All this talk of tackling becoming reckless in the Premier league is getting me a bit worked up.
It's unrealistic to expect every team to play fast, attractive attacking football. It is advantageous to some teams to make everyone lose their physicality, Bolton or Blackburn is never realistically going to out pass Arsenal? It is their way of countering the fast passing and movement by throwing in a push shove and the occasional late slide. This is football it happens. Everyone is complaining about Nigel De Jong and his challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa. Although I haven't seen the tackle, whether it was late or not I don't think he should be ridiculed or dropped. The midfield enforcer is an important role in a team and with the increased diving and theatrics on display I feel some strong tackles are needed. De Jong is right now one of the most disliked players around, but I really genuinely like him. He's the modern day Roy Keane. Someone who is going to go out every Saturday and play his heart out, put himself on the line for his team and make no apologies for it.
This supposed recklessness is nothing new either, over the years there have been many hard tackling 'reckless' players( Keane, Vieira, Cantona to name but a few) who have been loved. Watching their tackles was just as thrilling as some of the goals were. Footballers are becoming soft, a couple of hard tackles and they start throwing their toys out the cot. For heavens sake, you don't get paid 100 000 quid a week and spend hours in the gym to prance around. Get stuck in!
The real problem that needs addressing is diving. FIFA and the individual leagues need to introduce some form of punishment for the gamesmanship that goes on today. lengthy bans and suspensions should be handed out by post match review panels and teams should be given the opportunity to submit incidents for review, as they do in rugby for dangerous tackles. Something must be done soon before this all gets out of hand, and come on footballers, grow up.