When Is A Yellow Card A Good Thing?

I think there are 2 types of yellow card, a good yellow and a bad yellow.

The good yellow also has variants. These are defensive, midfield and attacking good yellow cards, and there are the same 3 bad yellow cards.

So let me explain all 6.

Defensive good and bad yellows are differentiated by outcome. A bad yellow is a foul on the edge or in the box, which gives the opposition a sight of goal and puts them in an advantageous position.

Whereas a good yellow is a tug or trip 35 yards or more out, when the attacking team are breaking fast with numbers in support. So you get the idea, when the yellow gives the team that fouls the advantage then it’s worth it.

In midfield the rules change. Good yellow are ones where you use the foul to impose your will on the opposition, this is to intimidate them and the Roy Keane/Patrick Vieria duels were just such cases.

If Arsenal were on top and Viera was playing well, Keano would level him and the crowd roared, he was booked and the team were shown what was needed to turn the tide, he did this game after game. His will imposed on the game, the message was to pick it up and drive on. 

Bad midfield yellows are early trips and kicks for no advantage, just risking a red for no good reason. This puts the offender on his guard for the whole game, nullifies his effect and gives advantage to the opposition.

To complete the picture the attacking yellows are in 2 categories too. One is the dive or cheating yellow, where the attacker tries for a penalty when there wasn’t one, this is a good yellow in my view as Refs buy them on a 50/50 basis and although you may not like it the advantage is worth the risk.

Another good yellow is battering the centre half with an elbow or studs up challenge to establish your presence, and get them on edge.

Bad attacking yellows are generally for dissent, but I like attackers to get carded, they rarely get sent off and it shows they care.

Some players can play without getting many cards, take Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker for examples. Rio generally shepherds players into spaces where he traps them between touch line and himself and taps the ball away, he is non-aggressive but effective, much like Michael Carrick is. By contrast Nemanja Vidic attacks the ball and if the player is between him and the ball then that’s hard luck for that player.

Upfront Lineker was a poacher, he didn’t go near defenders except when the ball arrived, always playing between them trusting a 5 yard burst of pace to open half a yard for a strike. He never tackled back and never pressed up the field.

So explain this to me. Why has Wayne Rooney got no yellow cards this season? In 28 games he has one red and one yellow but none in the Premier League, his normal seasonal haul is 8 in 40 games, and he has done that year on year.

I watched him play against Arsenal and his stats were no yellow cards and no goals and no shots on goal in 90 minutes. His salary was unchanged despite his anonymity in the game. Yes he played in a withdrawn striker role, a position that demands he drives into the box, and supports the lone striker, resulting in space at the edge of he box where he can power shots home, and with our wingers creating havoc surely he would dominate in that position, but no.

Rooney lost possession at least half the time he received it, he fell at the slightest touch and his one dive for a penalty was so bad the Ref didn’t have the heart to give him a good booking for it. When Wayne Rooney gets sympathy from the Ref then you know his drive is missing.

Rooney needs to reinvent himself somehow. If he is a tame wanderer who doesn’t challenge the opposition then he has to have the skill to beat players by tricks or pace, and he cant invent those.

Lionel Messi rarely gets booked but he has an excuse in that he is brilliant, Cristiano Ronaldo too but a player like Robin Van Persie has to foul to get the defenders on edge. Rooney is more Van Persie than Messi, an explosive player who changes games in a flash as opposed to wearing people down or beating them with skill.

My wife watched a few minutes of the game and said one thing, “Rooney looks like he has put a bit of weight on”, perhaps that is true I don’t know as I don’t watch his waistline, but I think that she said it because he looks slow and laboured.

Some players need the fire to do their best and imagine Roy Keane without that devil in him, he wouldn’t have been half the player he was, and that’s true of Rooney too.

Whatever the problem the stats don’t lie, this season Rooney is less aggressive than ever before and if he is to rediscover his form them he must first rediscover his drive, get some good bookings and make things happen.

Aside from the Manchester City/Spurs game, Sunday was a good day because Evra found some form, we won, and Liverpool lost of course on Saturday.

But just as Andy Carroll is being slaughtered for being a tame version of the marauding striker Kenny Dalglish paid £35m for, then so is Rooney a pale shadow of the bundle of talented energy that burst onto the scene at Everton and drove us to so many wins in his first years at Old Trafford

He is paid a lot of money and we want our money’s worth in sweat and effort, he will never be Ronaldo, he will never have the pace of Anderi Kanchelskis or the touch of Dimitar Berbatov, or the vision of Paul Scholes or the balance of Eric Cantona, or the energy of Park Ji-Sung or the technique of Mark Hughes, he is Wayne Rooney the brat from Liverpool with a thunderbolt in either foot who drives thru you, over you and into your goal.

That’s what we want to see again ……please.

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