Betting Spy: Andy Carroll’s red card is hair-raising

Grant Prior 9 years ago

It was a new one on me watching Andy Carroll get sent off last week for brushing the hair of a centre half.

West Ham’s number nine faced an early bath despite video replays showing his arm did little more than ruffle the top-knot of Swansea’s Chico Flores.

This could set a worrying precedent in the Premier League which gives more hirsute players a definite advantage over their follically-challenged opponents.

Marouane Fellaini and David Ruiz would become almost untouchable with their massive hair.

While the likes of Jonjo Shelvey would suffer without the force-field of a huge fringe.

Anyone watching that video must realise that the current rules are nonsense when they result in a red card.

And blinkered Hammers like me were stunned even further when this week’s appeal against the decision failed.

Getting it wrong in the heat of the moment is understandable.

But studying the evidence in the cold light of day and agreeing with the ref is just laughable.

The loss of Carroll for three games against Villa, Norwich and Southampton is enormous – as West Ham’s planned legal challenge to the appeal ruling highlights.

We still play fairly grim football – but a lot of teams can’t cope with Carroll’s knock downs to Kevin Nolan which sealed the win on Saturday.

Nolan without Carroll is like Syd Little without Eddie Large.

Except in the East End double act Nolan is the rounder one and his efforts at covering the pitch are much funnier.

Back at the other end of the league, all the talk has been of Chelsea and Man City while table-toppers Arsenal quietly get on with their business.

And the Gunners look under-rated by the bookies again this weekend when they can be backed at 5/2 in places to win at Liverpool.

It’s the same old story with Liverpool – stop Suarez and Sturridge and it’s game on.

Arsenal have the defence to do that while Santi Cazorla is in fantastic form and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can fill the void left by Theo Walcott’s recent injury.

It’s a tough task to win at Anfield.

But Arsenal are over-priced so let’s have a crack on the Gunners staying top of the pile.

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Running Total for all bets this season to a £10 stake: £+20.00

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