Newcastle midfielder Danny Guthrie’s vicious scythe on Hull’s Craig Fagan on Saturday had many commentators and pundits saying the Tigers striker was lucky to escape without serious injury. Well, it turns out he didn’t. Despite jumping straight up to remonstrate with Guthrie, it has now emerged that Fagan broke his leg in the incident and will be sidelined for up to three months.
Hull manager Phil Brown is leading the calls for Guthrie’s suspension to be extended beyond the three-match ban he will receive for being sent-off. It was a horrendous tackle – and what is more he had two attempts at Fagan.
The former Liverpool player is claiming that frustration at Newcastle’s plight was the reason for the tackle. He said: “I want to speak to Craig in person to apologise and wish him a speedy recovery. I hope to be able to do that as soon as possible. It was a challenge that came purely out of frustration towards the end of Saturday’s game, but anybody who knows me will accept it was totally out of character on my part.”
That apology will be scant consolation for Fagan. Things are tough at Newcastle, fair enough, but Guthrie still picks up his pay packet at the end of the week. He is still playing football every week (or he would be if he wasn’t getting himself suspended).
An understandably furious Phil Brown said: “[It] was a direct result of a reckless and callous challenge from a player that decided to take the law into his own hands, obviously affected by the situation that’s going on at Newcastle.”
I am with Brown on this. If Guthrie wanted to prove his commitment to the Toon Army, there are ways of doing it without breaking a fellow professional’s leg. If there was any justice, Guthrie should be suspended until Fagan is fit to play again. Football is a contact sport and unfortunately these injuries happen from time to time, but this one was totally avoidable. Fagan spent a season full of frustration at Derby County last season, but I don’t recall him breaking too many legs out of this frustration. The authorities should make an example of Guthrie and show that ‘tackles’ of this type will not be tolerated.