So it is left to the court of public opinion to hand down the more significant, lasting punishments for Paul Mitchell, 27, of Rubery, Worcestershire, as the courts have failed. The Birmingham City fan was yesterday jailed for only 14 weeks, probably serving seven, out by the end of next month, for assaulting Jack Grealish, the Aston Villa captain, in the derby match on Sunday.
Mlearned friends roll their eyes in a mixture of weariness and haughtiness when the word leniency is mentioned to them. They point out that for cases such as Mitchells, heard in a magistrates court, there is a maximum sentence of six months for such offences, and kindly take it up with the government, why dont you?
Birmingham City’s clash with Aston Villa on Sunday was overshadowed by an incident involving a fan, but one Blues player also showed a real lack of maturity and let the occasion get the better of him.
This is why Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish apologised at Birmingham City
With eight bookings to his name this season prior to kick-off and coming back into the starting XI having been rested for the defeat against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium previously, Maikel Kieftenbeld needed to not let the derby atmosphere affect him early on at St Andrew’s on Sunday.
It doesnt surprise me Neil Warnocks damning verdict on Jack Grealish attack at Birmingham City
I wrote last week that the 28-year-old should produce a fair tackle on Villans captain Jack Grealish in the opening exchanges just to let him know he was there, but that advice was only 50% heeded.
Instead, the Dutchman flew into the 23-year-old and picked up his ninth yellow card of the campaign with less than five minutes on the clock.
The midfielder then knew that he had to be careful for the remaining 85 or so minutes in order to remain on the pitch, and that of course naturally took some of the bite and aggression out of his game as a result.