Carragher has totally different take on Taylor horror challenge
By Harry Sykes
Jamie Carragher has insisted that Aston Villa defender Neil Taylor should not be vilified for his tackle that shattered Seamus Coleman’s leg.
Taylor has come under fire after a full-blooded lunge while playing for Wales last weekend that resulted in devastating injuries for Everton full-back Coleman.
But high profile pundit Carragher explained in his Daily Mail column why the game should not shy away from full-blooded tackles.
“Fans will want to see that this weekend, players putting their foot in,” wrote Carragher. “The first challenge at any stadium will be greeted with noisy enthusiasm, but just remember those players are walking a fine line. They are a split-second error of judgment from being in the same position as Neil Taylor.
“It also shows why the comment ‘he’s not that type of player’ is nonsense. We are all that type of player. I’d say 99 per cent of footballers have made challenges as bad as Taylor’s — or even worse — at some point in their careers. They were just lucky no bones were broken.”
Carragher suffered an agonising broken leg in a challenge with Blackburn’s Lucas Neil back in 2003, but he has plenty of sympathy for Taylor after his clash with Coleman.
“Don’t confuse this as me trying to defend Taylor,” the Liverpool legend added in the Mail. “I’m not doing that whatsoever. Everything about his lunge at Coleman was awful. It was irresponsible, he came at him from a high and wide angle and the speed of the collision meant the consequences were catastrophic.
“Taylor should be devastated. Coleman faces at least six months of rehabilitation and soul-destroying days in the gym. There is also no guarantee he will come back in the same form.
“But I won’t vilify the Aston Villa full back. Why? I could have been in exactly the same position in March 2011 when Liverpool played Manchester United.
“I wanted to let Nani know I was ready for him, that he wasn’t going to pass. I wanted to rattle his bones. But my first challenge was horribly mistimed and I clattered into his shin.
“I was lucky not to be sent off and luckier still that Nani was able to walk out of Anfield with ‘just’ a gash in his leg.”
Carragher cited Manchester United great Paul Scholes and Tottenham man-of-the-moment Dele Alli as others who have had an edge to their game that crosses the line of fairness.
But the former defender and current Sky Sports pundit refused to get carried away and add to the well of criticism that has been aired at Taylor over the last week since he took out Coleman in the World Cup qualifier between Wales and Republic of Ireland.
In other Aston Villa news, talks are to get underway as a proven Premier League performer wants to join the Midlands club.