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Opinion

Islam Slimani should be considered for long-term Newcastle future – Disciplinary issues is a non-story

4 years ago
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Islam Slimani is going to get a retrospective ban which will see him ruled out of the last three games of the season.

Does he deserve it?

Well the rules (see below) say that his petulant ‘kick’ out at Craig Dawson does equal a red card these days.

However, it is laughable really in these days of the super cheats that somebody ends up banned for something that was never going to cause any damage. Well, the only possible damage was if Dawson had got concussion when theatrically throwing himself to the ground, which was all a bit of a waste as the referee didn’t even notice it at the time.

You get old timers going over the top at times when complaining about what players get booked and sent off for – but in the pre-Sky Sports era you would never ever have had a player sent off for what Slimani did, in fact I would be amazed if it had even been more than a talking to back in the day.

Rafa Benitez obviously saw something in the Leicester striker, even if it was a last minute deal after the one-legged Daniel Sturridge turned down Newcastle, and the Leicester owner blocking a move for Slimani that was wall arranged to West Ham.

The Leicester owner finding out about the deal and refusing to allow it, due to Karren Brady having previously having a laugh at his expense in her column in The Sun.

Only Rafa knows whether he saw anything in Islam Slimani that interested him beyond a short-term loan to try and help Newcastle survive this season.

If he did believe there was some longer-term potential then I wouldn’t be so quick to rule anything out so quickly.

Slimani showed in his sub appearances against Huddersfield and especially Arsenal, that he is clearly better than anything Newcastle have had in the Premier League this season.

His wages would be high but Leicester are desperate to offload a striker who hits 30 this summer and they have no use for, with Vardy the undisputed first choice.

If Islam Slimani could be landed for something close to £10m and stay fit, then Newcastle might have a real steal.

There are going to be doubts in some way about any new striker that is brought in this summer, whether it is age (older), experience (not enough), or injuries (too many).

The last reason why anybody should be put off Slimani though is his disciplinary record, which has been the case ever since Saturday and the expected ban.

The Algerian striker is normally an easy going character and has never been sent off for club or country before.

Until he was booked for Newcastle against Arsenal, he had picked up only one other yellow card in league football since January 2016. His overall record showing he averages no more than three or four bookings per season in league football.

This is not another Mitrovic with a regular default daft button which keeps getting activated.

The Mag – Monday 30 April 2018:

Islam Slimani should have been sent off.

That is the decision of an FA panel of ‘elite officials’, asked to look at the footage from Saturday retrospectively.

Craig Dawson made contact with the loan striker in the penalty area and then as he walked away, Slimani aimed a feeble kick at him.

It was never going to hurt anyone, although Dawson could have been injured when throwing himself to the ground, but it now looks nailed on that Islam Slimani will be banned for the rest of the season.

He has until 6pm tomorrow [Tuesday] to respond to the charge.

However, any appeal/defence is surely futile, as the TV footage speaks for itself.

No harm done but he definitely petulantly kicks out.

FA Official Statement:

‘Newcastle United’s Islam Slimani has been charged with violent conduct following an incident during the game against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday [28 April 2018].

It happened in the 80th minute and was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.

He has until 6pm on 1 May 2018 to respond to the charge.

Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time are referred by The FA to a panel of three former elite match officials.

Each panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence.

For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.’
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