New England Revolution’s Steve Nicol and the Intelligent Foul

Steve Nicol’s recent rant about the lack of referee protection for his creative players (namely the much improved Sainey Nyassi) was interesting on a number of levels.  

When I first read the quote, I was struck by the unabashed choice of words that sounded as to me as if Steve was expecting, or at least wouldn’t be surprised by, a league-imposed fine.

The soccer-literati picked up on the quote as well. Paul Gardner of Soccer America jumped on the apparent contradiction in such complaints from Steve Nicol. 

Gardner’s focus was on the fact that Steve Nicol’s teams push the physical envelope as far as they can as well.  

Though Gardner sneaks in a commentary about not thinking the Revs are a “dirty” team, the general theme is that you cannot have your cake (push physicality) and eat it too (have your “skill players” see no physicality applied to them).

He a...

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