Boy we’ve sure been through some horrors over the past days. But nothing, not even Baggio’s barnet, could’ve prepared you for tonight’s blood strewn, brainless, fright fest. Tonight we look at tackles. Not the good ones either, we’re looking at tackles that would make Graeme Souness’ face scrunch like he was eating a lemon. Tackles that would make Chopper Harris hide behind the sofa. Let the horror commence…
(Warning, some of these are pretty graphic and won’t be suitable or those of you who wear tiny little booties with pink fluffy frills.)
Nigel de Jong vs Xabi Alonso, World Cup Final 2010. There are a few times when bad tackles aren’t intentional (Adam on Parker a few weeks back?). Sometimes the player has his blinkers on and is just committed to getting the ball, sure it looks bad when they connect but if they didn’t make contact it would look fairly normal. This isn’t one of those cases.
I really rate de Jong; I think he is right up there as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. But he is definitely at fault here, whether going for the ball or not. He just is never going to win it, and to attempt to do so in such a manner was reckless.
Still at least we got a sweet gif out of it.
Benjamin Massing vs Claudio Caniggia, World Cup group stage 1990. Now I got to admit, I love this tackle. Of the many memorable moments for Cameroon in the 1990 World Cup, this is the greatest. It was the opening game, and Cameroon were leading a woefully under-performing Argentina 1-0 in a shock result. A result that must be protected at all costs.
Now, what I like, is that during Caniggia’s long run, he gets challenged three times and not one of them are trying to get the ball. However, where two had failed to ‘break up’ the attack, Massing would not. He would not even feign a legitimate tackle. Massing was going to halt Caniggia. Full Stop.
Literally left his boot in.
Roy Keane vs Alf-Inge Haaland, Premier League 2001. Manchester derby + Roy Keane = lots of pain right? No actually. Well yes, but there’s more to it than that. You see in 1997 Keano did a ligament in during a challenge, and had to seek treatment, stopping the game. Haaland, who was playing against Keane for Leeds, gave Keane a little lip about faking injury to avoid a booking for the challenge. Barring how ridiculously stupid Haaland must’ve been to say this, he got Keane booked as he was stretchered off.
Roy retired to his hospital bed and got his small black book out. In it he simply wrote: ‘Haaland will feel pain’. Three and a half years later he got his revenge:
Chris Morgan vs Iain Hume, Championship 2008. There are tackles that leave people with broken legs and broken careers. These are bad. Then there are tackles that leave people with life-threatening injuries. These are unacceptable. Chris Morgan should no more be playing football than I should be leading a church. He would be too rough (especially on the eyes) to be a doorman in Moss Side.
Anyone who deploys an elbow tackle is such a low form of life. It is cowardly and malicious, some are worse than others, but all are awful. This is the worst of them all: (this is second worse and shouldn’t be forgotten)
Didn’t look as bad as I say? Check out Hume about a year afterwards:
Martin Taylor vs Eduardo da Silva, Premier League 2008. I remember watching the game where this horrific injury took place. Sky Sports wouldn’t show a replay and the camera wouldn’t focus on Eduardo on the the floor. Cesc Fabregas looked like he was going to throw up on the touch line.
I’ve put a fairly minimalist video on here. Those who want the full fright factor can seek it here. Yeah that bit isn’t meant to be sticking out there at all.
At least Taylor personally apologised to the Croatian. That shows he actually acknowledged doing wrong, unlike…
Harald Schumacher vs Patrick Battiston, World Cup semi final 1982. All joking aside, this ‘tackle’ went so far it should be classified attempted murder.
A zinger of a game between France and West Germany was in play when Michel Platini sent a lovely through ball to Battiston, inciting a sprint race between the defender and the German goalkeeper, Schumacher. The freshly-on Battiston won by a few yards, and dinked one narrowly wide.
Schumacher, who had plenty of time to, didn’t stop. In fact, he angled his body and jumped to cause maximum damage to Battiston.
Battiston lost teeth and suffered damage to his spine, after the game he also went into a coma. As players rushed to the crippled Battiston, Schumacher stood around the six yard box, toying with the ball, waiting for his goal kick as if the Frenchman had dived. Unbelievably, he got the kick. Schumacher conceded no penalty and got away without a card.
That’s it for our Footballing Halloween Horrors folks, hope you didn’t get too scared or scarred during consumption.