much harder. If the official’s reaction might not have quite fallen into the kneejerk category, the reaction of many online observers certainly did.*

Now, the joys of continual cold calling mean that I no longer bother to answer my land line when it rings (I just check 1471 and ring the person back if it’s a number I know), but someone had told me they would ring me at around that time, so,  I turned the radio down and answered the call. Of course, it turned out that it wasn’t my friend, but someone trying to get me to take part in what they assured me was a very short survey.

In the time I had declined this kind offer (in a very polite and refined manner of course) and went back to my radio listening it seemed Bedlam had descended on whatever Rotherham’s new ground is called these days. I tuned in again just in time to hear the home side take the lead from the penalty spot and the commentators talking about Simon Moore having no chance of saving Odjidja-Ofoe’s spot kick!

It didn’t take too long to learn what had happened because the commentators were soon talking about Marshall’s act of folly – except they were putting it in stronger terms than that. Apparently the keeper had lashed at Rotherham’s Matt Derbyshire after collecting an innocuous through ball.

There was little or no sympathy for the Scottish international being shown either and, on the face of it, there was little reason for me to feel differently – after all, this was the second time in six matches that Marshall had been dismissed for retaliating to a challenge from a striker.

As the first messages condemning this act of lunacy started to appear on the messageboards and the local press entered full disgusted of Tunbridge Wells mode, I resolved to express my anger, pain and outrage during the half time interval on my Twitter account only to remember that I don’t have one.

City took about two minutes to get level with the team who propped up the table with just two points from their first seven games as Peter Whittingham scored his first goal of the season from another penalty and, for a long time it seemed that the determined defending from the ten men would see them return south with a point, but a cruel, last minute own goal by Matt Connolly saw them denied even that.

If there had been some honour in defeat at the hands of a good Hull side on Tuesday, the same could not be said about going down to a team that is being tipped by so many to be relegated this season and, apparently, there could be no doubt that one man and one man alone was responsible for the defeat.

That was certainly what nearly all of the post match reaction was claiming – David Marshall was being vilified as the man who had cost us three points as calls for him to be relieved of the captaincy mounted, along with the claims that we should have sold him to West Brom in the summer.

While all of this was going on, there was one thread on the City messageboard I read the most asking why was it a penalty if Marshall was reacting to a pull at him by the Rotherham player. Even if the red card was deserved, shouldn’t the game have restarted with a free kick to Cardiff – a good question I thought and something to check on when I saw the video of Marshall’s act of brutality in all of it’s horrific glory.

Until then though, I’d have to settle for listening to the exclusively critical phone in reactions to the incident. Now, when everything you are hearing and seeing portrays something in the same critical light, it becomes so easy to fall into the trap of believing what is being said has to be the truth – I certainly did as the criticism of Marshall continued.

Therefore, when I finally got to see pictures of the game, I found myself having to rewind the Marshall incident, because I thought I must have somehow missed the hot headed reaction which earned him the red card. I looked a second time and again found myself thinking “so, where is it?” and a third time before accepting that what had taken place was a classic over reaction on so many sides.

First of all, Marshall over reacted to what was an illegal, but hardly malicious, challenge by Derbyshire – the goalkeeper shouldn’t have reacted like he did, but it was all fairly harmless stuff which the Rotherham player milked in his efforts to persuade the referee to produce a red card.

That official went by the name of Keith Hill and, just like the dreadful Mr Sarginson in our previous game, was a ref I’d never heard of before. What must be said here is that Mr Hill acted like many referees have done in the past before sending off a goalkeeper guilty of reacting to a challenge by an opponent and, as there definitely was a flick of the foot by Marshall towards Derbyshire, I believe his decision would be upheld in the event of a City appeal against the decision. In my opinion though, Mr Hill was guilty of over reacting in sending Marshall off and awarding a penalty.

Taking the sending off first, the only way I can see it being justifiable is by comparing it with other dismissals of goalkeepers in the past – other goalkeepers have walked for doing the same sort of thing that Marshall did. However, those decisions were made against a backdrop which says that goalkeepers get treated in a completely different way to the other ten players in a team by match officials.

