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Ron

Nice post. I wonder if Probert was recovering from an illness or something? He seemed slow and in poor position several times. Or maybe he just is not very good?

HKRef

Thank you for your helpful observations. I decided to take a closer look at Lee Probert's performance during the Liverpool and Newcastle United match and found him wanting in many departments (e.g. see Probing Lee Probert Part 4)

His anticipation, positioning, personality in the game, regard for player safety and even neutrality were all factors that did not score very well.

Regarding Yohan Cabaye's cynical challenge on Jay Spearing, Cabaye has previously meted out this cowardly act and escaped from the proper punishment (i.e. send off) during the North-East derby on 20 August 2011. I have not seen Cabaye play in every Newcastle match, but I would not be surprised if he has made similar cynical challenges in his other matches.

The disregard that many EPL referees have in the proper application of Law 12, and hence the leniency afforded to players, is a huge reason why players such as Cabaye continue to make horrendous challenges. And because of this lenient environment, I believe cynical challenges are creeping back in.

I hate to say it but it needs to be said and it needs to be said now. How long will it be before we see horrendous injuries to players as a result of these cynical challenges that are currently being missed or incorrectly punished by EPL referees who (are being told to) operate within a lenient environment that champions the entertainment interests of the game above the safety and welfare of the players?

HKRef:
Many thanks again for a great contribution and analysis. I can recommend this site to all readers: http://hkref.blogspot.com/. Cheers, Bob.

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