Should Willy Boly have been sent off against Manchester City?

Should Willy Boly have been sent off against Manchester City?

Wolves fans were left furious on Monday night when star defender Willy Boly was sent off for a tough challenge on Bernardo Silva.

Boly received a straight red card in the first-half with his team already 1-0 down, and Santo’s men went on to lose 3-0 on a night to forget against the champions.

As with any red card in the Premier League, the debate has begun over whether Boly should have been sent off, and how the challenge differs from Vincent Kompany’s heavy challenge against Liverpool.

Here’s our take on the incident.

The decision itself

It’s a red card. In today’s rules, you just can’t get away with putting in that tough a tackle. It’s well-timed, and Boly does get the ball, but we know by now that there’s more to it than that.

If Boly gets the ball and pulls away, he’s probably okay. However, the way he goes in, with a stiff leg, if he catches his opponent above the ankle, it’s a broken leg.

Referees have to protect players and football has to protect players, thus why we have these rules in place.

It’s still proving to be a painful transition for many, those who saw the tough tackles of yesteryear, but this is football now, and in today’s football, that’s a red card.

Even Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo agreed, telling Sky Sports: "The incident was very close to me, and I haven't seen the images, but I've spoken with the fourth official. It was a red card, no doubt about it.

"The red card was a moment in which we tried to change things and the boys tried. Playing with 11 is tough but playing with 10 is even harder.”

Red Card


There can be no argument about the rules, that’s how they are, and that’s the way they will stay. However, what Wolves fans can feel aggrieved about, is the lack of consistency.

This red card comes just weeks after Vincent kompany’s almost identical tackle on Mo Salah of Liverpool in Manchester City’s 2-1 win.

A free-kick was given for that tackle, but Kompany didn’t receive a red card, and nobody can quite explain why.

Football fans will eventually accept new rules, even if it does take us a while to accept the change, but they can’t accept inconsistency. They can’t accept exceptions being made for bigger clubs.

This is what’s happened in this case and it’s hardly the first time. We see decisions going the way of bigger teams so often, and there are some circumstances that affect that, but referees also need to do far more to be consistent, whoever the club involved.

Kompany Salah

How do the rules affect football?

Your opinion on this may depend on the club you support, because the rules, the extra protection of players through not allowing these sorts of tackles, helps some, and hinders others.

For free-flowing teams like Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, it’s a huge benefit. It means small, tricky players get a great deal of protection and smaller teams can’t bring them to their standard with a physical game. In truth, it gives smaller teams even less of a chance of causing an upset, and we certainly don’t need that with the widening void between the top and the bottom in this league and others.

Even Wolves, although they have fallen victim on this occasion, benefit hugely with their style of play. Cast your mind back to the 2-1 defeat to Cardiff in the Championship. Wolves were bullied all over the pitch by Cardiff, leaving home fans furious, and that probably wouldn’t be allowed in the Premier League.

So, less upsets and yet another boost for the more talented teams, but that’s the way it’s going to be.

That’s the way it has to be, because, like in other sports, football has to put players safety first, even before entertainment and the enjoyment of supporters.


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