With Liverpool's Luis Suarez today being handed a massive ten game ban for having a nibble at Branislav Ivanovic, we have a quick look at some of the Premier League's worst offenders who got off lighter.
Roy Keane vs. Alf Inge Haaland
Roy Keane, notorious Irish hard-man and undisputed Manchester United legend, sullied a fantastic career with an incident involving Manchester City's Alf Inge Haaland, wherein Keane purposely sought out “revenge” against Haaland and succeeded in practically ending his career with a sickeningly-high tackle on the City man's knee.
Ban: Eight games
El Hadj Diouf vs. Celtic fans
El Hadj Diouf vs. 11-year-old Middlesborough fan
El Hadj Diouf vs. Arjan de Zeeuw
More famous now for spitting than for his once-considerable talents, Diouf even found an eleven-year-old Middlesborough worthy of his phlegm.
Ban: Total of five games
Ben Thatcher vs. Pedro Mendes
Thatcher ruined any chances he could have had at furthering his top flight career after nearly killing Portsmouth's Mendes with an elbow that left the player hospitalised in what many still consider one of the worst “challenges” they've ever seen. Previous elbow to Sunderland's Nicky Summerbee and another one to Shanghai Shenua's Yang Chungang which left the then-20-year-old with a collapsed lung laid waste to any claims it was accidental.
That there remains no footage of the tackle on YouTube is probably a good thing.
Ban: Eight games
Ryan Shawcross vs. Aaron Ramsey
The Stoke hard-man's “over-exuberant” tackle on the then-wonderkid of Welsh football left the playing with a snapped tibia and fibula and seriously derailed the career of a player who is only now starting to regain the form he showed back in 2010. A tackle of questionable intent but one which showcased SERIOUS foul-play, it's one of the main points against the FA's inability to extend bans to already red-carded players.
Ban: Three games
Michael Brown vs. Ryan Giggs
A horrific tackle from a player not even pretending to go for the ball, Brown clearly took offence to Giggs' attempted block-tackle and proceeded to jump two-footed into the winger's thighs. The tackle received only a yellow card in the game, presumably because the referee feared similar retribution.