No contact with the ball, no booking. Well, it's a contact sport

It’s fine to injure other players. As long as you remember to utter the immortal words: “Football is a contact sport.”

Davies clears the air with Cleverley but is very careful not to use the word ‘sorry’

No contact with the ball, no booking. Well, it's a contact sport

Kevin Davies has revealed he has spoken with Tom Cleverley since learning that the Manchester United midfielder suffered a suspected fractured foot and there is no ill feeling between the two players. “For me, it’s done and we move on,” the Bolton skipper told Sky Sports. Sorry Kev, just one or two things before we do move on…

It’s obviously good that Cleverley bears no grudge – we don’t want to see an Alf-Inge Haaland moment when Bolton visit Old Trafford on January 14 – but it’s interesting how Davies was so careful to avoid using the word ‘sorry’ in his interviews with both Sky and the BBC. Anyone who saw the challenge would struggle to deny that it was a bad tackle, even though it unfortunately means you have to agree with Sir Alex Ferguson. The Bolton striker came steaming in from behind and clattered Cleverley, making zero contact with the ball and has ended up injuring the United player. No one’s saying that it Davies went into the tackle with the intention of breaking Cleverley’s foot (well some people probably are, but I’m willing to believe that it was just mistimed rather than malicious), but there’s nothing wrong with apologising if you break someone’s foot. Accident or not.

Davies said he hadn’t realised the extent of Cleverley’s injury after Saturday’s game and sent the United player a message as soon as he was made aware, saying he’d not seen a replay of the tackle and hoped it was nothing too serious. Television replays are great and clearly useful for analysing the game but when you’ve into clattered someone, surely you don’t need to see it played back on the big screen before deciding whether or not you did in fact take them out?

So after getting plenty of stick for not apologising, Big Kev has decided to go ahead and, er, not really apologise it seems. He said he was “disappointed” for Cleverley, hoped it was “nothing too serious” and wished him good luck. But the Bolton striker was quick to point out that he contacted Cleverley, not necessarily to apologise but more out of courtesy and respect to a fellow professional. The reason Davies refuses to use the word ‘sorry’ is probably because he thinks it would be like apologising for the being the player he is. And heaven forbid an English player admits being too aggressive. Next time someone suffers a broken leg, we can talk about football being a contact sport, how we love the physicality of the English Premiership and that the guy who made the recklessly savage tackle is ‘not that kind of player’.

If you’re responsible for a bad tackle, it’s ok to hold your hands up and say you’re sorry. Especially if you break someone’s foot. You don’t have to say you’re sorry for getting stuck in, but a “Sorry I broke your foot, I actually didn’t mean to” isn’t too much to ask is it?

Incidentally, Kevin Davies picked up his 100th Premier League booking in Saturday’s game against Manchester United for a subsequent challenge on Patrice Evra. He’s not that type of player though.

Davies’ interviews with BBC Sport and Sky Sports

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14879044.stm

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,,11672_7172242,00.html