In saying that, there is a logic which says that if an outfield player should, rightly, be sent off for using his hands to stop a goalbound effort on the line, then a goalkeeper should go for using his hands outside the penalty area to deny a goal being scored. However, how many times have we seen a red card for handling outside the penalty area when a goal was not on – certainly it happens proportionately more to goalkeepers than it does to outfield players who handle the ball in the same area of the pitch.

Similarly, are we seriously to believe that a red card would have been issued if an outfield player had reacted in the same way as Marshall did after a challenge with an opponent on the halfway line?

No, goalkeepers are treated differently to every one else and so now our goalkeeper, who had never been sent off in a thirteen year career before May, has two of them for incidents which would have seen him, at most, cautioned if he had been an outfield player – I accept that this is an arguable opinion in the case of the Forest dismissal.

On a weekend when the thuggish Diego Costa yet again brings the game into disrepute, how can it be right that he can, seemingly, get away with anything (if Soccerbase is to believed he has, incredibly, only been sent off once in his career!) while goalkeepers all over Europe are sent off every weekend for totally innocuous “offences”?

With regard to the decision to give a penalty, it’s interesting to compare what happened yesterday with what happened at Forest when Marshall picked up his first red card which, in my opinion, was more justified than yesterday’s. In that case, you clearly hear the whistle blow for a foul by a Forest player before Marshall reacts to being knocked to the floor and there is no protest made by the home team as to why the game does not restart with a penalty following Marshall’s dismissal.

Now, I don’t have a copy of the laws of the game to hand, but my definite impression is that, unlike in rugby union, original decisions do not get overturned as a result of things like retaliation, dissent etc. Therefore, with Derbyshire’s grab at Marshall definitely constituting a foul challenge, the game should have started with a free kick to Cardiff.

It would seem that the reason that it didn’t was that both referee and relevant linesman missed what was a pretty obvious foul by the Rotherham player. Interestingly, the pictures of the incident which led to our penalty would have had me questioning the decision if I were a Rotherham fan – although I noticed that there were no protests at the decision from the home players, it didn’t half look like Fabio dived to me and it struck me that the referee was looking to even things up so to speak.

Although it would be wrong to label Mr Hill as bad an official as Mr Sarginson was last Tuesday solely on the basis of a couple of decisions I think he got wrong yesterday, I wonder if he might have reacted in a more lenient fashion to what Marshall did if he had seen Derbyshire’s foul on him? I have my doubts about that, but if the game had restarted with a City free kick, would we have ended up with a draw rather than a defeat?

My truthful answer to that is I’m not sure because, for me, the truth that has tended to be overlooked after the Marshall incident is that there was nothing happening in the forty odd minutes when it was eleven v eleven to suggest that we were on our way to picking up the three points. In fact, with it sounding like Rotherham were putting most of the pressure on, I spent much of the first half recalling our visit at around this time last year to another side at the bottom of the table and looking for their first win, Blackpool.

Speaking as someone who talked in the week about what I called the Kenwyne Jones dilemma, whereby the striker’s mere presence in the team leads to us playing in a particular way which often does us few favours, Russell Slade’s decision to leave him out and give Sammy Ameobi an overdue first start should I suppose have had my approval. However, whatever I may have thought of our manager’s choice of front men, it patently didn’t work as the Rotherham goal was barely threatened during the time Ameobi and Joe Mason (who was taken off to allow Simon Moore to come on after the red card) were in partnership together.

Similarly, I couldn’t help thinking that the time to bring Craig Noone back into the side was about a month ago when he was scoring goals and full of confidence – I know it’s tough for substitutes when they are come on against the sort of massed defence Hull had, but he looked like the Craig Noone of last season I’m afraid when he got his first chance to impress in a few games on Tuesday.

After a couple of misses from the spot this year, Peter Whittingham still took on the responsibility of the penalty kick City were given almost straight after Rotherham's and scored with shot down the middle as Lee Camp dived out of the way.*

After a couple of misses from the spot this year, Peter Whittingham still took on the responsibility of the penalty kick City were given almost straight after Rotherham’s and scored with shot down the middle as Lee Camp dived out of the way.*

No, my main concern about yesterday was not what David Marshall did, it was that there were definite echoes of last season (which were not present on Tuesday) in yesterday’s defeat. With some very testing looking games to come in early and mid October, Charlton’s visit next Saturday has suddenly become a very important game, we don’t want to be facing Brighton, Ipswich and Middlesbrough on the back of a run of three successive defeats.

