Arsène Wenger says that players who commit obvious dives should be given an automatic 3-match ban in a bid to stamp out cheating from the beautiful game.
This comes as Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Ashley Young to not be too overly dramatic when he is fouled. Young made the most of the opportunity to presented to him by the outstretched leg of Aston Villa defender Kieran Clark, throwing himself to the ground in an overly-exaggerated fashion to win his second controversial penalty of the week.
The big question is how you deal with players who feel a little bit of contact and then make a meal of it so that they win a penalty or a foul. Wenger says that an ethical committee should be allowed to punish players retrospectively for obvious dives.
‘We have that famous thing that the judgment of the referee has to be final — but I don’t agree with that.
‘We should have a superior committee of ethics who could still punish a player. You always try to be on the edge if you want to win. For example, you touch the ball and it goes out you shout “throw in for us”. But a dive in the box is different.
‘I think sometimes you can only sort it out after the game. With this committee, an obvious dive should be punished by a three-match ban.
‘But it has to be obvious diving. For example, Ashley Young against QPR, I would not suspend him because I don’t know if he lost his balance. He made more of it to get the penalty but it is not an obvious case for me.’
If you look at the video of Clark’s foul on Young (below), there is no denying that the Villa defender has stuck out his leg and that there is contact. However, Young falls over way to easily and is clearly trying to influence the referee’s decision. If the referee had seen what we can see would the United man have been given a card? The same question can be asked of United’s penalty against QPR last weekend, where Young was “brought down” by Shaun Derry.
‘In the last week or two, yes [he has been overly dramatic]. I’ve never seen that in him. It’s not a habitual thing in him. He was brought down, he just made the most of it.
‘It was a dramatic fall. He overdid the fall but it’s a penalty, there’s no doubt about that and I don’t think they can have any complaint because he has taken him.”
Did he really think that nobody would notice? There is definitely contact, but the way that Young goes to ground is ridiculous. The fact that Derry’s suspension for the red-card last week was upheld almost excuses this sort of behaviour.
Newcastle defender Ryan Taylor also apparently took it very well, positing the following message on Twitter: