Pickford's tackle on VVD: What should be the punishment?

Leroy The Red

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The situation is so weird. I remember when Son broke Gomes’ leg the media and fans were feeling more sad for Son than for Gomes and this is the complete opposite. You’d think Pickford had chopped VVDs leg off and then spat on him afterwards for a shit challenge with no intent to injure. Clumsy as heck but the outcry is way over the top.
It’s unreal, I’ve never seen anything like it before.
You would think it’s the first ligament injury ever suffered from a bad tackle. Calls for ten game bans, arrest for assault etc.
I’m expecting t shirts and minute applauses for Van Dijk for the next Liverpool game.
 

Zehner

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Don’t agree with all you’ve said.

I’m happy to embrace new tech including VAR if it’s actually fit for purpose.You now have 6 refs sitting in a studio who can’t pick up blatant fouls, diving to get players sent off or quite absurd off side and penalty rulings. They are becoming slaves to technology rather than using it as a tool to make sensible decisions.

The incidents you highlighted came down to human error or if you wish to believe in conspiracy theories; corruption. If VAR is there to eliminate doubt it’s not done that in the slightest, it’s created more doubt.
To make it work further then greater clarification or a change in rules is needed.
I think the introduction of VAR has simply revealed that their are far more deep rooted problems in refereeing. Before VAR, people used to argue that it's easy to criticize the referee when you have slow motions, offside lines etc. Now they've got all that too and still every week we see decisions that can't be explained. All this suggests that many mind blogging decisions were never down to a lack of information (due to missing out on certain situations and angles from a "live" perspective on the pitch" but due to bad judgment.
 

SilentWitness

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What's weird about that?

Situation A: Slide tackle on the ground while the fouled player is running. Fouled player trips and falls very unlucky and injures himself badly. Fouling player is devastated by the result and almost in tears. Further review of the situation shows that it's not a red worthy foul.

Situation B: Frontal flying tackle on knee height while the fouled player is standing so the only way out would be jumping in the air, taking the hit. Fouled player doesn't react that quickly and injures himself badly. Fouled player gets away with it because of the offside rule and a mind blowing decision by the VAR that this foul wasn't a red card, followed by another mind blowing decision that a legit goal was offside.

Don't see how those two situations are comparable by any means.
Because they were both clumsy challenges with the injured player being unlucky.
 

Dave Smith

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It’s unreal, I’ve never seen anything like it before.
You would think it’s the first ligament injury ever suffered from a bad tackle. Calls for ten game bans, arrest for assault etc.
I’m expecting t shirts and minute applauses for Van Dijk for the next Liverpool game.
Don't forget the black armband. Dippers love nothing more than wearing a black armband.
 

Klopper76

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I don't really agree with this idea that Pickford deserves a harsh punishment. To me it was a clumsy challenge and not at all malicious. There's no way he's going into that trying to hurt Van Dijk.

Pickford had an incredibly fortunate day. Could've given away a penalty and been sent off if Van Dijk was onside, and got away with a dreadful mistake for Henderson's disallowed goal.
 

Oldyella

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I don't really agree with this idea that Pickford deserves a harsh punishment. To me it was a clumsy challenge and not at all malicious. There's no way he's going into that trying to hurt Van Dijk.

Pickford had an incredibly fortunate day. Could've given away a penalty and been sent off if Van Dijk was onside, and got away with a dreadful mistake for Henderson's disallowed goal.
What's baffling is the fact that he got away with it at the time. Offside or not it's a shocking challenge that deserved a red. The rule needs changing if it just allows a free hack if the flag is up.
 

Zehner

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Because they were both clumsy challenges with the injured player being unlucky.
That's a very simplistic perspective. The severity of Pickford's tackle can't even be compared to that of Son which wasn't a red worthy tackle as evidenced by the FAs decision to revoke the sending off. So the sympathies for Son came from a) his guilty reaction and b) the fact that people felt he was being punished way too hard. Pickford wasn't punished at all, didn't show any regret and his tackle was way harder.
 

Inigo Montoya

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I think the introduction of VAR has simply revealed that their are far more deep rooted problems in refereeing. Before VAR, people used to argue that it's easy to criticize the referee when you have slow motions, offside lines etc. Now they've got all that too and still every week we see decisions that can't be explained. All this suggests that many mind blogging decisions were never down to a lack of information (due to missing out on certain situations and angles from a "live" perspective on the pitch" but due to bad judgment.
And I think that’s the point, human error is still playing a huge part in decisions. Before it was the split second judgment of 3 officials without the recourse to technology.

