IT is being said that study of the videos of the brawl at Sunday's Carling Cup final shows that Arsenal were to blame. Certainly, it seems clear that Arsenal's Kolo Toure started the trouble by confronting Chelsea's John Obi Mikel and he has said that he will not appeal against the red card dismissal that followed. Incidents of that kind are frequent in soccer today and are mostly over as quickly as they begin. But to say categorically that Arsenal are to blame for the disgraceful maul that developed among 20 players is surely a judgement too far.

It is also being said that the Football Association is likely to bring charges against both clubs for “failing to control their players”. Presumably it is not being suggested that Arsene Wenger or Jose Mourinho could have controlled their players while standing in their little boxes on the touchline; and by the time they ventured onto the pitch, against the rules, most of the pushing and shoving was over. If, however, the charge is that they have failed to create a climate of self-discipline among their players or to make them aware of their responsibilities in a cup final being televised round the world, then the FA may be on to something. But nothing will be achieved unless those found guilty are punished to a degree far in excess of any precedent - financially, by suspension, even by banning the clubs from future competitions.