By English standards Gary Caldwell’s straight red for a reckless flailing leg lunge at Carlos Tevez that mostly missed might not be a booking for some – indeed it’s unclear unless the stadium sniper was about why Tevez went down quite so theatrically. It was the type of challenge Ryan Shawcross made on Ramsey. A lunge with little chance of playing the ball in any meaningful way. Also in a part of the pitch where it did not obviously matter.
Nonetheless in continental circles this body in the air with no control would not be a problem as a red card. It would not even be called harsh. Like Shawcross who broke Jeffers and Adebayor prior to cracking Ramsey Caldwell with his 7 sendings off has some kill symbols attached to his bedpost. That he would not think twice about just throwing his body at player and ball though probably says by normal standards this was harsh as we seem to judge the effect not the tackle in this country.
Another example England players should get for the world cup is a look at the elbowed assaults of Malouda and Sturridge against Portsmouth. Whilst the British commentators prattled that neither was intentional neither was the flying elbow by Ronaldo that got him a 1 match ban in Spain this year with far less defensiveness than Sturridge in breaking a nose.
England will hopefully be properly briefed by the great man that giving referees decisions in international football is not the same as domestically. Indeed Arsene Wenger might find some World Cup refereeing of foul play harsh.
Personally I would be happy to see no more tackles by players just throwing their body weight at man or ball with no control over where and how they land. As said before the British obsession with intent is if not infantile merely odd.