Chelsea crashed out of the Capital One Cup yesterday after their 2-0 aggregate loss against Swansea but the attention has been focused on Eden Hazard’s clash with a ball boy rather than our pathetic attempt to overturn the deficit.
Hazard was sent off by referee Chris Foy after the Belgian lost patience with 17-year-old Charlie Morgan for an apparent kick whilst the teenager was lying on top of the ball and preventing the player from the ball.
It’s wrong that Hazard has been vilified for this flashpoint and although you could argue that it wasn’t wise to get himself involved the situation, Glenn Hoddle highlighted that the players had noticed Morgan’s time wasting efforts during the match and had complained to Foy, but it was allowed to continue. Hazard’s claim that he was kicking the ball also seems correct if you view the below angle, which you probably won’t see on the BBC or Sky Sports News…
The embed isn’t working but you can view the video here
Adrian Durham and John Edwards highlighted just how ridiculous the coverage of the incident has been, whilst many former professionals of the game, including Pat Nevin, seem to side with Hazard as they argue that the ball boy’s deliberate attempts to waste time was not only a disgrace but his feigning of injury in order to get the player sent off was laughable. The likes of Nevin and Joey Barton even went as far to say that the celebrity ball boy deserved a kick.
Basically this character has been allowed to achieve a cult of celebrity status which began when he boasted on his Twitter account to his 11 followers that he would be time wasting during the Swansea v Chelsea match and ended up with over 90,000 followers (more than the Swans’s official Twitter) after what can only be described as a diabolical performance with amateur dramatics thrown in for good measure.
It beggars belief that the words ‘attack’, ‘assault’, ‘barbaric’ and ‘agony’ have been used to describe the altercation and Rafa Benitez summed it up perfectly when he said the situation reflects a “Big Brother society” in which everyone seeks fame.
I hope that the oldest ball boy in the world, son of Swansea director Martin Morgan, recovers from his lethal rib injuries following Hazard’s savage attack soon but he is no hero, child nor victim – so the likes of Neil Ashton and Neil Custis can spare us all of the faux moral outrage, turn it sideways and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.