The media seems to have gone in overdrive about recent tackles made by Everton players, I kind of get the hype about the Mirallas challenge on Luis Suarez (see below). But this wasn’t really what I wanted to talk about. It was in the Mini-Derby yesterday, which is basically the under 18’s version of the full derby.
The attention that a few rash (potentially dangerous) challenges that a few of our younger players put in during the match has been unparalled. This was a match played by a bunch of 15, 16 and 17 year olds at Evertons training ground, Finch Farm. It was decided the match was to be shown on LFC TV, Liverpools own TV station and as such, everything was available to a worldwide audience.
During the match there were 3 reasonably bad challenges, firstly by Ryan Ledson followed up straight away by Joe Williams (Who received a red card).
Ryan Ledson also put in another hefty challenge during this match in which he received a yellow card.
Following the release of these video’s, it was picked upon by the National Press, including the Mirror and a number of other outlets, who proceeded to say these challenges put the one by Mirallas to shame. This prompted a number of Liverpool fans to abuse the players via twitter.
This for me is far more disgraceful than any challenge the players made. These are two 16 year old kids. They are school age, playing in a game that wouldn’t normally get anywhere near any coverage, yet because it is shown on Liverpool TV it gets picked up by the national press and the lads received dogs abuse.
The media shouldn’t get involved with things like this when the players are at such a young age. This could damage them mentally. They were given added pressure due to the game getting sent worldwide and from the looks of it, were trying too hard. I don’t think either player would go out to hurt an opponent, despite what a lot of Liverpool fans had commented. If this had happened in any other U18 match, no one would have heard about it and that’s how it would stay.
The media has a duty of care in this too. These are young players.
It is up to the Everton under 8 management team to chastise in private if they aren’t happy, not the national press and fans on twitter.
The key things to remember from yesterday are:
- These are 16 year old kids
- The press have a duty of care
- If the club aren’t happy, they will speak to the players
- The players were put under national spotlight
- This probably happens in under 18 matches across the country, it shouldn’t be highlighted because it’s a Merseyside derby
- Kids at that age shouldn’t be put under fan pressure or criticism!
Going back to the Mirallas incident I agree it was a reckless challenge and probably did deserve a red card – The player himself admitted this and apologised to Suarez. I don’t think you will find many Evertonians arguing with that. It may well have been premeditated after the Uruguayan put Mirallas out for a number of weeks with this stamp on the player in the derby match last year, but only Super Kev will know that for sure. But I very much doubt it.
He also managed to rake his studs down Sylvain Distin’s leg in another bad challenge, but not a lot was made of this challenge
Mirallas challenge has been compared to Roy Keanes challenge on Alfie Inge Haaland. The difference being that Haalands leg was set down in the grass and Keane meant to hurt Haaland. Mirallas caught Suarez in mid air and the media have made it out to be worse because it was a minute or 2 after he was limping around and the fact it was a high profile player. Players from both clubs have committed far worse fouls this season (Gerrard and McCarthy).
It doesn’t excuse the challenge but there are far worse challenges in the Premier League Week in, Week out. Take a look at Luis Suarez’s show reel over the last couple of years and you will see some shockers. On another note, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer
Do you agree? Visit www.theevertonforum.com to give your opinion