Now they have it; it still comes down to how they’re interpreting the law. Whether or not you think that Pickford is the biggest villain since Pol Pot is kind of irrelevant at this time. It’s the idea that because an off side decision was called, it supersedes a terrible challenge that has wrecked a player’s season. That is not a common sense decision and should have been interpreted as serious foul play. The fact that Oliver didn’t even look at the monitor also makes it inexplicable
 

fezzerUTD

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I would give him the amount of games you get for a red for serious foul play. Whatever that is. Why would it need extra it wasn't violent conduct ie, intentional.
 

Sphaero

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My point still stands, it was reckless and stupid. But it was still Pickford trying to make himself big as a goalkeeper. As a goal keeper myself I can understand what he’s trying to do. Yes you can still get red carded and banned for reckless tackles which had no intent. This should have been a red and 3 match ban. To suggest it needs a lengthy ban is ridiculous. To suggest the keeper meant it with intent is just really bizarre.
You do? Then you are wiser than me here. Sliding onwards with your feet first is not a shot blocking technique or "making yourself bigger". It is a clearance technique that actually sacrifices covered space (the GK can cover far more by staying upwards for example) in the hopes to get a feet on the ball before the shot is even fired.

If the intention is to block the shot Pickford had several options here:

1. Stay on foot, move towards the player but don´t engage directly, restrict the angle towards the goal, close down the short end and pray the attacking player does not hit the ball well enough to target the small spaces you have to keep open. If he manages to get past you, kudos to him, but you did everything that you could to make it as hard as possible to concede without taking major risks.

2. The so called "Schranken-Technik" (bar technique in English?). You do engage directly and slide into the player sideways, using the whole length of your body as obstacle. This might give the opportunity to get a body part on the ball and covers the whole width of the goal unless the angle is really unfavourable for you. It comes with the disadvantage that mistiming the dive can rather easily results in a foul and a pen and it gives the attacker the opportunity to lift the ball above you (which does take considerable skill from the attacker, though).

3. The "Adler-Sprung" or Eagle Dive. You dive frontally into the player, but instead of the butcher like movement Pickford did you go body first and spread your ligaments away from you like wings or a net (some also call it the Spider because of that). You cover the largest space with this and pressure the opposing player at the same time. It does take a considerable amount of skill to pull this off as the timing of the dive has to be very precise and requires a high flexibility from the GK to be effective. If you can pull it off consistently this should be your go to move. The one Keeper who uses this the most extensively and highly successfully is Manuel Neuer, which makes him terrifying to play against in a 1v1.

In summary, I don´t believe that Pickford tried to block a shot here but rather clear the ball with his feet. He could have very well terribly messed up both the timing and the intensity of the dive which made him far too high and far too late here. A stupid, dangerous and clumsy tackle.

My problem with this kind of argumentation is that I have now seen half a dozen separate instances where Pickford jumped into a player that way. At that point the clumsiness argument goes right out of the window for me and it becomes delibarate in my book.

For the record, I don´t believe that Pickfords intention with this kind of tackle is to injure the other player. I think he uses this as a tool of intimidation to make the attacker back off. The natural instinct of a football player if he is aware of someone fying into him in that way is a singular one: to get his boots of the ground to protect himself. The knee is in most cases probably the most vulnerable part of a football player. if it is under tension, it is one of the most inflexible joints, making it highly vulnerable to unnatural stress or bending in a different direction than it is supposed to bend. For a knee to seriously injure, it takes far less impact force than a 90kg body ramming its entire weight into it like a lokomotive.

Virgil van Dijks injury was not some kind of freak accident, unfortunate or bad luck: it was a logical consequence. It would have been a miracle if he would not have been severely injured here.

If Pickfords intent for these kind of tackles is the one I think it is, the only word I would have for this kind of technique would be disgraceful, which would in turn make Pickford into a disgrace for anyone who seriously plays or played his position.
 

SilentWitness

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That's a very simplistic perspective. The severity of Pickford's tackle can't even be compared to that of Son which wasn't a red worthy tackle as evidenced by the FAs decision to revoke the sending off. So the sympathies for Son came from a) his guilty reaction and b) the fact that people felt he was being punished way too hard. Pickford wasn't punished at all, didn't show any regret and his tackle was way harder.
Because it is simple.
 

