Following Tottenham Hotspur's contentious London Derby match with Chelsea last weekend, there was a lot of speculation surrounding Fernando Torres and his sending off in the second half. The red card incident itself wasn't exactly the target of many fans ire, but it was an attempted eye gouge and succesfull scratch to the face of Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen that many focused on.
Yesterday, the FA announced that there would be no additional punishment for Torres, because the linesman witnessed the incident, though he admitted he did not see it clearly. Torres will now only face the two match suspension that comes with being sent off.
Today, Andre Villas-Boas had a few things to say about the FA's decision, labeling it a joke.
‘It doesn’t matter to me which player or club is involved. Neither do I want to question Fernando’s integrity with my words, or their manager’s (Jose Mourinho) in trying to defend what is our position"
"I think the FA has made a decision almost a joke. It looks incredible. How can you see the images, pretty clear, and come out without punishment, on something as overtakes all professional behaviour?
"I think the decision is a disgrace. If the committee can’t solve such clear images I don’t think it sets out a good first example and we’re not asking nobody to retract themselves; the player to retract themselves. That would not be fair. This is a competition and in the end they came up with what they thought was fair for that"
Villas-Boas went on to state that he didn't want Torres suspended simply to weaken a rival. AVB praised Chelsea's depth saying, "[T]heir bench is so strong, whoever comes in for them makes them even stronger."
There seem to be to schools of thought on this. One, let's call it the Kevin McCauley school of managing, believes that AVB should just keep quiet about an incident that he has no control over and that has no effect on his team. The managers job is to coach football, not dissect FA decisions.
The other, think of it as TheRoosevelt's school of shouting words in a random order, thinks that this sort of defending your player and calling out your rivals is just what a manager should always be doing. That and keeping strategically placed folding chairs around their technical area.
Personally, I don't care. AVB wasn't a jerk about this and he's kind of right. This decision is a joke, if only because of the rationale that the assistant saw it, even though he didn't really. However, the decision is what it is and no amount of criticism from the press or managers is going to change it.