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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Raves and Rants – Reckless Challenge = Yellow Card Not Red

Written by on February 14, 2011 | 14 Comments »
Posted in General

A mini-compilation of some of the best articles and blog postings from the last week.

The Andersred Blog analyses the Chelsea financial results.

A Freakonomics article on kids playing and watching sports.

Rob Hughes on Italy’s new approach.

Bret Myers, a professor of management and operations at the Villanova School of Business, has analysed the use of substitutions in soccer games and has some interesting findings.

A debate on the New York Cosmos. It is from a couple of weeks ago but still worth watching.

Real Madrid announced as the world’s richest club when in fact they are the club with the highest revenues – pedantic perhaps but they are different things.

Just Football provides the background to Marcelo Bielsa’s final resignation.

A video featuring US international Steve Cherundolo of Hannover talking about the season the club is having. This is from the English language Bundesliga site.

The Independent is offering a podcast on South American football.

Fraser Wishart, chief executive of PFA Scotland with words of warning to players using the social network.

Why are there so many good Scottish managers? A name missing from Richard Wilson’s list is Dundee United’s Jim McLean.

A very good piece from James Corrigan on Roy Hodgson.

Hold That Headline

At half time with West Brom leading 3-0 you could anticipate “Hodgson appointment vindicated” type headlines. Forty minutes later, three goals from West Ham, two of them from Ba the headlines were more likely to be “West Brom sheepish at draw.”


“What I did say, winter is not only January or February. I think for the time being the matter is on ice.”

FIFA President Sepp Blatter tries to put paid to the possibility of playing the 2022 World Cup early in the year ……….or is he suggesting that FIFA will consider a future bid from Antarctica.

“We have an existing relationship now with Tottenham where we are beginning to think outside the box on football and how we do things together on football,”

Tim Leiweke President of Los Angeles owners AEG. AEG is also a partner of Spurs in their Olympic Stadium proposal.  I can’t work out whether the interview given by Leiweke was trying to somehow impress the Olympic Stadium decision makers or to answer criticism of Beckham not making the start of Galaxy pre-season training.  Either way it was a lame effort.


If there was an award for the most underrated match commentator I think it might go to Peter Drury. He voiced the Manchester derby on Saturday and I thought he did a terrific job as he almost always does.

No stupid repetition of red top rumours of players who have been linked with the clubs, no ideal chatter with the colour commentator – just given the game a chance to breathe while communicating the importance of the match and the tense atmosphere.

Curmudgeon Corner

If we all got paid every time that a commentator, analyst or writer told us that a player received or might have received a red card for a reckless challenge we would all be very well off.

A quick look at the Laws of the Game tells us that a reckless challenge by a player earns a yellow card, not a red one.

“Reckless” means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent.
• A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned

To receive a red card the referee must judge the player to have used excessive force.

“Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
• A player who uses excessive force must be sent off

The referee still has to differentiate between the types of challenge but nonetheless the wording is clear.

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14 responses to “Raves and Rants – Reckless Challenge = Yellow Card Not Red”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    TVA – As far as I am aware, Bale is out and VdV and Modric are fighting for fitness. Even without Cassano, I can’t see Tottenham’s CB pairing holding off Pato, Ibra and Robinho. Milan’s Nesta and Silva make a very good CB pairing and the know they need a few goals as the second leg may be an entirely different animal.

    If I were Arry, I’d put Corluka in the middle and Hutton at right back. The second leg will def be a cracker and I really don’t care who progresses as neither team has any chance of winning the trophy. If Cassano wasn’t cup tied I would love to watch Ibra/Cassano display their magic in the final…. but.

  2. Gus Keri says:


    Blatter’s words “What I did say, winter is not only January or February” was directed to the IOC president Jacques Rogge who was worried that the WC might interfere with the winter Olypmics in 2022.
    For a moment, Blatter thought about playing the cup in December.

    By the way, the Hodgson article is very interesting. I second your invitation to all to read it.

  3. Gus Keri says:

    I guess the Brazilian fans’ dream of watching the famous 4 “R”s, who brought Brazil the last WC in 2002, playing together in the Brazilian league for the first time has died and all thanks to the Corinthians’ fans.

    Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo who played for Corinthians last year will be leaving this week, one to Russia and the other to retirement. Corinthians’ fans blamed them for the exit from the Libertadores cup.

    Ronaldinho joined Flamingo last month and Rivaldo joined Soa Paulo this week.

    Another Brazilian WC star, Elano, returned to his home land this month and is playing in Santos, where Neymar plays.

    It looks like the Brazilian league is attracting a lot of stars ahead of the 2014 WC.

  4. Bryan says:

    Sorry ,but I couldn’t get through that Andersred piece.
    All this Swiss Ramble and Zonal Marking type stuff just doesn’t do it for me. I’m sure the financial stuff matters ,but I prefer to just stick my head in the sand.

    I saw the NY Cosmos at The Bridge one year.Biggest crowd of that season showed up ,36,000+ ,which was more than double the average at the time.Played the Tampa Bay Rowdies the next year and the same happened. Can’t remember the scores ,not that it mattered ,it was just a relief from the normal crap we were used to at the time.

    And Eddie McCreadie wasn’t a bad Scottish manager. While he lasted.
    Last time anyone heard from him he was doing some vicaring in Tennessee.Funny that.

  5. Theo van Arshavregas says:

    Happy Valentines’ Day everyone! Anyway …


    Regarding the London Olympic Stadium bid, could it not be seen as a lose, lose for both parties?