I’m going to finish by getting on a soapbox of mine and talking about the Marshall sending off again – in particular, what the reaction to it says about the sort of society we are. Now, I must emphasise that, as mentioned  before, at six o clock yesterday I was believing all of the things I was hearing about David Marshall, so it would be hypocritical of me to condemn individuals for expressing their criticisms of him at that time.

However, I’ve believed for a while now that, in this world of instant reaction where you are encouraged to have your say on anything and everything (as long as you use less than 140 characters in doing so) we have become a society which gets a kind of masochistic pleasure out of being outraged.

The rush to be first to react, while expressing views which look at everything from a purely black and white view, means that stacks of people end up looking pretty idiotic when the true facts become known (again, I’m not trying to be clever here because it’s something I’ve been guilty of myself). Yet, despite this, it seems that it’s considered to be more important to be out there straight away expressing your outrage than it is to take a little time to ensure that what you say can be backed up by the facts .

All I have to say about David Marshall for now is that he was far from being the only one to over react yesterday – there were thousands of us. Thanks for six great years of service to Cardiff City David and this is how I’ll remember you as a City player when you leave.

*pictures courtesy of http://www.walesonline.co.uk/

 

 

 

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13 Responses to Birch him! Flog him! Hang him!

  1. russell says:

    I thought before this game a chance to see Sammy and Noone was and should have been a good opportunity.I clearly I haven’t got a clue about team selections.

    I think in retrospect those millions apparently offered for Noone should have been grabbed with both hands.

    Kennwyne should start and Sammy is a good bench man at this stage e his career.

  2. Dai Woosnam says:

    A very thoughtful analysis, Paul, of the Marshall rush of blood to the head.
    Here is where I come from…
    I reckon for the last three years there has been no better UK born keeper in the British game…and only now do we have someone who looks like he could become the clear number one…the new Stoke goalie.
    That DM was provoked yesterday, is beyond a peradventure.
    But WHY was he provoked?
    I have a strong hunch that I can see the fingerprints of Steve Evans all over the incident.
    Steve would just WALK into a job as Head of Dirty Tricks at the CIA or at BOSS. (And believe it or not, I do not mean that to be an insult !! Actually, I tip my hat to him for his resourcefulness.)
    I don’t think Derbyshire has the Diego Costa Irritant Tendency gene in his DNA. He was put up to the tug by his manager…who is a bloke who does his homework and knew from that Forest game you referred to, that Marshall has a boiling point of zero.
    Not that those of us with long memories ever doubted it…which of us City fans can ever forget that amazing scene when he and Anthony Gerrard had their hands around the other’s throat? And only a quick intervention by captain Mark Hudson stopped them both being sent off…a la Dyer and Bowyer.
    Marshall should not be sold in the January window, but immediately read the riot act by Mr Slade. And stripped of the captaincy. And fined two weeks’ wages…alas the max he CAN be fined.
    Now an observation or three on the team…
    Letting in very late goals again, can suggest two things. First a lack of concentration…but I think not. The second thing it suggests is lack of fitness…and this is the charge I level at Russell Slade’s door. Look at Connolly after the OG…he had cramped up! Come on Mr Slade..as an ex-P.E. teacher, you MUST be able to lick them into physical shape…if YOU cannot, who CAN ?
    Then there is this observation re Joe Mason: get him to do short sprint training: all the great strikers of his slight build, had great speed over the first twenty yards…even if in the next eighty they could be overtaken by any self-respecting tortoise…(here I refer to Greaves, Law, Trevor Francis, etc…). If he cannot speed up, sell him to Wolves in the next “window”.
    And finally, Mr Slade missed a trick not picking Revell …back on the ground where he performed so well last season against the club for whom he scored the most famous goal in their long history!
    Kindest,
    Dai.

  3. Matt N says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for cutting through the nonsense! I’ve not seen any of the highlights so was just going on the reports and Twitter noise. I had my pitchfork sharpened, but it is now back in the shed.

    One for the statisticians, over the past 5 seasons, how many games have city lost to teams at the foot of the table? It seems quite a disproportionate number from memory.

