Are modern footballers too protected?

In the wake of the Sadio Mane red card, the debate continues on how the game of football has evolved over the past few decades.

With long injury lay offs rife in modern football, ACL’s tearing left, right and centre and constant sprained, broken and fractured bones being fixed by club doctors. Sadio Mane has added fuel to the flames of the question, are todays pedigree ‘ballers too protected by the laws of the game?

Some injuries are unavoidable, for want of a better word. For example the dreaded anterior cruciate ligament damage or tear. It’s a season ender and has taken the season of Zlatan Ibrahimovic most recently, along with basically ruining Bojan’s Premier League career with Stoke. There’s nothing a referee can do to stop injuries like that, its often an awkward landing or a ‘weak’ ligament that causes it and ruins not just a players season but often a teams.

However, injuries like broken bones, deep cuts, and even a fractured skull in Petr Cech’s case that means to this day he wears a protective helmet in game, can often be prevented by players following the rules of the game strictly. Football is supposed to be a “non-contact game” is a line I hear and read over and over again, but if it was to be non-contact then it would admittedly become significantly more boring. So how can such injuries be stopped, will football players ever become more cautious in their play?

Sadio Mane kicking Man’ City goalkeeper Ederson in the face with a high boot lead to a divide of opinion on football Twitter. Gary Lineker tweeted

and he wasn’t alone in his opinion with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (obviously) agreeing  as did Gary Neville. On Match of the Day Alan Shearer and Ian Wright both agreed they would have gone for the ball in the same position so perhaps the referee, Jon Moss, was in the wrong to send him off? I don’t think so, though.

Whilst it’s always argued referees in the Premier League like the attention to be on them, it’s simply not true in all cases. Yes, sometimes referees perhaps let the power goes to the heads of the men in the middle but often referees are acting in the games and the players best interests. In this case whilst Mane had eyes for the ball and undoubtedly didn’t expect the Brazilian ‘keeper Ederson to be so far from his goal line, he put his foot in a dangerous position, unbelievably high and so close to causing damage a lot more serious than he did. Citizens team mate and social media GENIUS, Benjamin Mendy tweeted;

Which in English roughly translates to “Crazy is here, he’s okay.” or something like that, Google Translate wasn’t very reliable.

Either way I believe the protection offered by the laws of the game and the enforcers (a more intimidating name for a referee) is ample. Mane deserved a red and it should deter players from doing similar things and putting opposition players in difficult positions.

What do you think, should Mane have seen red?
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One thought on “Are modern footballers too protected?

  1. Football is not a non contact sport only the bravest prosper and win games. perhaps the powers that be are trying to take the beautiful game down this road .

    Like

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