Mick McCarthy’s passionate defence of wronged midfielder Nenad Milijas is in the best interests of the beautiful game.

The Wolves player was sent off in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal despite winning the ball as McCarthy has clearly demonstrated.

But there is a lot more at stake here than a bad refereeing decision. We are talking about whether or not we want to kill the art of tackling.

While I am not advocating a return to the brutal days – when hardmen like Chopper Harris, Norman Hunter and Nobby Stiles ruled the roost – we must beware not to turn the game into a non contact sport.

McCarthy is absolutely right when he says: “I think the fabric of the British game is based on people tackling.”

And I agree whole-heartedly when the Wolves boss adds: “That’s why people come and watch because it’s exciting because people are tackled. It’s part of our game.”


Mick McCarthy points out Milijas was first to ball