Friday 3 February 2012

Lee Probert and Yohan Cabaye Again Part 1

The FA has taken retrospective action and charged Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye with violent conduct on Brighton's Adam El-Abd.

The following incidents occurred during the FA Cup fourth round match between Brighton and Newcastle United on Saturday 28 January 2012. The match finished 1—0.

It is also interesting to observe that coaches and players like to use players' evidence when it suits them, and to ignore players' testimonies when it doesn't suit them. In this instance, in an effort to defend their stance about Cabaye's 'unintentional stamp' at an opponent Newcastle are claiming that the victim, Brighton's El-Abd, will support Cabaye in his appeal with the FA charge. There is no proof of this; there is only what the media reported what Newcastle coach Alan Pardew had said.

We already know Pardew will not publicly say anything negative about Cabaye (i.e. for Cabaye's excessive challenges) but will openly defend him or help get sympathy for him (see here).

Presented here (and in Part 2) are three incidents in the match that give a flavour of what occurred. Given the unsavoury performances this season of Referee Lee Probert and Newcastle United player Yohan Cabaye (e.g. see Probing Lee Probert), what occurred during this match is evidence that not much has changed in terms of their own individual introspection, self-improvement and performance.

1) Cabaye's Stamping Incident

As the ball is played to Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye (black 4), Brighton's El-Abd (blue/white) fouls Cabaye from behind.

First, it must be said that Brighton's El-Abd fouled Cabaye by pushing and tripping him. Referee Lee Probert did not call it and simply let play continue.

Even had Probert quickly whistled for a foul, Cabaye's unsavoury reaction toward his opponent appears to be typical of his attitude toward fellow professionals in general (see examples here and here).

Cabaye (black 4) is fouled from behind and Referee Lee Probert does not call it

Notice how Cabaye's left leg is straightened, which is a sure sign that he intended to stamp against his opponent and cause harm.
Referee Lee Probert (orange) appears to perhaps have an angle of the players' tangle but he did not stop play.

Cabaye gets up and exhibits no concern whatsoever for his opponent who he has just stamped on

And did Cabaye show any empathy or concern for his fellow professional after this clash? Remember, Cabaye was "really upset" about being on the receiving end of a challenge by QPR's Shaun Derry. At least Derry had the courtesy and decency to check on Cabaye immediately following his reckless challenge.

Now obviously, everyone wants justice. If a player is carelessly tripped by an opponent to make him lose possession, a Referee can manage this by simply giving back what is owed. Tit for Tat, as some people may say.

Food For Thought
This ordinary everyday 'justice' system is analogous to giving a child some money to buy some candy from a candy store. Equal value constitutes fair exchange. When there is a shopkeeper, everything is fine because there is a recognised authority figure to help out with the fair exchange of goods. However, if the shopkeeper is dealing with another customer or is taking a nap, the child is told by someone (perhaps an impatient mother waiting outside or another person inside the store) he can simply take his share of sweets and then leave the money as payment. In such circumstances, most people will behave fairly and pay for what they take. Some people, if they know they can get away with it, will sneakily take a little more candy in return for their cash. And there are others, like Cabaye for example, who will simply take ... they will take as much candy as possible and will also take their cash with them too. This represents their own moral and ethical codes. As Referees, we should intimately know and understand our own moral and ethical codes ... which ideally should be decent and of a high standard. With this understanding, Referees can hopefully understand and evaluate other people's reactions and behaviour too.

With Cabaye, whenever a decision goes against him and whenever he perceives an 'injustice' is inflicted on him, he will take as much 'justice' for himself. Cabaye's sense of Tit for Tat is seriously skewed and it will probably not do him any good in the long run. Furthermore, even before Cabaye perceives any injustice being inflicted on him, he will himself inflict injustice on his opponents and expect to get away with it ... just like a kid who should know better running around unsupervised in a candy store. If Cabaye does not change his ways, there is a good chance he may experience some serious incidents in future. He may even come across an opponent who has similar moral and ethical codes to his own, and should he fall victim he will undoubtedly protest most vehemently and the response from those familiar with the situation will be something similar to that described in What Goes Around Cabaye Around.

Looking at what Cabaye tweeted in response to the FA charge, we have a clue as to his take on Tit for Tat and his perception of "injustice". Cabaye tweeted:
"3 matchs ban it's a real injustice but life goes on !!! In my teammates i trust ..."
Cabaye correctly perceived he was fouled, but he also reacted violently and knowingly injured his opponent. And yet Cabaye believes his subsequent three-match ban for violent conduct is an "injustice". With that kind of view, who really knows what Cabaye's sense of justice and fairness is?

The FA is to be applauded for charging Newcastle's Cabaye for stamping on Brighton's El-Abd. In recent times the FA has been seen to support EPL match officials by taking retrospective action on incidents that were missed by match officials (e.g. Balotelli's Boot) and by upholding correct decisions made by match officials (e.g. Chris Foy the Courageous).

Now if only some EPL referees, who are full-time professionals, can raise their awareness and treatment of problem players, as well as improving their own problem areas, then hopefully justice can be consistently and correctly applied on the field of play before it even has the chance for competition authorities to take retrospective review.

More in Part 2 of Lee Probert and Yohan Cabaye Again.

1 comment:

  1. "Notice how Cabaye's left leg is straightened, which is a sure sign that he intended to stamp against his opponent and cause harm."

    What utter nonsense. Cabaye's legs straighten as he goes from rolling over (after being pushed) to lying flat on the ground. This is perfectly normal for someone that has just been pushed over. When the kick was intentional I couldn't say, but to suggest that one still frame is "a sure sign" that it was is a joke.
    As for Cabaye not showing empathy? The referee played on remember. You said so yourself. The game didn't stop. Was he supposed to get up and give him a cuddle while the game went on around him?