Only Revenge For Haidara Is To Win Europa League
The amount written about the incident leading to Haidara’s injury in Sunday’s match has been considerable. Following the FA’s weak decision not to fine the animal involved for his cowardly challenge there has been a righteous outpouring of scorn, with many making the comparison of Cabaye’s ‘trial by television’ against Brighton last year versus the allowance of this to slide without consequence.
This is despite universal condemnation from all media who have given it their attention, and there has been a lot of that, with journalists, current and ex-pros and compulsive tweeters lining up to have their say.
The general line seems to be that the FA needs to change their rules to allow short bans to be dished out when the incompetent sent to officiate your game allows a pre-meditated act of GBH, a handballed goal from a break that should have been your corner and has the nerve to use his ‘report’ to crayon out the fact that the erstwhile bodily harm is inadmissable due to the fact that one of the knock-kneed wood-headed twerps he knocks about with actually saw the incident. I would prefer they just didn’t allow these hopeless fools to be in charge in the first place.
For me though, this has detracted from the more pertinent issue, which is the condition of Haidara and if/when he will be likely to play football again. The prognosis has been, I’m sure, far better than any of us ever expected, with the damage limited to heavy bruising and the Benfica Europa tie pencilled in as a potential return. This is the part of all this that has been weighing heavy on my mind.
The fact that a young man with a bright future had left his home country to come to our club and within weeks of signing was left lying in agony in a hospital bed, wondering if he had any sort of future in the game or if it had all been taken from him in one act of pre-meditated thuggery. That was what bothered me, not section 15 paragraph D, sub-section 9 of the FA rulebook of spineless mismanagement.
There is one other thing that gets me about this though, and so far no one’s really mentioned it. Wigan are a little club with no history, poor support and a worky-ticket chairman. They have conducted themselves appallingly throughout all this and I think it’s fair to say there is now bad blood between us.
Wigan, unfortunately, look set to have the last laugh on this. In a couple of weeks time, the Latics face Millwall in the FA Cup semi final, and will be huge favourites to beat the Championship side.
The final will be against either Man United/City or Chelsea, currently top 3 sides and a good bet to all qualify for the Champions League. Therefore, by sneaking into the final, Wigan will gain a snidey spot in the Europa League.
Newcastle United’s lowly league position already confirms that we will not; there is only one route open to European football for us next year, and that’s to win the Europa League itself. Given Atheltic’s propensity to spawn their way out of relegation bother at the last, it looks like they will start the new season in (on paper at least) a better position than NUFC.
I would therefore put the following rallying call out to the entire United squad: the only way to gain a semblance of revenge for the travesty at the DW is to win the Europa league and ensure our progress as a club continues, unchecked by the claims of the likes of Wigan.
Every Europa tie should be viewed as the chance to right the wrong against Massadio, as though the carrot of long-awaited silverware wasn’t enough to get the blood flowing, so Wigan’s debut in the competition is as suitors to our already-claimed prize. We can only hope and dream.
Having said this, it wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that Millwall have come good in an FA Cup semi with our support….
New issue of our magazine (including Jamie Smith’s regular column) is on sale in all Tyneside newsagents, or order now online for only £3 (plus postage) for Worldwide, delivery straight to your door – posted out today, or why not start a subscription – prices from only £23.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]