Premier League Redux: Jozy’s Red, Relegation Race Over, Kalou’s Two Footed Goal

26 April 2010

Jozy Altidore Deserved to be Sent off in Hull City’s Match against Sunderland
Having seen the few places I actually do check out in the blog world (and trust me, it’s very few), one thing has completely baffled me: the amount of people who seriously think that Jozy Altidore did not make contact with Alan Hutton. The only logical explaination I can come up with are these people are either blind, or are so crazed in their passion for the US National Team that they will defend anything a potential key player does during any game they are involved in.

The incident in question only occurred seconds before the first half ended. Yes, Alan Hutton was a bit generous in shoving Altidore to the ground, and he was even more gracious in throwing the ball right at his head, but that is no reason for any player to snap. I will give Lee Probert full credit here. Once Hutton threw the ball at Altidore’s face he immeditately blew the whistle. Altidore’s reaction, ending with one nice headbutt to Hutton, was simply stupid, selfish, and shows the immaturity of a player who at this point will never fulfill the most basic of expectations he had before leaving MLS.

Let’s look at both red cards: Altidore’s red was as obvious as one can get. Anytime you instigate head to head contact with another player, it’s a straight red card. Alan Hutton’s is a bit stranger, but still justified within the laws of the game. Throwing the ball at the head of a player, regardless of the force used, is a straight red card offense. Most referees midjudge this and only show yellow, but Probert correctly sent him off.

Between Jozy’s performance this season at Hull City (which hasn’t been exactly great), his tardiness which caused him to miss at least one match, his fitness issues from inside Hull City’s management, and now this red card, even with a spectacular World Cup performance, he will be considered at best a project player at either a bottom feeder club or in a second tier league. That’s just the price you pay for being stupid on a relegation-bound team.

The Relegation Race is Over Before the Final Day of the Season
In my time following this sport we all love, this has to be the first time that I can remember the relegation battle in England has been decided before the final day of the season. Yes, technically Hull City can overcome West Ham United if Hull wins out, West Ham loses out, and overturn a twenty-three goal differential; but the chances of that happening are non existent. With Portsmouth’s administration, Burnley’s inability to get any points away from home (not to mention their downward home form), and, according to George Boateng, Phil Brown’s losing of the dressing room, the relegation battle is over.

At least the top of the table is a little interesting. The title race is still up for grabs, even if it’s only a two team race. We have 4 teams with a chance at fourth place, and a fifth having a chance at finishing inside the Europa League places. Can Aston Villa sneak into fourth? Can Liverpool do the impossible after being out of the Champions League places for most of the season? What does the loss of Shay Given do to Manchester City’s chances of finishing in a Champions League spot? Oh, and can Everton somehow get into the Europa League places by season’s end? Thank god there are still plenty of storylines at the top, where they should be, to keep us interested in the end of the Barclays Premier League season.

Salomon Kalou Should Have Seen Red For His Sliding Two Footed Tackle
Let’s face it, Chelsea’s 7-0 thrashing of Stoke City would not have been so bad if Thomas Sorensen had been between the sticks for the entire ninety minutes. However, had Steve Bennett followed the letter of the law, Salomon Kalou’s second goal would not have stood. Instead, Kalou would have been sent off for a professional foul, and Chelsea would have had to spend close to an hour with ten men.

Sure, all the Chelsea fans are getting their poisoned pens out ready, to disassociate themselves with this Chelsea fan, but I have to call them like I see it. Now It was unfortunate that Sorensen dislocated his elbow, but had Kalou not gone in sliding two footed with studs up, the Stoke City keeper wouldn’t have been injured. The fact remains, however, Kalou did go in illegally and the keeper was injured. Had Bennett been properly doing his job as a referee, the red card would have been shown.

Once the contact was made, the incident became a red card offense. The fact red wasn’t shown is embarrassing. Yes, you can claim that Sorensen should have kept hold of Frank Lampard’s initial shot and should have been quicker picking up the loose ball. However, had Sorensen collected the garbage, knowing Kalou was going studs in, that would have been a red card, and the scoreline would not have been 7-0. It could also be said that Chelsea would not be in first place right now if Steve Bennett was properly doing his job.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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