Sanogo must get the el­bow for cheap shot

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP QUARTER-FINALS -

KARL Robin­son is right. Yaya Sanogo’s hor­ri­ble el­bow on Antony Kay was much worse than a sim­ple case of vi­o­lent con­duct.

It was cow­ardly. It was cal­cu­lated. And it was 100 per cent in­tended to do dam­age. The FA needs to come down hard on the Charl­ton striker – and I mean more than a three-game ban.

As a cen­tre-half, you’re taught to stand your ground. If a striker gets too tight, give them a lit­tle push in the back. That’s all Kay did.

Sanogo’s re­sponse was to draw his el­bow back and throw it into Kay’s face. Be­ing an ex-player, the mo­ment I saw it, my blood boiled. The ball is nowhere near him. The de­fender’s eyes are else­where. It’s a cheap shot.

It re­ally an­noys me that he tried to get away with it.Who does he think he is, el­bow­ing some­one straight in the face and then plead­ing in­no­cence? He’s lucky that an­other MK Dons player didn’t stick one on him. He de­served it.

Sin­is­ter

When you go up for a header and lead with your el­bow, that’s very dif­fer­ent.Your eye is on the ball and there’s no in­ten­tion to cause dam­age.

Some­one might get caught on the nose but it’s noth­ing sin­is­ter. You use your arms for lev­er­age and, 99 times out of 100, any col­li­sion is en­tirely ac­ci­den­tal. Play­ers know that.

Very sel­dom in my ca­reer did I see a player try to hurt some­one. It’s very, very rare.Yes, you make strong tack­les. If I see a ball down the line and it’s a 50-50 chal­lenge, in the back of my mind I’m think­ing, ‘Right, I’m go­ing to take the ball, put the man in the air and give the crowd some­thing to cheer about’.

But at no point in my ca­reer did I ever think,‘I’m go­ing to hurt him, I’m go­ing to break his leg,’ or any­thing like that.

Man­agers of­ten cry about twofooted chal­lenges, call­ing them leg-break­ers and that sort of thing. I’m not say­ing they aren’t red cards but, more of­ten than not, they’re just mist­imed.

Peo­ple who’ve played the game know when there’s ma­li­cious in­tent. Think about Ben Thatcher’s el­bow on Pedro Men­des or Roy Keane’s in­fa­mous lunge that ended the ca­reer of Alfe Inge Haa­land. Ev­ery­one knew what had gone on.

Con­se­quences

Sanogo – who is on loan from Arse­nal – falls into that cat­e­gory and it’s the kind of be­hav­iour that ev­ery pro wants to see stamped out.

When Luis Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic, we won­dered if it was a cul­tural thing – some­thing that was more ac­cept­able in South Amer­ica. He still got a ten-game ban. Sanogo doesn’t even have that ex­cuse.

What’s more, the po­ten­tial con­se­quences were much worse than any bite. He could have bro­ken Kay’s eye socket. Frac­tured his skull. Just be­cause he didn’t doesn’t make it OK.

You in­flict that kind of dam­age in the street, you get banged up. It’s no dif­fer­ent to punch­ing some- one in the face. And if you can’t get away it in so­ci­ety, why should you get away with it in foot­ball?

A three-game ban is not enough.You can’t equate a shove or a slap in the face to some­one who is de­lib­er­ately try­ing to hurt an op­po­nent.What ex­am­ple would that send out to the rest of the league? What mes­sage does it send out to young play­ers?

The FA needs to make a stand be­cause there is no place in the game for peo­ple who try to hurt a fel­low pro.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

BOIL­ING OVER: MK Dons re­act an­grily af­ter Charl­ton’s Yaya Sanogo el­bowed Antony Kay

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