MIKE POLLITT: Let’s get back to football

Massadio Haidara is stretchered off
Massadio Haidara is stretchered off
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I THINK we’ll all be glad to get back to playing football this weekend, and then we can finally move on from this Callum McManaman soap opera.

It seems to be this week’s hot topic and that tends to be the way it goes these days.

We’ve no football on and nothing to talk about - let’s talk about Callum McManaman and that tackle again.

I must say, when I first saw it I didn’t think it was all that bad.

But then you see the replay and you realise that it wasn’t a good challenge.

I spoke to Callum last week, and he told me that his back foot slipped as he went in which affected his balance. As everyone has said, he is just not that kind of player, but it’s been blown completely out of all proportion I feel.

Everybody’s seen it, everybody’s got an opinion on it.

It’s been all over the radio shows, everyone’s had their two-penneth.

Callum himself knows it wasn’t a great tackle, but it’s happened before in the game of football and no doubt it will happen again.

The referee didn’t see it and there’s not a lot you can do about it now.

It’s just one of those things - the referee was unsighted, you could see there was a player blocking his view.

And the fact that Callum hasn’t been punished has probably made it even worse and rubbed some people’s noses into it. If he gets a ban, fair enough, but the fact he didn’t because the FA couldn’t do anything about it has kept the story going.

Anyway, hopefully by the weekend, it’ll all have been forgotten about and we can all move on.

The reaction in some quarters has been absolutely disgraceful.

Some of the things that have been said haven’t been nice at all.

He’s had death threats on Twitter, people telling him they’re going to do this, that and the other, and it’s so wrong.

All we should be worried about is how the Newcastle lad is and when he’s going to be playing again.

Hopefully Callum will be able to move on from this and get on with the rest of his career.

He’s obviously very disappointed and very upset by what’s happened, and it’s not nice to have seen the reaction in some quarters.

But he’s from a tough Liverpool background, and I think most of it has been water off a duck’s back.

I’ve told him to stay off Twitter, but he’s not the kind of lad who will walk away from a challenge or a problem.

He’s more the kind who’ll say: If they want to abuse me, let them – but I’m not walking away.

I’ve heard of some of the things people have been saying about him, and if they were to say it to his face in the street I think they’d have a little bit of a surprise. He can certainly look after himself that lad, so I’m not worried about him at all.

The incident caused a bit of a skirmish at half-time, and I think Graham Barrow has been treated a bit unfairly in being charged by the FA.

All he’s tried to do really is protect Callum after their bloke’s waited for him.

But I’ve told Graham he’s too old to be getting involved in that sort of thing at his age.

It’s all right 20 years ago, when you can still throw yourself around, but it’s a different ball game now when you’re pushing 60.

Seriously though, Graham’s a top man and he knew the score.

He knew what was potentially going to happen and he made sure he was there when Callum needed him.

I really don’t know what John Carver was trying to achieve, though.

What was he going to do? Beat Callum up in front of everyone?

All it does is make sure it’s a massive talking point and it’s wrong. I remember in my day, when a player had a problem with another player, they’d get down the tunnel and sort it out by themselves, one to one.

I’ve seen it happen loads of times: I’ll see you behind the changing rooms, just me and you pal.

I’m not advocating violence, by the way – far from it.

But the old-school way of doing things seemed to work.

Bump, bump, have a bit of that, shake hands and get on with it, walk away, sorted.