Should Carney have owned up to his 'hand of gall'?

Sydney FC super sub David Carney had a glorious opportunity to go against the norm and own up to a blatant handball that shaped the outcome of the blockbuster against Melbourne Victory.


David Carney celebrates his winning goal Source: AAP

Carney came on for striker Filip Holosko on the hour and changed the course of the match with two quality goals to give the Sky Blues a 2-1 win and a commanding lead at the top of the table.

The man who played 48 times for Australia could have told referee Chris Beath there and then that he clearly had handled the ball with his left arm before he beat Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas with a sublime shot with the outside of his left foot. But he didn't.

The reason Carney chose not to put his hand up (pardon the pun) is because owning up is simply not in football's culture. The game is more about gamesmanship than sportsmanship, unfortunately.


Most players around the world would play the whistle and take advantage of their good luck, knowing very well that these things even out.

Sydney coach Graham Arnold said he was adamant no player would admit to such indiscretions.

"No one ever owns up, it evens out," Arnold said.

Captain Alex Brosque was more blunt about the controversial incident that cast a shadow over the Sky Blues' win.

"I just think that it is part of football and being competitive," Brosque said.

"A lot of decisions go against you at times so if you get away with one, so be it. While it may not be the most honest thing to do, you don't worry about it because most players would do the same thing."

There is another reason most players refuse to own up to an infringement: they might feel that by doing so they would incur the wrath of their coach and/or team-mates.
Arnold said he wouldn't have been cross with Carney had he chose that course of action.

"No, not at all," he said.

Brosque saw it very differently.

"Absolutely. I know that if Besart Berisha had scored that goal he would not have told the ref it was handball. To be fair, I doubt many would," he said.

Carney said the incident happened quickly when asked if he was surprised that the referee had failed to pick up the infringement.

"Because the defender missed the header I was too close to him and it would have been hard for the referee (to spot it). It was even hard for me. I thought he was going to head it away but he didn't. I just have to see the replay," he said with a smile.

Carney, who is only 32, was a member of the Sydney team that won the first A-League championship in 2006 and has since played in many countries before rejoining the Sky Blues towards the end of last season.

He won the Dutch Eredivisie championship with Twente and played briefly in the Premier League for Blackpool apart from spells in the Spanish second division, in Uzbekistan and in Major League Soccer with New York Red Bulls. 

So how does it feel to be playing back home in Sydney and winning matches with the Sky Blues? 

“I’ve been around the block a bit but now I’m coming to the end of my career so I know I’ve not got a long left regarding football,” he said. 

“I really want to win things. I’ve had a taste of it before. We’ve got the team and everything about this club tells me we can do it. It’s early days but there’s something special about Sydney FC. I want to win the (league) trophy. 

“It’s hard to compare this team with the one that won in 2006 because the league is completely different now."

“The quality of football is so much better now, the foreigners are better and so are the young ones.”

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4 min read
Published 6 November 2016 at 2:05am
By Philip Micallef
Source: SBS