Harry Arter's apology for horror tackle on Joe Allen isn't as bad as it may have come across
There's no doubt about it, Harry Arter should have been sent off for that challenge on Joe Allen at the weekend.
Both Arter and Joe Allen were lucky on Saturday. Arter can count his blessings that he wasn't shown the red card for his two-footed flying tackle while Allen was very fortunate he wasn't seriously hurt by the horror foul.
It was a horrid moment and the punishment of a yellow card didn't really fit the crime.
You're going to see a lot of stories about Arter's apology to Allen after the game, but most of them won't be very fair on Arter.
Here are the quotes most sites are going with:
"I've said to the guys there early on that it looks worse than it was in the slow motion. I do feel that I won the ball. I apologised to Joe after the tackle because I could feel by the Stoke player reactions that they didn't tell it was a good one."
"At the time I didn't feel there was much wrong with it. Viewing it, it looks probably a little bit worse than I felt at the time. As you said there, I did get the ball but maybe I went a little bit over the top."
The reason why we highlighted that sentence in red is because most publications reporting on the apology have left that little nugget of information out of their pieces.
How his response reads changes completely once you hear how the actual question he was being asked was phrased.
Irish radio station Today FM have the audio of the interview and the journalist's question really led Republic of Ireland international Arter down the path to undersell the horror foul.
"A yellow card for you today and con... well, some would say controversial, but you won the ball! This is the fine line between winning the ball and tackles that are not accepted, yeah?"
The interviewer was careful to make sure that it wasn't him saying the yellow card was controversial with the use of the phrase, 'some would say'.
Also, the addition of an inflection and the word 'yeah' at the end of a statement was artfully used in lieu of an actual question.
We are by no means suggesting that this is some sort of manipulation of Arter's answer to get a desired quote. The journalist could very well believe that the tackle wasn't that awful. However, it's important to get the full picture just in case anyone got upset over Arter using the hackneyed 'I got the ball' excuse'.
He was, after all, just told that he got the ball.