European Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Kompany banned for three matches, Ben Arfa dreams of PSG, and more


Roberto Mancini might want to invest some of his club’s money into migraine medicine, after Vincent Kompany’s red card in Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday earned the defender a three-match ban, according to reports.

The Belgian international joins the likes of regular first-team players Sergio Aguero, Micah Richards, Samir Nasri, and the brothers Toure that are unavailable to play for the Citizens.

Mancini declared after the match that he would challenge the decision by referee Mike Dean, though it looks like those efforts may be in vain.

Here are some other stories to get your Monday started:


Having already lost forward Demba Ba, Newcastle has once more been rocked by reports from France that talented midfielder Hatem Ben-Arfa may be on his way out as early as this summer.

The 25-year-old Frenchman is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, stated that if there was any interest from PSG he would very seriously consider it, and likely take their offer.

PSG has yet to make an offer for Ben Arfa, though if he can regain his pre-injury form, there likely would be interest from many clubs around the world.


Returning from New York in time to see his Barcelona side take down Malaga 3-1 on Sunday night, Tito Vilanova made clear that Barca forward David Villa would not be leaving the club in the January transfer window.

Arsenal, as well as others, have been rumored in bring in the 31-year-old Villa on loan until the end of the season, but Vilanova’s words after the match have likely ended any chance of the Spanish international switching clubs.

Villa has had a tough time getting into the Barcelona starting XI recently, despite scoring two goals a week ago in a Copa Del Rey match against Cordoba.


Arsene Wenger hints at Cesc Fabregas return in a few years. (REPORT)

Mexican international forward Carlos Vela scored the game-saving goal for Real Sociadad this weekend. (REPORT)

Italian Football Association (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete states a need for reform in football. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you think that Kompany’s ban will be overturned or reduced? Do you think Ben Arfa is good enough to start for PSG right now? Do you see David Villa recovering his form and earning his starting place in the second half of the season?

Share your thoughts below.

    • jones

      agreed. Saw the match and thought red was harsh. Perhaps the ref felt pressured to “even things up” after the early red.


    • The Imperative Voice

      He does come in studs up but he won the ball and the player just fell over the tackle. Should have been a yellow at worst. Red plus three games is silly bureaucratic nonsense. Reminds me of the ref who once called me for faking a slide tackle to scare a player into giving me a throw in.


      • GW


        From FIFA :

        Serious Foul Play

        “Any player who lunges at an opponent when challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent, is guilty of
        serious foul play.”

        There is room for interpretation. You don’t have to actually make contact.

        You just have to lunge at him and if the ref judges what you have done as using “excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent”, even if you don’t touch the player you can get a red.

        If the ref bought your “fake slide tackle” as a real lunge then he was within his rights to red card you.


    • Chicago Pete

      You guys kill me. Just because he did not break the other players leg makes the tackle less of a red card? This is exactly the red cards we need more of. Don’t you think that players seeing the replay of that tackle might start thinking twice about coming in two-footed, studs-up? Don’t you think it’s better for the game? If violent tackles are what you want then you are not true soccer fans. Sorry to go off but protect the players!!!


      • The Imperative Voice

        He’s not protecting anyone here. The guy comes through sideways ahead of the player and gets ball. Whether his studs are up or down is immaterial if he is going crossways rather than into the player.

        The player then falls over Kompany simply because Kompany won the 50/50. “Got the ball first,” QED. At least that’s the way it used to be treated.

        I don’t mind reds for studs up into the player but that’s not what this is.


      • loosek

        You wrote: “Whether his studs are up or down is immaterial if he is going crossways rather than into the player.”

        That’s wrong. Studs up is studs up, sideways or no. The ref is obligated to be proactive in protecting players, not just show up after the fact with a mop and bucket to clean up all the blood. Kompany’s challenge is a bad one, and there’s no reason to wait for someone to get hurt before laying down the law. Too bad for Kompany, who’s a fantastic player.

        You know damn well if any Arsenal player had come in the same way the Citizens woulda been screaming.


      • SoB

        Whether the challenge merited a yellow or red is somewhat debatable. The additional suspension is absurd. An additional suspension should be reserved for injury or, at the very least, intent to injure.


  • The Imperative Voice

    You wonder how liked Pardew is because he’s already managed to run off Ba with the Cisse signing in a bit of unnecessary Lloris/Friedel nonsense. Fergie does not seem to be a fan.


    • GW

      Spurs signing Lloris was not nonsense.

      It was a luxury, the kind of luxury that rich clubs contending for honours need to do.

      I don’t know what Spurs spent signing Lloris ( and extending Friedel) but I look at it as taking that entire sum as one number.

      That money was meant to insure top flight performance from someone, either Lloris or Friedel, and from what I’ve seen, I’d say it worked. Both guys are playing their best and should one get hurt Spurs should be okay either way.

      Spurs are probably better off in the keeper department than any of the other top four contenders..


  • Al17

    PSG wouldn’t think of making an offer to this NUT CASE. He left Lyon et Marseille in part because he was a cancer at both clubs and what he did to Blanc after Euro2012 was a joke considering that he was given a life line to play for France. He’s not good enough to play for PSG. It would be a Nightmare if he played for PSG.


    • MLSsnob

      Agreed on some issues though I think he would match well with Pastore. Arfa is way under rated, he’s capable of some amazing moments.


  • Michael F.

    Two footed, studs up – Thats a red card in my book. Intention doesn’t matter. Winning the ball doesn’t matter.


    • evan

      it shouldn’t be a foul if there’s no foul (no contact). if winning the ball doesn’t matter then what the hell are we playin’ for?


      • C C

        So if someone tries a flying roundhouse and doesn’t connect, no foul? Different, yes, but same logic.


    • David JS

      It wasn’t two-footed. He won the ball with his right, and his left was off the ground but trailing. Two things I think are so subjective and misused are “studs up” and “leaving the ground with both feet”. There is no physically possible way to slide tackle with your studs directly down and on the ground. He doesn’t come in with two-feet going for the ball, or with a dangerously out of control lunge wielding his studs. And it does matter if he wins the ball, especially if he wins to so cleanly. It is indicative of being in-control and therefore not making a dangerous play. If it’s a reckless tackle, it has a higher chance of being dangerous and catching the body rather than the ball. I’m not saying anything should be legal so long as you win the ball or anything, but it is part of the context of the play that is very important. Kompany could repeat that tackle 100 times and never once endanger Wilshire. You can’t keep punishing him because guys like Nigel de Jong break guys’ legs being reckless. It is a matter of interpretation that the ref has to consider, and in this case I think he clearly made the wrong decision. But furthermore, even if the decision is done and in the past, it is ridiculous that Kompany would have to sit out 3 additional games.


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