A good excuse, or just a tall story?
Don’t you just hate daft excuses?
Soccer is riddled with them. The manager who can’t comment on his player being sent off because he didn’t see it – despite having the best seat in the stadium – is perhpas the most common, but a different example caught my attention this week.
Everton assistant manager Steve Round believes the club’s record signing Marouane Fellaini is being booked unfairly by referees in England because of his size.
The gangly Belgian midfielder, 1.94 metres tall, joined from Standard Liege in September and has collected eight yellow cards in just 12 appearances. Many would say the player nicknamed “Screech” commits too many fouls, although Round offers a different explanation:
“He’s disappointed with how many bookings he’s had and has put that down to inexperience. But we’ve also put it down to the fact he’s quite recognisable. I think referees need to book him on merit rather than because it’s ‘big’ Fellaini.
“There was a recent game when one player from the opposition did six consecutive fouls and didn’t get booked. Fellaini made one foul and got a yellow card.
“It was pointed out to the officials and they’ve taken that on board. Hopefully we’ll start seeing him getting fair treatment.”
However, a delve into the Premier League stats offers a different view.
Heading into the latest round of matches Fellaini, according to official Premier League statistics, had committed the most fouls in the league at 53.
A further look at the stats shows that Fulham defender Brede Hangeland has been booked twice in 17 appearances this season, committing only 14 fouls. Oh and he is 1.94 metres – the same size as Fellaini.
Any other excuses from coaches or players caught your eye this season? Let us know in the comments.