Villa boss worried about West Ham seeking legal action

Mike Hewitt

The FA turned down West Ham's appeal over Andy Carroll's three-match ban. The two sides will now enter an arbitration hearing to decide whether the red card will be overturned.

Andy Carroll was shown a straight red card after an altercation with Swansea defender Chico Flores last Saturday. It looked like Carroll flipped the Spaniard over his back and down onto the pitch, but naturally it's turned into a case of the diving foreigner tricking the poor, innocent Englishman into landing a three match ban.

The reality? Carroll's arm hit Chico in the head and he went down, possibly a little dramatically. Howard Webb made the decision for dismissal. With Carroll set to miss clashes with Aston Villa, Norwich and Southampton, it's natural that West Ham would appeal the decision - after all, they're currently in 18th and haven't done so well without Carroll. With him? Well, a 2-0 win over Swansea, with the forward involved in pretty much every attempt on goal. Until he was sent off, of course.

But the appeal failed. The Irons, absolutely desperate to have Carroll reinstated, are now taking the dispute to arbitration. The three person panel will meet Friday morning, so by Friday afternoon it should be known whether Carroll can play against Villa.

Paul Lambert, meanwhile, is none too pleased about David Gold and Co's decision to take legal action, saying, "If [the red card] is overruled then you create a monster of everybody wanting to do the same."

And the Villa manager has a point. Gold has stated that the reason the club are continuing in this manner is their precarious position in the table. With that sort of logic dictating who should be allowed to appeal an FA decision, well, we'll have every team sitting tenth and below wanting to set up arbitration hearings. Or worse, taking matters to court - standing up in front of a judge to argue the case that a player shouldn't have to miss three games for merely using his hands to disentangle himself from an opponent. Will experts be brought in to explain Premier League rules? Will witnesses be involved? Isn't this the reason that referees exist in the first place?

When arguing that West Ham deserve to appeal their appeal, Gold made another point: That "every" commentator and 80 percent of the media said it wasn't a sending off. That seems fair. Let's just allow the media to be the deciding factor in all straight red cards.

God knows that Luis Suárez would never again play in England.

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