  4. Richard Holt says:

    An excellent read again Paul. I was annoyed when hearing that Marshall was sent off and I tend to think it was a correct decision ( though not the penalty). The over-the-top vitriol towards Marshall from some quarters has been ridiculous however. I seem to remember a similar reaction against Graham Kavanagh in 2004-5 when as captain, he was sent off twice in a short space of time against Reading and Sheffield United. A few months later his enforced transfer to Wigan on ‘Black Friday’ reinstated his legendary status.
    As you say, our poor performance even when 11 v 11 is actually more worrying and some rather dubious substitutions hardly fill me with confidence. The decision to put Revell on alongside Jones seemed very strange given that a point whilst playing with 10 men for the whole of the second half would have to have been considered a fairly satisfactory outcome. Surely Pilkington or even Gunnarsson would have been a better option.
    Still, having lost away to the bottom club yesterday, I’m know extra confident that we’ll win at the top club Brighton in two weeks time. It’s exactly what mid-table teams do.

  5. A well-considered report for a sense of proportion on David Marshall’s “slaughter of the innocent”. Without condoning his lack of self-control, I think far worse things go on in the penalty area -the frequent examples of players being manhandled in the area is what really angers me. It is a conscious and deliberate act which is flagrantly a breach of the rules, and yet referees consistently ignore it, as do the linesmen. It is far worse than the so-called diving. Anyone who has played the game at any level knows that a player running at speed can be sent flying by the merest contact, and often a player might have to dive to avoid serious injury. I wish managers could be fined for letting (or encouraging) their players to resort to wrestling.
    To get back to yesterday’s game. Cardiff were already second-best before Marshall left the field. And why does Russell Slade think Ameobi is a centre-forward when his obvious position is wide or playing off a genuine centre-forward (which is not KJ in my opinion). With all his limitations Revell is far more effective as a centre-forward who plays his heart out FOR THE TEAM. Re Dai Woosnam on JM – all the short sprint training in the world will not alter hid fundamental lack of speed off the mark and change of pace. All last season I was hoping to see Digacoi as our saviour – now I’m pinning my hopes on the boy from Belgium (whose name I’ve just forgotten) but apparently he came to us with a serious injury and will not be fit for a month or so. We need speed, speed, and more speed throughout the team or else, Captain Mainwaring, we’re Doomed!

  6. rhondda blue says:

    after coming back from yesterdays game i can only say well done rusty for giving rotherham their fist win of the season. why do i say this, (1 ) wrong line up (2) poor substitutions. ( 3 ) poor tactics. Fans calling for Ameobi to start, but i still see him as an impact player coming of the bench taking the place of kenwyne with his pace when the oposisition tire. we were down to 10 men after a stupid kick out from marshall and what does captain rusty do, bring on jones, who we all know will chase down every ball (not) so in effect we were playing with 9 men. surely revell would have been the best bet there against his old club, and to be fair to the guy he has more running and willingness than kenwyne. pilks should have come on for whitts as he did nothing( apart from scoring the pen) and ralls could have played central midfield. i cant recall a shot that lee camp saved (could be wrong ) i know we were a man short but they were camped in our half we had no outlet and could not keep hold of the ball and thats against everyones favourite for the drop. poor display all round apart from our fans who i thought were brilliant. sort it out for charlton russ or we could be on the slid

  7. Sorry I meant Idriss Saadi from France. Anything beyond La Manche and I get confused. With his first name, does he have a Welsh grandmother?????

  8. MIKE HOPE says:

    I assume that it was the linesman who helped to identify Marshall’s serious foul play as it is part of his job to stay back and check that the keeper doesn’t carry the ball outside the area. I wonder if he thought it strange that Marshall decided to do a pirouette before launching his assault on Derbyshire. Has he been watching old Bruce Lee films.The penalty award was clearly wrong unless the ref thought he was playing advantage in allowing Marshall to take a kick at Derbyshire!Even if officials make mistakes are they not capable of using common sense and recognising when the punishment is way out of proportion with the crime.Incidentally I realised it was not our week last week when after watching Hull’s immaculate defending against us on Tuesday they concede a goal against QPR’S first corner on Saturday.

