Ben Thatcher’s disgraceful forearm smash into the jaw of Pedro Mendes, which left the Portsmouth midfielder in hospital, is without doubt one of the worst incidents of violence I’ve ever seen on a football pitch (watch it here, if you haven’t yet seen it).
Thatcher’s ‘tackle’ was tantamount to ABH – if he’d have done that to Mendes on the street, he’d be arrested for sure. And he only got a yellow card! Nice one, Dermot Gallagher.
If it was my decision, I’d ban this thug for the rest of the season – and it really doesn’t matter how many times people say ‘Oh, he’s a nice boy off the pitch’. The FA has to send out a message that there’s a massive difference between a competitive tackle and straight-up assault. Stuart Pearce deserves a ticking off, too, for saying that Thatcher ‘mistimed his challenge’. Pathetic.
Have you ever seen a worse tackle on a football field?