Monday 18 March 2013

McManaman: Mistimed or Malicious Tackle?

The following incident occurred during the EPL match between Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United on Sunday 17 March 2013. The match finished 2—1; there were 2 YCs.

In the first half, Wigan forward Callum McManaman (blue) challenges for the ball against Newcastle's Massadio Haidara (yellow). Here are the dynamic frames (courtesy of The Telegraph):

Here is Referee Mark Halsey's position.
Apparently, Halsey did not (or could not) see the incident and actually stopped play moments later with a DFK to Newcastle for an infringement made by Wigan. It is hoped the FA will therefore take retrospective action against McManaman.

The pitch location of the incident means that both ARs were too far away (i.e. in excess of 30 yards) to attain a close view. There have been suggestions that AR2 Matthew Wilkes had a clear view (see here). However, this is likely to be incorrect. In addition, AR2 probably did not have a good angle of view.

AR2's View

The best angle of view (i.e. the X-Factor) is seen from this following dynamic frame:

Looking at this shocking challenge, I suspect there will be a diverse range of opinions.
In one corner, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez defends his 21-year-old player:
Remember it's Callum's full debut in the Premier League. I haven't seen the replay, I believe that he touches the ball and then it's a bad challenge, but it's nothing malicious, he's not that sort of boy.

I can't really comment too much because I haven't seen the action but I can guarantee that Callum McManaman is a young man full of talent and in his debut probably showed the enthusiasm that you expect, but he's not a malicious player.

In the other corner, ex-Referee Graham Poll believes it to be serious foul play:
[McManaman's] straight-legged lunge over the top of the ball, with his studs up, caused his opponent to be stretchered off.

So, was McManaman's shocking challenge mistimed or malicious !!??


  1. Doesnt matter. It wreckless and careless. Certainly cause for a sendoff.

  2. Thank you Anon. I think it matters to Referees and to those who wish to understand why decisions are made (or not made).

  3. Has to be a send off. Studs up into the knee and late.
    According to recent report FA did not retroactive punish because one of the officials saw the play. I don't understand how an official viewing the play doesn't at least call the foul.
    Sometimes wonder about what ref's see.

  4. Thank you Anon. The FA, by not taking retrospective action, has demonstrated that it does not protect players, support match officials nor safeguard the image of the game. The FA has acted irresponsibly by using a "technicality" to avoid taking retrospective action against Callum McManaman.

    McManaman himself may well be in danger if players and fans believe that he has not been properly sanctioned for his shocking challenge.

  5. Anonymous 23, March2 April 2013 at 11:26

    The fact anyone considers the intent of the player more important than the actions is remarkable. The referee cannot ever know the INTENT of a player, but he call always rule on the ACTIONS of the player. Start calling all of these no matter the perceived intent and this kind of cr@p will stop. Until the officials get sufficient scrotal content to start penalizing players for this stuff, the players will continue to do it and potentially career ending injuries will be the result.

    Straight red, send him off. Make his team play short, make him miss the proscribed number of games and play will become more careful.