  9. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thanks to everyone for a great set of responses. Just a few observations which spring to mind in reply;-
    1. Mike, I noticed the goal Hull conceded on Saturday as well, but didn’t know it was from the first corner of the match.
    2. I think you make a good point about bringing Kenwyne Jones on when the team was a man short rhondda blue – maybe Revell would have been the better option.
    3. Anthony, speed on the counter attack is a very important part of the modern game and Ameobi’s signing is a definite step forward for us in that direction, but successful counter attacking is not a one man operation and, apart from him, we’ve not got much else to offer in that department – from what I’ve seen of Saadi, he looks mobile and strong, but I’m not sure he was that quick even before his injury.
    4. Richard, I’ve seen Revell and Jones play together two or three times and it’s just not worked – as you say, we were intent on holding on to what we had rather than trying to win the match, so putting an extra striker on did seem strange.
    5. Can’t help you I’m afraid with your question Matt. What I do know is that although, with the exception of that Blackpool defeat, our record against the relegated sides last season wasn’t too bad, we had trouble scoring against them under Russell Slade. We beat Wigan 1-0 with Ole in charge, but Slade was our manager for the other five matches and we drew blanks in three of them with two of the four goals we managed coming from penalties – apart from Whitts’ spot kick on Saturday, I’m struggling to think of another time when we looked like scoring.
    6. Dai, Steve Evans is a disgrace to my surname – I agree with what you say about him being a dodgy customer.
    7. Russell, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Noone leave in January – I don’t think his contract is up next summer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is during the following summer, so I’d say we’d get a worthwhile valuation for him this winter, but it becomes more difficult after that.

  10. PJ says:

    Unfortunately I was at the game on Saturday and the referee was appalling. His first call to action was to book a Rotherham player for hacking down Ralls and foiling a potential counter-attack following a Rotherham corner. However, he then showed two of our players yellow cards (Ameobi and Fabio, if memory serves) for the terrible crime of going to ground in the tackle and not getting the ball. Neither was worthy of a yellow card in my opinion, there was no malice and no lunging in. They were clumsy challenges if anything, but the home crowd clamoured for retribution and the referee duly obliged.

    So when the Marshall incident happened I feared the worst and, sure enough, the “homer” ref kept the baying supporters onside. Not by sending him off, but by awarding a penalty. I’ve since seen the incident on the godawful Channel 5 highlights package and, from the away fans’ standpoint behind the opposite goal, the red card for Marshall’s kick out looked far more justified than it did on TV; the camera angle appeared to mask the kick. It was also apparent that Derbyshire pulled Marshall back as he was preparing to release the ball, and surely that was the first punishable incident. A red card and a City free kick would have been the right call, but the referee evidently believed that Marshall’s kick was completely unprovoked. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think our penalty was the right decision either.)

    I have to say too that, while some of fans’ reaction might be over the top (I don’t visit the forums so I can’t comment), it was an unbelievably stupid and needless thing for our club captain to do in a match that was finely balanced at the time. I believe we would have gone on to win the game had Marshall stayed on the pitch, because Rotherham never looked particularly dangerous going forward, at least not until we tired in the closing minutes of the game. Players should all know well enough that petulant reactions such as Marshall’s at least carries the threat of a red card, so the fact that it still happens at all is incredible. I mean, if you’re going to get yourself sent off at least make sure the other guy can’t get up, right?!

    As soon as the red card was shown that inevitable sinking feeling should have kicked in when realisation dawns that it’s going to be a long afternoon (and an even longer journey home!), but I already had that sensation when I read the teamsheet. I’ve always backed Slade; he was given a thankless task of trimming the wagebill and keeping us competitive. He inherited a sinking ship and I think he needs much, much more time to steady it than the fans are willing to give him. But when I saw that he’d apparently bowed to fan pressure and promoted Ameobi to the starting line-up, I feared the worst.

    Ameobi’s the perfect player to bring on when the opposition is tiring. He can tie full-backs up in knots and his direct approach gets the fans on their feet and gives the team a lift. But put him in the starting line-up and he gets found out. He tires too quickly himself (apparentlly he’s asthmatic) and a bright start eventually peters out along with any goal threat he offered. Noone is similar in that respect too, so when both of them inevitably became ineffectual as the second half wore on, there were no ready made replacements and any chance of a counter attack disappeared.

