Archive for January, 2013

Kicking and screaming: Workplace ‘Hazard’ for ball boys

Posted on January 25, 2013. Filed under: Sports |

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There’s been much public debate since the incident involving Belgian international and Chelsea midfielder and a Swansea City ball boy.

Some contend that the red card shown to Hazard was ‘extreme’, suggesting that the referee should have exercised better judgement/discretion in making such a decision.

However, the FA said on Friday, January 25 that the red card constituted an “insufficient” punishment for the offence.

An FA statement said: “The FA has charged Chelsea’s Eden Hazard following his side’s League Cup semi-final at Swansea on January 23, 2013. It is alleged that Hazard’s behaviour in relation to a Swansea ball boy, for which the player was dismissed in the 78th minute, constituted violent conduct whereby the standard punishment that would otherwise apply was clearly insufficient.”

It continued: “The player has until 6pm (1800GMT) on Tuesday, January 29, to respond to the charge.”

Hazard was already set to serve an automatic three-match ban for the red card in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg at the Liberty Stadium, where a goalless draw left the Blues out in the cold on a 2-0 aggregate defeat.

The FA’s statement seems somewhat harsh given that both the ball boy and Hazard met with each other and apologised for their actions.

Could the FA’s apparent stance be stemming from the fact that the ball boy, Charlie Morgan, is the son of Swansea City’s biggest shareholder? I’m just thinking out loud here.

This unfortunate turn of events came in to being all from something which ought not to have happened in the first place.

I’ve heard no mention made of sanctions for Morgan or the Swansea City Club. Are they not culpable too? Ball boys should discharge their duties with the same degree of professionalism as the officials and players. Where that professional display is breached then sanctions should follow.

Truth is that ball boys sometimes delay the game by a few seconds. That’s just the game. If it gets out of hand, a player should alert the game officials. The referee can warn the ball boy or request that he be replaced.

The ref can add on more time if it really gets out of control. Kicking at him is foolish, unsporting and warrants a red card. Sure Morgan was obviously time-wasting but how much time do you really think was lost before Hazard lost his temper? Less than a minute.

Lesson: Sport requires discipline and a display of high professionalism by all involved on and off the field of play.

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Signing of the season

Posted on January 14, 2013. Filed under: Sports |

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Robin Van Persie with Man. United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson

I spent the morning of Sunday, January 13, 2013 lamenting Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford. I questioned why Brendan Rogers didn’t start the new signing Daniel Sturridge, but that’s the topic for a different blog.

Today is January 14, 2013 and as I pen this piece Manchester United FC currently enjoys a 7-point lead in atop the Barclay’s Premier League in England. Their closest threat comes from their “noisy neighbours” and current Premier League champions Manchester City.

While there are other contributing factors, United’s position in first place is primarily due to one Dutchman who moved from Arsenal to sign with them this season – Robin Van Persie (RVP).

RVP has scored 10 goals in his last 10 appearances for the Red Devils and 20 goals overall in 26 appearances in all competitions. His move from the Gunners has been described by some as “the signing of the season” and I couldn’t agree more, here’s a quick history of the move…

On August 17, 2012 Van Persie transferred to Manchester United for an initial £22.5 million, with an additional £1.5 million to follow if United won a Premier League or Champions League title within the next four years. He signed a four-year contract, keeping him at the club until June 2016.

Since then a few things have happened, among them Arsenal has struggled to find consistent good form. The Gunners currently occupy 6th place in the Barclay’s Premier League and remain in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions’ League.

Oh how Arsene Wenger’s men could use his talent… Oh how happy Sir Alex Ferguson is with his newly acquired ‘Dutch Talisman’.

Arsenal via Wenger, has developed the unenviable reputation for signing talented players for relatively small transfer fees, keeping them on board for a few years while developing them and then just selling them (or facilitating a situation which results in them want to leave at contract’s end or before).

Manchester United through Sir Alex Ferguson has been much more prudent with his signings and this season, not for the first time, it is bearing fruit.

Let this be a lesson to managers locally and globally to exercise wisdom in the discharge of their duties; you are more than managers, you are Human Resource Managers.

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