LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Tom Huddlestone of Tottenham Hotpsur is sent off by referee Mark Halsey during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City at White Hart Lane on September 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
When Tom Huddlestone went in late on Jonny Howson in Saturday's match against Norwich, most expected the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder to see a yellow card. Instead, Mark Halsey showed no hesitation to bust out the straight red. Huddlestone lodged an appeal with the Football Association, and the FA has upheld his claim for wrongful dismissal. Huddlestone's suspension is rescinded with immediate effect.
I'm not going to complain about a Tottenham player getting his suspension rescinded, especially when I do not think he committed a red card offense, but this is a bit curious. Appeals for much more egregious refereeing decisions are denied frequently. Hopefully the FA is more willing to change wrong decisions going forward, and this isn't just an isolated incident.
In any event, Huddlestone's challenge was a bad one and a perfect indicator of exactly how off the pace he is. It's going to take him a while to get back to playing at the Premier League standard. Huddlestone isn't a dirty player and rarely makes late challenges like that, but he just isn't up to full game speed at the moment.