Two Part Report – Ivanovic escapes Suspension and Iva’s Red Card Tackle
Chelsea lost yesterday’s Community Shield fixture against Manchester City 2-3. As a fan, I was very disappointed. I’m sure you were
too, even though it was only a friendly. However, the most disappointing outcome of the match was not the result.
No, even the failed Hazard back-heel, which sent him crashing into the turf, wasn’t a disappointment, either.
It was Ivanovic’s red card.
Ivanovic went in for a sliding tackle against an on rushing Kolarov, his Serbian national teammate. His feet were raised and studs up. Ivanovic missed the ball and got Kolarov instead.
The tackle looked real bad at first and especially from the referee’s angle. The referee didn’t have a great game either. He should have sent off Savic for a second bookable offense when he elbowed Torres just before the Iva red card.
Until a few moments earlier, I, along with million others, assumed Ivanovic was going to face a 3 match ban, for the straight red card. That would have kept him out of the first three premier league fixtures.
And, that, was the major disappointment of the match for me, personally.
We are already short on cover for the right back position after Bosingwa was let go for free at the end of his contract. We haven’t signed a new right back yet. Even if we do sign Azpilicueta before Wigan game, it would be a tough choice to play him straight away. Our existing back ups aren’t the best available options.
Paulo Ferreira has lost a considerable amount of fitness. PF can’t play 90 minutes at a stretch. Sam Hutchinson did show a bit of promise during the pre-season games. Although, his previous knee injuries mean, he can’t overload his knees. Kane is still not ready for the rigours of premiership.
Other choices would have been, to play Luiz, Ramires or Bertrand at right back. None of them are naturally suited for that position. All the more reason for me to be really frustrated at Ivanovic’s red card.
Whatever one has to say, The Community Shield, with its history and significance, is still only a friendly. Loosing your team’s mainstay right back in an effort to win a friendly is useless. Some of the players seemed to have figured that out. They were more intent on staying fit, rather than get into dangerous tackles.
Now to the good news after all the ranting.
Ivanovic won’t face any suspension. Yaaay!
Apparently, The FA changed its rules regarding red card suspensions, after Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney were both sent off during an Amsterdam tournament, against Porto, in 2006. Subsequently, they ended up facing three match suspension.
The FA changed its red card rules for the 2009 season. Here is the red card rule change, in relation to Ivanovic’s suspension, from The FA website.
Sanctions, resulting from red cards shown in pre-season friendly fixtures, will not apply to competitive first team games
The FA Community Shield is classified as a pre-season friendly.
So in short, as per the new rules, Ivanovic won’t be facing a suspension for his red card in the Community Shield. Good News!
Got to give the FA credit for the rule change, irrespective of the reason that prompted them to change it.
A Youtube video that shows the Ivanovic tackle:
An angle, which I thought, provides a different perspective to the challenge.
Some interesting points, according to my opinion. [Warning: I'm not an expert. I think like a fan. So my judgments will be clouded.]
As per the law, Ivanovic’s tackle deserved a red card. A two footed lunge with studs up into the opposing player gets the card.
However, if you look at this angle (in the GIF), it shows Ivanovic was closer to the ball than Kolarov. He had every right to go for the ball.
In fact, Kolarov’s momentum carried him to the ball first, before Iva could deflect the ball.
Iva could have dived for the ball earlier. However, he had to generate some momentum before he could go for the dive. Kolarov had the advantage as he was already making the run.
The other thing Iva could have done, is to have stayed on his feet and run with Kolarov. It would be safe to assume, Iva could have run Kolarov to the lines and even dispossess him. There is always a risk of penalty being given for a wrong tackle inside the box, but better than a straight red, isn’t it.
I know all this is in hindsight and doesn’t change the fact that Iva made a rash challenge in the heat of the moment. But, there were other major concerns for me.
Look at the team shape before Kolarov gets the ball played to him.
Players failed to intercept the pass. A Center Back rushed out of his line to dispossess the ball before the pass was made to Kolarov. He failed in his attempt and was left out of position.
Midfield(ers) was tracking back very slowly, which left the back four exposed.
[I haven't named any player, as it was a collective failure and nothing to say any other player in their position would have done any differently.]
Well, one obvious worry from the pre-season is the defense. Organisation at the back is missing, something which made us ‘lucky’ at the end of last season. I’m pretty sure, RDM knows this better than me. I’m just hoping, the players’ lack of motivation and fitness led to the errors.
I’m also expecting a much improved performance from The Blues against Wigan in the season opener.
You may have noticed something as well. Please do share it via the comments box below.