DixieDean

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I think everyone you're arguing with agrees that he deserves a ban. Who the hell doesn't think that? So, I'm not sure what your point is.
 

Canuckred64

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Does the off side ruling have any impact on a possible ban? Since you can't call a foul because of the offside, did the tackle official happen?

I am not trying to be facetious here, but can you ban somebody for something that is not official a foul?
 

krautrøck

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Does the off side ruling have any impact on a possible ban? Since you can't call a foul because of the offside, did the tackle official happen?

I am not trying to be facetious here, but can you ban somebody for something that is not official a foul?
You can get sent off for tackling a streaker or for attacking your own team mate. Where the ball is at the time or if play has stopped makes no difference. That decision with Pickford is just utterly baffling.
 

PickledRed

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Why reward Everton with a ban for the lad? Awful keeper. The lad is just not right
 

Canuckred64

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You can get sent off for tackling a streaker or for attacking your own team mate. Where the ball is at the time or if play has stopped makes no difference. That decision with Pickford is just utterly baffling.
But nothing is going to be done since the FA have said after consultation with the match officials including VAR it was seen by the match officials at the time. So no further action is going to be taken.
 

Fridge chutney

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Why would anyone be surprised, not allowed to re referee games they obviously saw the tackle.

Just gross incompetence by the referee and VAR. Nothing changed since last year and it won't until the management of the referees is changed.
Agreed. VAR is being managed very poorly and seems to only compound the dire state of officiating in the Premier League.
 

calodo2003

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It’s unreal, I’ve never seen anything like it before.
You would think it’s the first ligament injury ever suffered from a bad tackle. Calls for ten game bans, arrest for assault etc.
I’m expecting t shirts and minute applauses for Van Dijk for the next Liverpool game.
Can’t wait to see what they walk out wearing the next prematch.
 

The holy trinity 68

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No punishment, karma for the amount of times Liverpool players have got away with disgusting tackles over the years. Like VVD himself said a year ago after a dirty tackle, "that's football".
 

Bepi

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Folks, the impression from the outside is assault, both Pickford and Richarlison. We can argue how they got fired up that way, because of a chip on the shoulder, thuggery, Carlo’s instruction or what else... but it was Alli’s level of nastiness coupled with drunk level of recklessness, both of them.
 

Gazza

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Tbf to the Scouse, United wore shirts with Alan Smith’s name on the back to pick up the League Cup trophy in 2006, after his brutal injury. I’d understand wearing a shirt in this case more so than to support racist epithets, say.
 

croadyman

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I said after the game on Saturday that Pickford and his family would get death threats,could see these headlines coming a mile off but still sad
 

padr81

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I don't really agree with this idea that Pickford deserves a harsh punishment. To me it was a clumsy challenge and not at all malicious. There's no way he's going into that trying to hurt Van Dijk.

Pickford had an incredibly fortunate day. Could've given away a penalty and been sent off if Van Dijk was onside, and got away with a dreadful mistake for Henderson's disallowed goal.
You are really far too sane for a Pool fan, as are most of you guys on here
 

Prodigal7

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The reaction is fair tbh. That’s a potential career ending wreckless tackle and I think he knew what he was doing. Has he even apologised?
Pickford always struck me as a bit of a psychopath. Vibes of Jason Stathams character from mean machine
 

NotThatSoph

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It's because it's Liverpool involved. Their fans are crazy and football media seems to lose any semblance of sense when they're involved.
This is the victim mentality we used to mock Pool fans and everyone else for when SAF was manager. How every decision goes United's way and the refs are both bought and scared.

The incident is getting a lot of attention because it's the perfect storm of controversial factors. 1) It was a horrible tackle. 2) It lead to a serious injury. 3) It went unpunished. 4) It was overlooked by both the referee and a VAR check, and VAR is already very focused this year because of all the handball and offside situations.

Someone else compared it with the Son tackle, but that's way off the mark because that was an unfortunate accident while this was a reckless challenge, and Son was sent off (wrongly).

Edit: If Romeu ended up breaking Greenwood's leg and he got off scot-free you bet it would be a media frenzy, and even more so if it happened this season.
 
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