Should Vincent Kompany have been sent off against Arsenal? Should his red card be rescinded? The answers are probably yes and no.
Kompany may have won the ball in his challenge with Jack Wilshere, but by the letter of the law Mike Dean was correct to send him off for the right reasons, rather than just to make it 10-a-side as some have indicated.
Although the Manchester City captain only plays the ball with one foot, the tackle has to be deemed two-footed, especially on first viewing.
Meanwhile, although his feet are not off the ground, he does jump into the tackle a little as a reaction to realising that Wilshere’s touch is a little on the heavy side.
These two factors based on the rules make it virtually impossible not to send off Kompany.
In Kompany’s defence, he doesn’t go over the top of the ball and because he is back-pedalling prior to making the tackle, there is no momentum in his challenge, which certainly makes it less dangerous.
However, the rules are the rules and the fact that he took all of the ball is no defence to making a challenge outside of those deemed acceptable.
If a player contested a high ball with their foot rather than their head, they would still concede a free kick and receive further punishment from a referee, regardless of whether they took the whole ball and avoided contact with an opposing player.
Kompany should also know better in this case.
Even if the challenge is made in an instant and without time for proper consideration, he was sent off for a largely similar tackle against Manchester United in the FA Cup last season, when winning the ball from Nani.
Roberto Mancini has vowed to appeal against the red card and if it is rescinded, Kompany will be available for Premier League games with Fulham and QPR, alongside Manchester City’s fixture in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The reports suggest the appeal will prove unsuccessful and this seems right as the referee has done nothing wrong in making a decision by the law.
Also, if bans do get rescinded and players effectively go unpunished, they will never try to adjust their tackling style and contest the ball as the laws of football argue they should.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.