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THE VOTE If you were Paul Konchesky, would you have fouled Jermain Defoe?

Why didn't Paul Konchesky commit a professional foul on Jermain Defoe and stop a likely winning goal for Spurs (see video)? Yes, he would have been sent off, but he would have probably earned a precious point for his club. Gary Neville sure as hell wouldn't have let Defoe run that far and take a shot, particularly not with several Spurs players rushing into the box. Very naive play from West Ham, and I have to blame Alan Curbishley for some of that. Cracking game though, one of the best of the season so far; Carlos Tevez didn't deserve to be on the losing team.

March 5, 2007 in Tottenham Hotspur, Vote, West Ham United | Permalink


I agree that Konchesky should have hacked him down but how many games would he have banned for if he'd have got red? West Ham cannot really afford to lose players at this stage...

Posted by: Col | Mar 5, 2007 9:26:21 AM

can't believe someone is actually saying to attack the integrity of the game, much less a blog that spends so much time criticizing players who attack the integrity of the game - by diving, winking, etc.

help me out here - is the uber-hypocrite George W. Bush running this blog? is this blog going to be renamed 'U.S. Foreign Policy - Do As We Say (Sometimes), Not As We Do (Sometimes)'?

Does it make sense to criticize a player for unfair play one day, and then the next day criticize another player for _not_ playing unfairly? help me out, here - i'm just a lil 'ol American boy - don't understand the intricacies of the beautiful game - obviously. what did i miss along the way?

Posted by: Peter | Mar 5, 2007 10:18:28 AM

It's only cheating if a player trys to con the referee to gain an advantage. If he gets sent off it's not really cheating is it?

A professional foul is exactly what it says on the tin, and in situations like the one shown here, it may not be in the ideal spirit of the game, but it's certainly part of it. There are plenty of players who've taken a red for the team to protect a lead in the last minute in these situations.

Posted by: Billyo | Mar 5, 2007 10:49:19 AM

If i had a quid for everytime defenders get caught out and chop down the player running past them, with no chance of hitting the ball i'd be pretty well off. It's just something that happens. Wonder if it is something the practice in training though... I agree it's not really cheating as you always get punished for it. Usually with a card. And a lot of the times the free kick is in a decent position so there is a high chance of it being turned in. Peter we all hate diving, there is no excuse for that, this post is just to ask peoples opinions, it's not as if The Pies is saying this is right... Everyone has their own opinion.

Posted by: Col | Mar 5, 2007 10:54:34 AM

Peter, I just think Konchesky was naive, that's all - West Ham simply could not afford to lose that match. I certainly don't condone professional fouls, but accept that they will always happen. Besides, there is something unselfish and perversely honest about a professional foul - when a player weighs up the odds and decides that it's better to sacrifice himself (or at least pick up a booking) for the sake of the team, most managers and fans secretly – and openly, too – applaud that. I'm sure Curbishley was urging Konchesky to bring Defoe down. Also, with professional fouls there is generally no attempt to con a ref, whereas the opposite is true of a dive, or play-acting.

Thanks for your comment though. Interesting debate.
Ollie, Pies Ed.

Posted by: Ollie, Pies Ed. | Mar 5, 2007 10:59:28 AM

I remember when Solskjaer brought down Rob Lee at Old Trafford to stop Newcastle scoring, got sent off, and received a standing ovation from his own fans.

But to me the fact West Ham had committed everyone forward for that corner suggested they thought only a win would be good enough, and a point was useless. A naive attitude in my opinion, given the blatant despair of the players when the fourth goal went in. Perhaps more shrewd management would have meant that Konchesky should never have been one on one with Defoe, with West Ham accepting the point, leaving more men back, and looking to build on what was a good performance for next week.

Posted by: Dan | Mar 5, 2007 12:27:07 PM

Curbishley was wrong to bring on both Kepa and Zamora. The Irons overcommitted men at the end and paid the price. Rob Green should have done better with Defoe's weak shot though.

I suspect Chairman Egg will reluctantly keep Curbishley, who is good enough to bring West Ham straight back up from the Championship - plus sacking two Alans in quick succession makes the chairman look foolish. Egg will then ditch Curbs asap and look to recruit a world-class manager.

Posted by: Ollie, Pies Ed. | Mar 5, 2007 12:40:12 PM

Oh, and good shout on Solskjaer, Dan - I think we posted that last year. The perfect example of the point I was trying to make in my long-winded reply to Peter.

Posted by: Ollie, Pies Ed. | Mar 5, 2007 12:41:39 PM

Personally I think that Konchesky defended really well not allowing Defoe any chance of passing to Lennon or getting a good shot away. The three mistakes were leaving Konchesky all alone from the corner, Green should have held onto Defoe's poor shot and Harewood tracked back from the other penalty area and just stopped after Defoe shot giving Salteri no challenge. Maybe if a defender was in the same situation he would have seen the danger and got there first.

Posted by: Josh | Mar 5, 2007 4:33:45 PM

he should be doing anything to stop dafoe, myself i would kick his ass out of the stadium if it was my team points on the line in last minute, without even thinking whether it is cheating or not (ofcourse it isn't.)

Posted by: Clasher | Mar 5, 2007 10:09:02 PM

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