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Filed: Thursday, 12th November 2015
By: Paul Walker


James McCarthy should have been sent off. There you go, I've said it again.

Referee Paul Tierney got it wrong and those of a blue persuasion have been on my case ever since.

So now I am about to break my rule that says I should not get involved in slanging matches over something I have written for KUMB. People write on fans' sites and expect to get stick, everyone is entitled to their views and football is a passionate business, it's why we are all so involved.

The whole point is writing for you own fans means you don't have to be impartial, you are able to be biased and a piece that provokes debate--and sadly--some abuse, is what you expect. I can handle that, I am old enough and ugly enough.

And in the midst of all this I want to apologise to Everton and their fans for the shocking, way out of order, comments about the late, great Howard Kendall from some so-called West Ham fans.

How his name got dragged into this, I cannot fathom. But because I was annoyed with some Everton fans being spiteful and just nasty about Dimitri Payet, wishing him the worst possible damage, is absolutely no excuse for any sick remarks about Kendall.

Must admit, I was horrified. Kendall was a long-time professional acquaintance of mine, not a friend as such, but someone I talked to regularly in my former life for close on 20 years!

He was one of the nicest, most helpful managers I have ever met. He was very kind to me when I first moved to Liverpool to work--we both escaped Manchester at about the same time--and he went out of his way to cooperate with me.

I recall a long chat over a glass or two of wine about the 1964 FA Cup Final, when Howard played for Preston against us. He became the then-youngest ever player in a cup final that day, just beating our own John Sissons.

Sissons went on to become the youngest, at the time, scorer in a final and the pair left the pitch with their arms around each other, being friends and room mates for England Youth. That they never played for the full England side was a disgrace, and a chat about that day with Kendall was a memory of him I will never forget.

When he died recently I was away in Majorca on holiday, and still there when he had his funeral, a wonderfully fitting farewell at Liverpool cathedral. I was upset then, still am. So I am disgusted with any sick remarks from West Ham fans' forums. Some things are way out of line, and this is one of them.

Sadly, all clubs have their brain dead, pond life who hide behind invented names to abuse people. Sites should do more to filter out such filth, as well as death threats. Come on, do they think they are Reggie Kray?

Now back to my original point. Everton fans keep saying in countless postings that McCarthy got the ball, so that's OK. Where have they been these last couple of years?

Whether you touch the ball first with a scissor tackle is nothing to do with it. The new interpretation is all about how strong or reckless the referee feels the tackle is. The damage is done, as with Payet, with the trailing leg.

One post from 'Martin' insisted that it wasn't intentional and McCarthy got the ball. I have no idea whether McCarthy was trying to hurt Payet, only he knows that, or whether he's a nice boy and wouldn't hurt a fly, as 'Helen' from Wigan thinks.

Someone going under the name of 'Avishek' even used as mitigation the theory "that he could not control his trailing leg". That mate is just the point, and why the directive to referees has been made.

Payet posted a picture on twitter which showed McCarthy had two feet off the ground. Another picture shows his tackling foot about six inches off the ground with studs showing. Referees have been told to penalise this. Tierney, in my view, got it wrong and only booked the Everton player.

Countless refereeing pundits have made it very clear on this issue that players can be sent off even if they do get the ball first. Is that clear? I hope so.

And there have been Everton fans moaning about the scissor tackle from Spurs' Eric Dier on Tom Cleverley that put their midfielder out for months. And Luke Shaw's injury was also mentioned in mitigation.

The assault on Cleverley was not even penalised with a free kick, and Shaw's assailant was even named man of the match by the Dutch press. Both tackles were red card offences and should have been punished. That they were not is surely not an argument in McCarthy's defence.

Oh, and then Kevin Nolan's name gets thrown into the mix, something about a challenge he made while at Newcastle. He wasn't a West Ham player then and is not now. And whatever he has done still does not excuse McCarthy, or what I feel was a referee's mistake.

And finally, I did not mention anything about McCarthy's previous. Also not important. But I believe he and Morgan Amalfitano do not exchange Christmas cards.

The bottom line is that McCarthy should have walked. Simple as that, but none of this will get Payet back playing any quicker.


Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.







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