Following the appalling reckless challenge that left Alan Judge with a fractured leg in the game versus Ipswich last saturday there has been a degree of media attention this week. What we know is that Mick McCarthy has given nothing resembling apology nor remorse for the awful tackle. At the time of the incident he felt it prudent to announce that it should not have been a yellow card and saw no wrong from his player. Since then current and former players have come out with views with are consistent with those of the Brentford fans. Andy Scott stated that Hyam knew what he was doing with that tackle, Sam Saunders was reported in the The Times as alluding to the fact that Brentford conspired to get Hyam sent off. We saw on the day as Sam was reported as saying ” that Hyam head had gone” in reference to the fact that he was a peripheral figure on the pitch and his team hardly brought him into the game. After the game on the various message boards, Ipswich Town fans were split on the nature of the tackle, but as Hyam left the pitch it was notable that there was almost an eerie silence. Jim Levack has reported his views on what he suggests amounts to appalling behaviour from Mick McCarthy that borders on bringing the game into disrepute.
It would be interesting to know what Jake Bidwell said to Hyam as he left the pitch.
There are some things that we presume but do not know. That Hyam has not apologised to Alan Judge. That Alan Judge as evidenced by the limited amount of statements he has made remains unhappy and has in no way condoned that tackle as ” this is what happens in football”.
Some things about Hyam we do know:
- On his twitter account on which he was moderately profuse, he has not given any good wishes to Alan Judge, nor expressed anything resembling remorse. Instead we learn of his selfish distraught affect through the Ipswich Town official site. One wonders if this was merely a PR exercise as there seems no other outlet who has interviewed him to obtain his side of the story.
- His disciplinary record is far from exemplary. In 2015-16 he has had 3 yellow cards and 1 red card in 18 Championship games in a total of 966 minutes football. In 2014-15 he received 7 yellow cards in only 16 games playing 1208 minutes. In his total championship career to date in 117 games he has received 27 yellow and 2 red cards.
For me the tackle remains dangerous and uneccesary and when viewed in the context both of the game, the early minutes, and almost on the half way line, where Judge was in no position to make a play that might be dangerous to Ipswich, this further confirms my view. There is no way of knowing what if any malicious intent was present, but this is very different to making a dangerous tackle which might cause harm . Certainly in 50 years of watching Brentford I cannot recall a game in which the whole team were so incensed over a bad tackle, and we have seen a few of those down the years. Those Brentford players were visibly angry, and for Hyam sake it may have been better that he was sent off than carried off, as some fierce challenges were potentially fired at him.
Lastly Mick McCarthy displayed again bad management in not substituting Hyam even 5 minutes after the tackle it was clear that he was a peripheral and a marked figure. A good forward thinking intelligent manager would have substituted him. So little surprise then that that failed to happen.
We await updates from Brentford over the double fracture ( which to non-medics means fracture of both the tibia and the fibula, the two lower leg bones). no details have emerged regarding severity, nor even how the surgery went. So we must all wait. Meanwhile Luke Hyam has ended Alan judge hopes of Euro 2016 and a premiership transfer in the close season. We all need to hope and pray that this is all that it ends. I for one do not expect to see Hyam selected versus Brentford next season. You heard it first here.