Stoke City's Kieran Coates controversially gets booked for tackle vs Norwich City's U23s

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It doesn't take too much to induce the phrase "game's gone" in modern football. 

Whether it be an extortionate transfer fee for a mediocre player or a shambolic VAR decision, football fans are normally on hand to declare that the game's best days are a thing of the past. 

And an incident that's provoked a similar sentiment surfaced on social media earlier this week. 

The days of full-blooded tackles from the likes of Roy Keane and Vinnie Jones are firmly behind us at the elite level, but old-school tackles still have their place in the lower echelons of the game, right? 

Perhaps you can still get away with a thunderous sliding challenge for your Sunday league outfit, but the art is certainly dying out at anything close to professional level. 

If we needed further evidence to reveal the restrictions placed upon modern day tackling, then an incident involving Stoke City youngster Kieran Coates certainly provided a textbook example. 

The 19-year-old launched himself into a tackle during a clash between Stoke and Norwich City's respective Premier League U23 sides and he appeared to win the ball with an immaculately-timed challenge. 

Granted, the force of his tackle did knock his opponent onto the turf, but it looked clean enough both at first glance and after the consultation of a number of replays. 

You can watch the clip and decide for yourself below: 

The referee, however, brandished a yellow card, while Norwich players stormed towards Coates to confront him. 

The clip has generated huge interest on Twitter and split opinion amongst supporters. 

What camp do you belong to?

In one camp sits the purists: those fans who celebrate the perfect execution of a slide tackle with the same vigour as a last-minute goal. 

Naturally, they were left incensed by the decision to book Coates. 

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Meanwhile, in the other camp we have the modernists: those fans who agreed with the referee in this situation and, presumably, have never turned out in central defence for their local team. 

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The vehement arguments on both sides of the debate illuminate the conflicting ideas about how the game ought to be played. 

But in an era in which penalties are awarded for the slightest bit of contact, the art of the slide tackle is rapidly becoming a relic of a bygone footballing era.  

Whether that is something to be celebrated or lamented, though, is likely to remain a subject of intense debate. 

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