This was discussed last Friday night in the Stags Head but I can’t really remember much of what was said.
Everybody accepts that there’s nothing wrong with playing hard and probably most people accept that a certain amount of fouling is acceptable. You’d certainly be hard put to find somebody who never pulled a jersey or stepped in someone’s way. Intentionally trying to hurt an opponent is getting trickier.
I’d definitely draw the line at intentionally trying to injure someone, certainly to the extent that they have to go off.
I think it’s unacceptable to go out with the aim of injuring someone. But I do think if someone is a filthy prick and hits you with a bad challenge it’s fine to give him a clatter thereafter - not too injure him but to tell him to fook off and you won’ be intimidated.
I remember debating this point last week but I can’t remember what I argued so I can only hope that it’s consistent with what I say below.
I think it depends on what you mean by injure - it’s ok to try and hurt somebody in most circumstances. It’s certainly ok to try and hurt somebody while playing within the rules of the sport: a hard tackle in rugby, a cracking shoulder in football etc. I’d have little or no problem with trying to hurt somebody while bending the rules either. The odd sly dig here and there are all part and parcel of the game. It’s funny sometimes you have a little running battle with someone when you’re both hitting eachother small digs off the ball or tripping eachother up and that sort of lark. Then other weeks you try it with someone and you trip him up and all of a sudden it’s a 22 man brawl and there’s head butts and all that craic. I’m not generally a fan of such brawls but I did cause more than my fair share in recent years. Hard to say why - certainly nothing pre-meditated before the game but sometimes you see guys things that are above and beyond acceptable and that’s what I react to.
For myself I’d certainly never try to break anybody up in a tackle. I used to relish tough sliding tackles and getting stuck in but I actually never once tried to foul somebody intentionally in soccer. I’d have the odd mistimed challenge and sometimes a bit of shirt grabbing but I didn’t try and trip someone instead of going for the ball - unless the ball was at the other end of the pitch and it was part of a different sort of battle.
So I’m all for hurting guys within the rules and having a bit of a barney with another guy. I don’t agree with deliberate fouling and what used to really annoy me were guys who’d go over the top of the ball or something. That’s inexcusable and I used to react to that all the time.
Keane was too obvious with the way he got revenge on Haaland. I would have done it in a much more underhanded way. Like following him home after training some day giving him a full force swing of a baseball bat to the back of the head.
as rock said, injuring somebody intentionally is out of order and downright cowardly but hitting somebody on the sly off the ball just to put them off their game is part and parcel of sport - you don’t want do do them damage but you want them to feel it for the remainder of the game - in gaa it’s called “softening them up” and is part of the game at every level. to be honest it’s more of a mental thing than anything else - the hits rarely hurt the opponet, it’s more about how it makes them feel i.e intimidated, vulnerable, etc. may seem cynical to some but it’s part of every sport. attempting to put somebody out of actiion for a period of time is unforgiveable and extremely cowardly in my book however