    I like Ralls on the left flank, I think he compliments the forward runs of Malone/Fabio and drops in well to cover. I also agree with the majority of fans that Whittingham has served his time for the club and we need to find a creative midfielder to replace him, but I think that moving Ralls in there would expose that full-back position as none of our other wide players has the discipline to help out in defence. So I hope Slade doesn’t give in to calls for that change to happen… unless perhaps Fabio could push forward and Malone slots back in at left-back? Just a thought. I’ll stop rambling now.

  11. Dai Woosnam says:

    PJ says he will “stop rambling now”….
    Sir*…if that is rambling, then let us all join The Ramblers’ Association.
    I salute you for a very interesting contribution that made a profound point or two.
    Liked your possibly shrewd observation re Sammy Ameobi.
    And I must say PJ, that I truly LOVED your condemnation of David Marshall’s stupidity. The fact is that he has got off far too lightly on this issue with many usually astute City observers. (Yes, I do realise that the knee-jerkers want him shot, but I never take their views that seriously.)
    I yield to nobody in my admiration for DM as a keeper, but it is now clear to me that he is too much of a loose cannon to be able to remain as captain. (Not that I think that a captain being a goalie, is the wisest option, anyway.)
    I spent last week in the Glasgow area and I had a conversation with some Glasgow fans in a Wetherspoon pub…and all three of them wanted Gordon of Celtic behind the sticks. It wasn’t DM’s schoolboy howler against Germany that had made them think that way…nor were they Celtic fans …they were Motherwell supporters. They were just convinced Gordon was the better keeper.
    And they tell me that there is a bit of pressure from the top football writers in Scotland on Mr Strachan to make the change.
    All this may be a factor in destabilizing DM. However, as I say in my piece above, I think he has been a volcano ready to blow for a long time.
    And talking about my piece above…I see I say “tipped my HAD” …instead of HAT . Apols for the typo.
    I always applaud this blog for its civilised discourse and above all, for the truly commendable desire of its owner not to censor a single word posted by its contributors. Feel free however Paul, to get me out of jail if you ever see such howlers, and correct them before I appear even more of a dunce than I am already! Ha!

    * = it could be Madam…a la JK Rowling.
    Maybe that is why I always think it better to sign in with one’s full name. Plus there has been a danger on the rare occasion I have used an alias in the past, of feeling the desire to say something just to shock: something I would not normally even CONSIDER putting my proper name to.
    Not that the name Dai does not bring its own inherent male/female dangers with it here in England…I have lost count of the number of times I get letters starting “Dear Dia” (sic!)
    Look…I am ugly enough as it is…I have no intention of having a sex-change operation and becoming DIANE.
    Kindest,
    Dai Woosnam
    Grimsby, UK
    daigress@hotmail.com

  12. Sean Evans says:

    Hello Paul

    Nothing to do with football (Sorry!) but picking up on your comment about the joys of internet hate campaigns, have a read of ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed’ by Jon Ronson. An interesting look at the affect this sort of thing has on it’s victims. Since reading it I’ve found out that the writer was born in Cardiff, so this just about qualifies as a suitable comment on this blog maybe?

    Sean

  13. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Hello Sean, I’ve read a couple of reviews on that book and I think I might order it once I’ve read the two cricket books I have on my Kindle at the moment.
    Good to hear from you Paul, I’ve read a couple of things on the messageboards saying that the Marshall incident looked worse to those in the ground than it does on television – I accept it was a stupid reaction from Marshall and I honestly don’t see the point of appealing against the red card, but from the only view I’ve seen of it, I still believe that he wouldn’t have been shown a straight red card if he was an outfield player doing exactly the same thing on the halfway line.
    I thought there were a few strange decisions from Russell Slade on Saturday, not least the one to pair Jones and Revell up front for the last few minutes of a match where the object of the exercise seemed to be to hang on to the point we had given our numerical disadvantage disadvantage.
    Dai, I’ve changed “had” to “hat”- think the damage may have already been done though!
    I believe it needs to be remembered that Marshall has been sent off just twice in a thirteen year career – my attitude I suppose is a little like those who chose to defend Luis Suarez after he had bitten Ivanovic in that i won’t have a leg to stand on if Marshall offends a third time. He’s certainly going to face more provocation when he completes his suspension, but I’m confident he’ll not snap again – if he does, then I don’t see City being as keen to keep him as they were this summer and, by the same token, I think some of his Premier League suitors will start to lose interest in him.

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