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Anorak | Claudio Gentile, Maradona And Martin Keown’s Hypocritic Assault On Football’s ‘Dark Arts’

Claudio Gentile, Maradona And Martin Keown’s Hypocritic Assault On Football’s ‘Dark Arts’

by | 29th, October 2014

 

Argentina's Diego Maradona, is tackled by Italy's Claudio Gentile during the Soccer World Cup second round match, between Italy and Argentina, at the Sarra Stadium, Barcelona, June 29, 1982. Argentina defeated Italy 2 - 1. (AP Photo)

Argentina’s Diego Maradona, is tackled by Italy’s Claudio Gentile during the Soccer World Cup second round match, between Italy and Argentina, at the Sarra Stadium, Barcelona, June 29, 1982. Argentina defeated Italy 2 – 1. (AP Photo)

 

Rob Bagchi has noticed that Hands Off In The Box, the Daily Mail’s campaign to stop footballers using force in the penalty box, is a non-starter. You can read more about the Mail’s campaign to pressure referees here. And learn that it’s backed by the paragon of the clean tackle and noble virtues, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.

Former Arsenal man Keown writes for the Mail. The paper says football reached a “new low” when Manchester United’s Smalling and Rojo defended a Chelsea corner by placing Terry and Ivanovic in headlocks.

 

Manchester United's Chris Smalling wrestles with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in the penalty area during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Manchester United’s Chris Smalling wrestles with Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in the penalty area during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

 

Bagchi notes that Keown has forgotten himself. His man-marking skills earned him the nickname The Rash.

Paul Hayward reported in 2003:

Never mind Robbie Savage. Martin Keown is football’s champion irritant. Much cleverer, much harder to ignore. If he was a bodyguard, Arsenal’s 36-year-old defensive pest would gladly throw himself in the way of the bullet. With Roma’s Franceso Totti last night it was beauty against the beast. And the beast won.

Totti, Italy’s most gifted playmaker, could tolerate no more than 22 minutes of the man they call “The Rash”. After being bumped, bothered and bored by the last survivor of George Graham’s illustrious back four, Totti rose to flick on a long ball and took the opportunity to ram a hand into Keown’s face. Red face and red card. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mark Viduka are among those who have developed feuds with Arsenal’s ancient No 5, and now Totti can collect his membership card.

Said Totti:

“For 10 minutes before that, Keown had been kicking me and I told the referee but he didn’t do anything about it.”

Says Bagchi:

We know that it is an imperfect game and always has been, which makes Keown’s claim that holding in the box is “a new evil” nonsense on both counts. The former Arsenal captain Frank McLintock first noticed it when playing for Leicester City in staggeringly brutal ‘friendlies’ against Italian sides in the early 1960s. It was during those games, he says, that he encountered the technique of “marking the inside of your shirt”. Before the match he had heard horror stories from veteran colleagues about the impertinent familiarity of some opponents’ ploys – jabbing a thumb where the sun has never shone when you rose for a header, having chest hairs’ ripped out at the roots, nipples tweaked and testicles twisted. He counts himself lucky that he “only ever witnessed niggling stuff like pinching, hair-pulling, the occasional bite and the ubiquitous bumping”.

Joe.ie has another example of low acts:

It’s probably not written down in the laws of the game but we’re pretty sure you’re not supposed to insert a finger into your opponent’s anus during a game. It seems nobody told Emanuel Britez, a defender with Argentinian side Unión de Santa Fe. As he tussledArsenal de Sarandí’s Pablo Luguercio, Britez did the dirty deed, causing the striker to turn around and clock him.

 

 

Bagchi made a similar point in 2008, in the Guardian. He hakrs back to the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

In the second-phase group game against Argentina, Claudio Gentile launched a concerted assault on Diego Maradona with such devastating effect that it could arguably be said to have won them the tournament. Of course they played superbly in the final and to beat Brazil but let’s not forget that Gentile had more of Zico’s shirt in his hands during that match than the “White Pele” had on his back.

 


Read it all…



Posted: 29th, October 2014 | In: Arsenal, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink