Michael Dawson, for all he has done, is everyone’s favourite scapegoat.
The criticism of him is fine. No player is infallible.
apart from Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele.
What alienates me is that everyone disproportionately focus on all of his mistakes, very few mistakes, while conveniently forgetting all the good he has done.
The most recent incident of this is the goal Chelsea scored against. Neither Dawson nor Vertonghen were at fault for this goal. Vertonghen was at fault for the lead-up which I’ll get onto. You can see from the picture below that the line they are holding is superb (thanks to none other than Michael Dawson but let’s not accredit him with that because he can do no good). All of Lampard, Terry and Ivanovic are behind the line but Mousa Dembele, who had an absolutely stupendous game, is playing them on.
If anyone is to blame for this goal, it is Mousa Dembele.
I don’t even blame him. Upon closer inspection, it looks like Ivanovic is pushing Dembele who, in turn, plays Terry, Ivanovic and Lampard onside.
Nonetheless, you’re never going to see a referee blow up for that.
Vertonghen was the player who gave away the free kick which this goal was scored from. And it was the most bone-headedly stupid free kick ever.
No it wasn’t but it was stupid.
There was no need to give away the free kick. Both Mousa Dembele and Kyle Walker were covering and the touch was heavy enough that Lloris would have been able to cover. It was just a rush of blood to the head.
The Double Standard
This is what really alienates me. Both Vertonghen and Dawson had similar games, in terms of quality. Both completed 1/2 tackles. Vertonghen completed 1 interception, Dawson 2. Vertonghen completed 1 block (both crosses and shots are included in this stat), Dawson did, as well. Dawson completed 6 clearances, Vertonghen 7. Dawson completed 44 passes, Vertonghen 35. And neither were directly at fault for the goal, Vertonghen was indirectly.
Vertonghen was clearly more riled up for whatever reason, and it cost us. We love a player who is passionate in a derby but it inevitably leads to a negative outcome.
You might as well be looking at the same player. Yet Dawson was castigated, chastised, lynched, quartered, guillotined, eviscerated, berated, lambasted and stoned last night on Twitter and other media.
The same thing has been happening for years now but one incident absolutely epitomises this. Against Tromso, Kaboul and Dawson both missed a tackle, in succession. I can get over people berating Dawson when the two similar incidents aren’t like two seconds apart. It’s easy to forget in the emotion of a match.
Kaboul jumped into a tackle and missed
Dawson jumped into a tackle on the same player a half second later and missed
Kaboul escaped criticism. Dawson was lynched.
I know it’s the done thing. I know mob mentality is very prevalent in football. I know we want him to be Paolo Cannavarro in a guise.
But, please, can we stop scape-goating Michael Dawson?