Monday, September 12, 2011

Javier Hernandez for Manchester United (v Bolton Wanderers), 10 September 2011

Emma Davies on Twitter: "For all the ill-informed haters ... Kevin spoke to Tom Cleverly [sic] on the phone earlier. He would never intentionally hurt anyone."

Name football's dirty players. Paul Scholes, perhaps. Midfield hardmen like Lee Bowyer and Joey Barton. Football's hard-tackling cheats are idiots, aren't they? They aren't loveable 34 year olds praised for their attitude and commitment who, after 15 years in footie, finally got the reward of an England cap late in their career...

Kevin Davies' tackle on Manchester United's Tom Cleverley this weekend was no worse than hundreds of other tackles seen in English football, even if the midfielder will be out of action for a month or so. And, Mrs Kevin Davies is probably right that the Bolton striker would 'never intentionally hurt anyone'.

It is worth remembering the facts, though. Loveable, committed, 'role model for young players' Kevin Davies has committed more fouls in the Premier League than any other player for seven out of the last eight seasons. He'd have a full eight year record also had he not been pipped to the post by another lumbering striker (John Carew) a couple of years ago.

The Cleverley tackle is not an isolated incident. Davies is the dirtiest player in the twenty year history of the Premier League. Bar none.

Now, I don't mind the Bolton captain; an opinion that I suspect is shared by a lot of football fans. I do wonder, though, whether if someone else held that unenviable record - perhaps a Barton, a Gerrard, a Fletcher or a Savage - that there wouldn't be a day go by without a reminder of that statistic. Davies, meanwhile, wouldn't probably get on a list of the top ten footballers in England in a pub debate.

He must have good PR - but we know the truth.

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