Bolton’s Kevin Davies crunches into The 100 Yellow Card Club
Congratulations, Kevin Davies. Your foul on Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra was not just another run-of-the mill Davies foul. No, it represented something much more historic and lamentable – your 100th yellow card in the Premier League.
How exactly you didn’t reach the milestone for your crunching tackle on Tom Cleverley, which put the young midfielder out of the game, is a matter for debate.
Being the tackling lovechild of Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes, the world has always assumed Big Kev has been somewhat hit and miss with his discipline – the emphasis being on the ‘hit’ – but now this murky milestone of bookings proves it.
Despite achieving an England cap, captaining Bolton, bagging more than 130 career goals and having the superb middle name ‘Cyril’, Davies retains considerable notoriety as a man more suspension-prone than a World Rally car.
By hitting the golden ton, his “dirty player” label gains more substance than ever before. Whether you want to blame it on misplaced enthusiasm or barbaric aggression, the Bolton striker has the worst on-pitch discipline in the Premier League today. His career is ticker-tapped with that ominous yellow rectangle.
He’s in fine company too. The Bolton striker joins a 100 club comprised solely of himself and the ever-cuddly Lee Bowyer, a midfielder who still snarls around the pitch like a territorial badger in mating season.
Bowyer has 101 to his name, while Robbie Savage is next up in the hall of shame, knocking on the club door with 89 yellows. Normally the Welshman’s ascendancy into glaring stupidity knows no bounds, but on this occasion retirement and sequinned lycra have put pay to further disciplinary damnation.
As well as becoming a yellow card centurion, Kevin Davies has also committed more fouls than anyone else in the Premier League. And by an eye-watering, tooth-flying distance.
Notching up 892 fouls in total, he has amassed roughly 300 more misdemeanours than runners-up George Boateng (594) and Gareth Barry (582).
Just to add insult to the cruciate ligament injuries, Davies also tops the charts of fouls committed in the 2009/2010 season (103 fouls) and went on to valiantly defend his title – a notoriously difficult feat – in the 20010/2011 season (110).
As Joe Hart poetically once said in an England press conference: “Wowzers!” 892 fouls and counting. That is enough blows on the whistle to inflate an average-sized bouncy-castle and enough four-lettered protestations to replicate Gordon Ramsey jogging a marathon over hot-coals.
It’s interesting to note that Davies’ addiction to the yellow card rarely acts as a gateway drug to the big red. He has clocked up just two red cards in his career, which indicates that Davies’ prolific fouling is rarely done with malice -at least according to the match officials.
The stocky striker is predominantly guilty of blinkered commitment – that much is crystal clear. Where other competitive players revel in a belief that they can win a 50-50, Davies licks his lips at a 40-60 and especially a 10-90… as amply illustrated on Saturday.
With that noble but consistently ill-channeled passion comes an unhealthy habit of repeatedly testing the structural integrity of shin-pads and leading with more elbows than Michael Schumacher has led Formula 1 races.
Although quite clearly not cut from the same cloth, it seems inevitable that Davies’ highly commendable achievements, like Schumacher’s, will always be forever overshadowed by a comical – occasionally dangerous – lack of discipline.