O'Neill hits out at Young treatment

02 January 2010 11:33
The England international is among the most naturally gifted wingers in the English top flight, with the 24-year-old having made giant strides since joining Villa from Watford in 2007.

His club manager is worried, though, that his direct approach to the game is earning him a reputation as a diver.

Young was cautioned in a recent 3-0 defeat against Arsenal for theatrically tumbling over a challenge from Alex Song, despite replays showing he was forced to take evasive action to avoid being clattered.

O'Neill feels this sort of incident is becoming increasingly common, with match officials giving little or no protection to the creative influences of the game.

"To book him for that was utter lunacy - it was crazy," O'Neill stormed.

"Is Ashley going to do three summersaults in the air and come down and potentially land on his head so he can get a foul?

"He doesn't perform acrobatics, so for the referee to say that is simulation is beyond belief.

"I am not sure Ashley has that reputation but if other referees think that is a dive then it will get the notion into other people's heads.

"Ashley Young gets very close to players who are going to get a foot in and get a touch - that is an art.

"He has been up-ended about four times recently and has not been booked but he has not got the foul in incidents which have later been shown clearly to be fouls in the last seven weeks.

"What happens, because the referees haven't given it and we play on, is the notion that he is feigning it.

"Because very little was said about it referees will gather and think it was a dive.

"But I have never told a player if there is a possibility of going down in the area to do it.

"Unfortunately referees are worried about being castigated the next day as there are 37 cameras at games.

"They get this notion in their head not to miss decisions but that one was nonsense.

"Referees should just go and referee the game and not be too concerned about who is in the stand.

"They should apply some common sense and not book someone who tumbled into the air and landed down head first and could have injured themselves."

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Source: Team_Talk