Yesterday the club announced that it had lodged an appeal against the sending off at West Ham, based on a case of wrongful dismissal…
“The FA has received a claim for wrongful dismissal from Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. Vermaelen was shown a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity during Arsenal’s match against West Ham United on Saturday 20 March. A Regulatory Commission will hear the claim on Tuesday 23 March.”
Personally, as soon as I heard about this news, I was pretty delighted. I mean, I thought it was very harsh and couldn’t believe it at the time. From the replays, my judgement of it’s harshness only increased. Tommy V hardly did anything to the player – who went down like a pack of spuds and the referee bought it. Now, to the letter of the law, such as infringement is a red card offence – whether or not it is the right rule or not – at the moment it’s the rule.
I thought “a red card and a penalty” for that touch is absurd… but the letters of the law suggest that the referee made the correct decision by the absolute laws. How many times do we see such an offence go unpunished? The memories of Kuyt’s drag down of Alex Hleb in the Champions League all those years ago spring back to mind. In my eyes, the club had to appeal it.
So they did and the FA said no…
“At a Regulatory Commission hearing today, a claim for wrongful dismissal from Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen was dismissed.
“Vermaelen was shown a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity during Arsenal’s match against West Ham United on Saturday 20 March.”He will now serve a one match suspension with immediate effect.”
Now, looking at the next couple of games, without Gallas out, it would make sense for Arsene to look at the Barcelona game and think, “if Gallas is the only player out, I would really like Campbell and Vermaelen at the back”… and that’s what I think Arsene did – so based on that decision and the assumption that Campbell can’t play two games in a week, this weekend Campbell can’t play.
Now that is where it becomes tricky – if the ban was successful, then this weekend, we could rest Campbell knowing that a combination of Silvestre and Vermaelen or even Alex Song and Vermaelen could do a job. But with Vermaelen banned for this weekend’s trip to Birmingham, it leaves Arsene with an option to either field Campbell and Silvestre or Campbell or Song. But if he did that, then could Campbell play next Wednesday against Barcelona? I doubt it… which means both Vermaelen and Campbell out for this weekend’s game.
So it comes down to the priorities… if the premiership is more important, I’d expect to see Campbell play this weekend, if the Champions League is more important that we’ll see Silvestre.
Remember, we don’t have Gallas or Vermaelen this weekend, so we have to play two of three – Silvestre, Campbell or Song. If we play Campbell this weekend, then we can’t play him against Barcelona. Interesting. So, will we see Song and Silvestre this weekend? Campbell and Vermaelen mid-week, Silvestre and Vermaelen next weekend and Campbell and Vermaelen the following mid-week home leg against Barcelona? Damn, it’s confusing, but having both Vermaelen and Gallas out this Saturday certainly doesn’t help!
Now just imagine if we had Djourou available…