Friday, February 7

Oh Carroll

So the independent arbitration tribunal has upheld the FA's decision not to revoke Andy Carroll's red card.  It still seems ridiculously harsh and as Big Sam says in the Evening Standard, Carroll deserved a free kick in the first place and  "this decision has proved that you can get something you don't deserve by simulation." Flores' rolling around the pitch clearly influenced Howard Webb (who failed to send off De Jong for that infamous kick on Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup Final) into believing that Chico had been struck in the face. The key evidence is surely that Carroll is looking at the referee to appeal for a foul as he swings his arm, which brushes Flores' head rather than strikes it. But it's gone now and the team has to get on with coping without Carroll — even if it is tempting to start painting "Andy Carroll is Innocent OK?" on East London walls and Get Sham 69 to record a song about it. Carlton Cole has netted five times since his re-signing so is worth a start, and perhaps Borriello could come on for the second half at Villa. If he's a quality international striker now is the time to prove it.

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