West Ham: Why The FA Were Right To Not Overturn Carroll's Red Card
Full disclosure: I'm a West Ham fan and have been for twenty-odd years, much of it as a season ticket holder and much more of it as a man accepting his fate as the fan of a club that are bound for more ups and downs.
With Andy Carroll's return, there was reason for optimism in a season that's been sorely lacking in reason for any. His decimation of Swansea for the best part of an hour was exactly why West Ham signed the England international and why Liverpool did before them.
Then he went and got sent off after a stupid lash out at RADA-trained defender Chico Flores (who should definitely be punished but that's a separate subject).
Let's get it right: it was a red. He's intentionally swung round to touch the player. Where it touched him is, in the end, irrelevent. He swung at him, touched him, got sent off. Simple.
Disappointing, yes, but simple.
That West Ham appealed is fine and obvious and I would've been mad if they didn't but to challenge the appeal's turning down smacks of desperation and of a couple of rich old blokes throwing their expensive toys out of the pram. The FA eventually went to an independent tribunal for back-up and the tribunal rightly decided that West Ham didn't have a leg to stand on.
What happened to sportsmanship?
Ironic to bring up the S-word in a situation where a player has so obviously tried to get an opponent sent off but people are wronged in football all the time - misgiven goal-kicks, free-kicks, bookings, sendings off and more - and it needs to just be accepted. West Ham should've just grumbled and moved on.
The problems with the challenge are numerous and I'm sure someone smarter than I, more well-versed in the system, would have even more reasons why this is a bad thing from a legal standpoint but the fact is that we're risking the ire of the most powerful footballing body in the country and opening up the floodgates for moneybags teams to break open their checkbook, summon the flannel-suited wolves and buy their way out of all wrongs they feel have been inflicted unto them.
Not to mention the fact that this has completely taken away from the momentum that West Ham have built. By showing such desperation to clamour for the saviour of a player is to accept the fact that we're chopped liver without him. They were taking a punt and hoping it gets overturned and now that it hasn't we're likely to be way worse off than we were before.
Had we accepted the decision, Carroll would be back in three and West Ham might've continued their good run of form with resurgent striker Carlton Cole up-front. We might not've got all nine points but we wouldn't be in the position we are risking now: of complete and utter deflation, accepting that our entire hopes rest severely on the shoulders of a much lamented, injury prone striker with terrible hair.
No pressure, Andy.