Alex Sanchez’s pantomime princess routine against Leicester City this week, pretty much epitomised modern football in terms of gamesmanship and the fibre of footballers nowadays.
In the context of Sanchez’s swollen lip and his search for sympathy on social media afterwards, you’d expect Villa’s Neil Taylor to have been hung, drawn and quartered after his tackle in a Wales shirt on Everton’s Seamus Coleman playing for Ireland.
A strong tackle used to be a facet of the game that was celebrated as much as a great pass, but football’s increasing sensitivity has made the full bloodied challenge increasingly rare for fear of punishment.
There was little intended malice in Taylor’s challenge, it was more an issue of timing. Taylor would have served a one match ban anyway, but you get the sense that Coleman’s broken leg influenced the actual decision of adding another game on to appease the public reaction.
The fact it was only an extra match ban certainly signifies that FIFA couldn’t justify it being malicious conduct, or else it would have been extended to three and more games, quiet easily.
Ironically, after he has served his ban, which includes qualifiers against Serbia and Austria, the Villa left-back will be available for the return fixture with Ireland. Luckily for him, the game will be a home game for the Welsh.
Taylor has certainly been reliable and solid in the left-back role for Villa, when he has come in. His attitude and application in the Blues derby was top-notch.
Robinson’s Three-match Ban
Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, the debate over Blues captain Paul Robinson’s ‘assault’ on Villa’s James Chester took another turn when the player picked up a three-game ban, ruling himself out of Birmingham City’s relegation battle.
Interestingly, according to his manager Harry Redknapp, Robinson has since claimed it was an accident.
“I spoke to Robbo, he said it was a gesture to tell the defender to kick the ball away.
“As he kicked out his leg to say ‘Kick it’ after the goal had gone in, Chester ran across him and he caught him.
“He said he apologised straight away and said ‘I didn’t mean to kick him’. If he tells me that then I believe him.”
The Blues boss was also asked today about Villa chairman potential role as ‘a grass’, after Xia had tweeted about the incident tagging in the FA on social media.
“To be honest I don’t know if it was him who alerted the FA,” said Redknapp.
“If he did, we can always find instances, there were instances during their game where their players did something that wasn’t right.
“But I wouldn’t go and flag it up to anybody. I’ve got too much respect for Steve Bruce.”
Going back to the Robinson challenge on Chester though, if it was such a ‘innocent accident’, why didn’t they appeal it? After all, they went to the trouble of appealing his red card against Wolves earlier in the season.
Listen to our discussion of the Robinson challenge on Chester and a lot more on the latest episode of the MOMS podcast: