Thursday, 12 January 2012

Captain Kompany, the perfect role model

Dear all,

I appealed because I obviously completely disagreed with the interpretation of the officials on the day but that happens in football and we move on. I wonder though if we are now going to see an unprecedented wave of red cards on match days because we sanction "if's" and "maybe's"? Are we going to look back at video evidence for every single challenge that goes unnoticed by the officials, look at different scenarios and potential outcomes of what could have been considered a good tackle and then sanction it? Players and managers are starting to expect more sending offs from referees and I think it's for the wrong reasons. My understanding is that English football prides itself on the hardness, the fairness and the tradition of its game. That is why hundreds of millions of people tune in to watch Premier League football and English referees have always been a key factor to that success in my opinion. So I don't agree with people saying that referees in this country aren't doing well as I think they are the best in the world. Hopefully common sense will prevail again in the future and I for one hope not to see consistency in sending offs and suspensions when the intent of a player is to win the ball.

I'd like to add to this that I waited for the suspension to be confirmed before making any comments on the matter as I didn't want to give the impression that I was using the media as a tool to benefit my own personal agenda in this case. I'm not speaking on behalf of the club or anybody else, this isn't me defending myself, this is just me raising a genuine concern.

If football fans decide I'm wrong in raising these concerns then I will have no problem in accepting the fact that times are changing again for our game.

This was Vincent Kompany rather eloquently airing his views on the straight red dismissal during the early minutes of the FA Cup 3rd round tie with Manchester United. The majority reaction to the sending off was sheer disbelief that a player can be shown a straight red for a tackle that doesn't touch another player. I share that sentiment completely and as you can see from the passage above, so does Kompany.

But this isn't going to be another ramble on the incident itself, the actual rules regarding tackling, the general decline in standards of officials, or the inability of the FA to use a little common sense. I'm not even going to mention that both Andy Carroll and Glen Johnson made very similar challenges last night and weren't even penalised with free kicks just like Kompany shouldn't have been which raises yet more questions about the state of current guidance surrounding interpretation of supposed intent... oh dammit, never mind. Anyway, this is to show my complete admiration for our Club captain.

Both on and off the pitch, Kompany is an outstanding professional. Forget this nonsense from the increasingly dithering Alex Ferguson implying that Kompany is a dirty player and intent on causing injury to others. That is quite simply a ludicrous statement intended to influence others into a negative opinion of a footballer who's moral standing is infinitely higher than anyone at his club.

At the time of the red card, Rooney and several other United ran to surround the referee waving their arms about, brandishing imaginary cards and generally screaming in the ref's face demanding immediate and harsh punitive measures.

What followed then was a player on the brink of losing it, it was written all over Kompany's face that he was absolutely furious with the referee for this shocking decision. But what was his reaction? As incensed as he was, he didn't give in to screaming abuse at the officials. Yes he demanded an explanation from Chris Foy, and rightly so, but at no point was he seen giving abuse directly to the officials.

Now how many times have we seen players of certain teams and even club captains verbally abuse officials directly to their face? Plenty, is the answer. Now I'm not saying it never happens with City players, all I am saying is it happens an awful lot with certain other teams in the league. I will leave you to fill in the blanks as I think we all know which teams and players I am talking about.

On the note of having a go at referees or arguing with other players, next time the ref gives a contentious decision or players get wound up and Kompany is on the pitch, have a look where he ends up. When things get heated you can be certain that Kompany will sprint the length of the pitch to try and make sure the tensions of his players don't boil over.  

We are supposed to have a system now whereby the referees are not surrounded by players at every decision made and that only the captains are to converse with the officials. Unfortunately that seems to have been forgotten completely by many players. Not Kompany. As already mentioned, in a heated situation Vinnie will be there to quell the storm.

On the pitch there are few who are more driven, competitive or as professional as Kompany which is why Mancini chose to give him the armband, and contrary to the usual, not a single person objected. He is a player that leads by example, never gives less than 100% on the pitch and is never caught up in controversy of his own making.

Kompany is a true captain in every sense. A captain shouldn't just lead for the 90 minutes of a game, they should be role models behind the scenes and in their personal lives. This can not be said for every captain out there that's for sure. But you guessed it, Kompany is one of them.

During public post and pre-match interviews he is always respectful of the opposition, never does he give in to boastful talk of how City will do this or do that even if they will. It is always "we can" achieve a certain goal, never "we will" as that is far too presumptuous for a man of Vinnies nature to speak of.

His commitment to the fans has recently been underpinned by his facebook and twitter accounts where he has begun to regularly update the fans with bits of information about training, and even held a fantastic competition to win his shirt and captain's armband from the FA Cup derby.

I will say one thing about that; if you read this Vinnie, you should've picked my speech ;)

There are a number of players who don't mind airing their opinions on social networking sites such as Twitter, and it was no different after that game with Rooney and Ferdinand logging on at the earliest opportunity to state categorically that they thought it was a definite red card.

Wayne Rooney
"Funny how people think i got kompany sent off. Im not ref. i didnt give red card. But it was a clear red card. 2 footed tackle"

Rio Ferdinand
"By the way how can there be any debate about the red card yesterday?? You leave the ground with a #2footTackle = Red card #fact"

And what was Kompany's immediate response after the game?

Vincent Kompany
"Thanks for the support I'm getting from everyone. Surprised at Sir Alex Ferguson's post match comments. Maybe that's a sign..."

Nothing about the decision at all, just a thank you to the fans and disappointment that Ferguson basically said Kompany goes out to hurt players on a regular basis. No tit for tat tweets to players, no arguing with opposition morons who send him vile messages. Even from the wording of the tweets the evident difference in dignity and intelligence is there for all to see. The gulf in class is like a yawning chasm, it's massive.

Manchester City really couldn't ask for a better captain.

Twitter: @MikeWalsh1880 or @mcfcDSLeftFoot
Facebook: David Silva's Left Foot

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