Early Doors

A time to headbutt? Why Hart ‘did a Pardew’ after disgusting provocation

Early Doors

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Joe Hart clashes with George Boyd

At first, Early Doors was disgusted at Joe Hart's reaction to the dive by Hull City's George Boyd on Saturday.

What was the England goalkeeper thinking? Did the woes of Alan Pardew teach nobody anything?

Apparently not, ED thought. Hart appeared so incensed by Boyd's attempt to win a penalty that he butted heads with the Tigers star.

Though it wasn't a headbutt - more a sort of head-press, like two goats facing off - it was still an irredeemably violent, unforgiveable act.

Apart from anything else, Hart looked to be in the wrong. His challenge was a late, and Boyd dived - but Boyd only dived because Hart flew at him recklessly.

Under the laws of the game, a reckless challenge that forces a player to jump over outstretched legs is a foul, yet from the goalie's reaction you'd think that Boyd's criminal status couldn't have been more clear-cut had he been wearing an eye mask and carrying a bag marked 'swag'.

But when the real reason for Hart's furious reaction emerged, ED was horrifed and gobsmacked. Because it then became clear that City's star had been reacting to one of the nastiest and most disgusting acts seen on a football pitch for years:

Horrible. Just horrible.

It remains to be seen what the FA will do. In the face of such provocation Hart should, technically speaking, have turned the other cheek and walked away - but it's hard to imagine anyone taking such treatment on the chin.

As for Boyd? Well, if any player's act has ever brought the game into disrepute, this is it. Here's hoping the FA throw the book at him.

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