    If Tottenham won the bid then one could say that Athletics would have lost out in the sense that there would be no track at the Olympic Stadium.

    If West Ham won the bid, as they ended up doing, then footy ends up losing as Hammers’ fans will, one and all, be watching matches from the nose bleed sections. There will be this enormously wide track between the stands and the pitch which will lead to an incredibly poor atmosphere and fan disenchantment. Just ask Bayern Munich.

    Would it not have been best for the London Olympic Stadium to remain an Athletics only, or predominantly, facility? Watching games with a track infront of you makes the match a rumour at best. For me, all EPL teams should have steered clear of being the future occupant and either contructed their own footy specific stadium or refurbished their own existing stadium.


  6. Gillian says:

    Bobby, thanks for this roundup. I look forward to reading it at the beginning of the week.

  7. Theo van Arshavregas says:

    No Malaria Man to start for Chel$ki @ Fulham. The Eyebrow starts Torres instead and retains the old 4-3-3 shape. Interesting.

  8. Theo van Arshavregas says:

    Looks like he has gone with his future back four already (Ivanovic, Luis, Terry, Cole).

  9. TVA – Any chance of sustainability needs a football tenant. As I described in a previous article much of the problem goes back to the World Athletics Championships that were suppose to be hosted by London in 2005. I think that the London Olympic bid had to go over the top in terms of athletics and a legacy because the Blair government withdrawing support for 2005.

  10. Bryan says:

    “What a waste of money! What a waste of money!”

    Thanks for nothing Gus ,think you sold us a lemon!

    Must admit I’m having a hard time accepting Torres as a Chelsea player ,he just doesn’t look right in blue , unlike the current crop of Chelsea supporters.And I could do without them singing his old Liverpool song ,even with adjusted lyrics.
    Whilst I never actually “hated” him ,I didn’t exactly wish him any good will either over the last few years.
    I always did have a problem with signing a player from one of your rivals. I’ve only recently gotten over us signing Colin Lee from Tottenham.

    I’d never seen David Luiz before ,but after only one a bit games I think he might be a keeper.

    Was good to see TSO sitting in the Cottage. Shame he wasn’t in the dugout.
    Could he be coming home?
    There’s a growing feeling in some Chelsea circles that last year’s double was achieved in spite of ,and not because of ,Ancelotti.
    Personally ,I thought last season was going to go the way this one is turning out.
    And yes. I was one of those guilty of thinking it was all over after ten games ,as Bobby is quite fond of reminding us.

    And a big thankyou to Nacogdoches finest for missing that paenalty.
    That point just might make all the difference between fourth and fifth spot at the end of the season.

  11. Bryan says:

    I found it amusing how Ian Darke kept trying to make it sound like Chelsea and Fulham supporters had a great disliking for each other.
    There never was any big rivalry ,other than in the minds of the most rabid Fulham supporters. Both of them.

    I used to go and support Fulham whenever Chelsea didn’t have a game,and there were always a lot of other Chelsea supporters doing the same.
    It’s no big secret that at the ’75 Cup Final half the Fulham supporters there were from Chelsea.
    There was a time when Chelsea’s London derbies were all made to be morning kick-offs due to *ahem* extra-curricular actitivites *ahem*.
    And on those occasions when it was an away game a few thousand would go straight to the Cottage for the afternoon game ,which would result in Fulham having their biggest gates of the season.Back when 3,4.or 5 thousand was the usual crowd in divisions 3 and 4.

    Fulham were ,and always will be ,my second team.So up yours Darke.
    Think that’s what I was trying to say.

  12. Gus Keri says:


    I didn’t see the match yesterday. I only saw highlights.

    But don’t give up on torres so soon. He is still one of the best.
    It’s going to take him a while to get used to playing with these octogenarians. Making Chelsea younger is going to take time.

    Also, don’t forget that his transfer saga would have surely left a psychological damage that might take a longer time to recover from.

    You might not see the benefit this season because it’s too late. But I can guarantee you the next season he will be back to his best.

  13. John Bladen says:


    My least favourite comment by talking heads is “I’ve seen them given for less”…

    And that means what, exactly? That consistency requires one to be as ignorant today as they were ten years ago?

    IF commentators (and officials) kept more rigidly to the actual laws of the game, the game would be better. I find this more an issue with penalties than red cards (some commentators seem to believe that any chance that might have resulted in a goal scoring opportunity – even if it is the attacking player that instigates contact – absent the foul must lead to a penalty), but the principle is the same.

    The odd thing to me is that the same commentators calling for instant red cards for challenges will ridicule the ref who issues a second yellow card for a foul seen as ‘soft’. It is the player’s responsibility to be aware that they are already on a caution, not the ref’s responsibility to judge the foul based on possible ‘cost’ to that player’s team.

  14. John Bladen says:


    I agree. I couldn’t believe the talking heads in the Fulham game suggesting that Torres “wasn’t worth” the money paid.

    He may, ultimately, turn out to be poor value for money (in fact, I suspect his next transfer will be for far less than Chelsea paid). But only a complete fool would attempt to make that assessment on the basis of two games. No player can move from one system to another (even if the systems in question are very similar) and fit in seamlessly. It takes time.

    Surely any January move is only properly assessed the following summer (at the earliest – there are plenty of transfers that didn’t truly take full effect until 6 or 8 months after the window closure)?

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