'The greatest tackle ever' - Fans are discussing strong challenge during Luton vs Stoke in 2007

Luton vs Stoke tackle

Many football fans believe you can no longer tackle in the game.

It’s certainly true that some challenges that wouldn’t have even been fouls 20 years ago would now be a red card offence.

That’s the way football has gone.



There is more protection over the welfare of players these days and that’s completely understandable.

But try telling that to fans who see a foul given for a strong tackle that takes the ball first before clattering into the opponent.

“The game’s gone,” is a phrase often used by supporters these days when a player is sent off for what they believed was a fair tackle.

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While it’s clear that you can’t tackle with excess force these days, it was a bit of a grey area back in 2007.

Just ask Luton Town’s, Sol Davis.

A clip of him flying into Stoke City’s Mama Sidibe during a Championship game has been doing the rounds on social media recently.

Davis thought his tackle was fair but the Stoke players clearly didn’t and a melee ensued.

Referee Trevor Kettle showed Davis a straight red card.

However, many fans on social media have been calling it ‘the greatest tackle they’ve seen’ insisting it was completely fair.

Check out the reaction:

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That is an opinion shared by then Luton Town boss, Mike Newell.

"That challenge was as good a tackle as I have seen for a long while," Newell said.

"He's gone through everything but he's definitely won the ball - we'll appeal. Ten or 15 years ago people would have laughed if you got sent off for something like that, now you can get go if your shadow goes near someone. With the rules as they are you might as well take the tackling out."

But Davis’ tackle wasn’t the only talking point from the fixture in question.

Minutes earlier, the Luton player had stepped on Ricardo Fuller’s foot resulting in the Stoke striker retaliating and getting sent off himself.

"I've watched the footage of the Luton sending-off with him and Sol Davis has pulled him back as the ball has gone over their heads and then stepped on his foot," Stoke boss Tony Pulis said. “Ricardo has reacted to that, but you just can't raise your hands. You can't justify what Ricardo has done.

Sol Davis and Ricardo Fuller

"That's twice now he has retaliated to what people have done to him off the ball. He's got to realise people see him as a danger and will do their damndest to wind him up. Unfortunately, he's taken the bait again and it's cost the club and the fans paying to come and watch us.

"He's 27, he's not a pup anymore, so he's got to learn. But he's said that since he's been with us this season he's been at four or five different places where people have been doing this to him off the ball. But if they get a reaction out of him, like the lad Doyle did in the home game with Coventry, then they will carry on doing it to him.

"It sounds like I'm sticking up for him, but I'm not because I believe he should be man enough, and professional enough, to stand up to it and respond in the right way - by scoring goals for us. He's got to learn he's an exceptional player, one who can change a game in seconds, so people will try to get him sent off."

Incidentally, the two players who were sent off - Davis and Fuller - reportedly clashed in the players’ lounge. Police attended and confirmed that one man suffered a hand injury that required stitches while another man had a head and lip injury.

Who knew a 0-0 between Stoke and Luton 14 years ago would be so exciting?

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