It was probably for the best that Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway was sat in the stands for his side’s trip to Old Trafford on Saturday.
Man United beat Palace by two goals to nil but the talking point surrounded Ashley Young and his need to go down easily. In the 19th minute Young touched the ball around Kagisho Dikgacoi and deliberately kicked the leg of the South African defender in order to win a penalty and con referee Jonathan Moss. Fortunately for the London side Moss spotted the unsporting behaviour by the England winger and dished out a yellow card. However, Steve Parish believes that Young’s dive put pressure on the referee who gave a straight red to Dikgacoi who brought down Young in the 43rd minute which on another day he may have got away with. It was also clear to see on the replay that the initial contact was outside the box and Palace have a right to feel hard done by.
“If preventing a goal-scoring opportunity is a straight red then trying to create one by cheating should be a straight red also.” Parish has a very good point here and one that I would love to see enforced by Fifa, the game’s governing body. The FA has made changes and can take retrospective action to violent conduct but there is still no suggestion that they will do this for simulation.
"I have said for many years diving is something we should have retrospective video for. That would help referees no end." Moyes has been a firm believer that divers should be punished and his stance hasn’t changed even if it’s his players that may well be causing the controversy. Since 2009, Gareth Bale leads the records for most dives and has been cautioned six different times. Last season, 34 yellow cards were shown for diving which was 14 more than the season before showing a recurring theme each year.
It’s clear to see that something needs to be done to stop simulation and the statistics also show that it tends to be the players from the more ‘fashionable’ clubs that persist with conning the referees. If players who were clearly guilty of cheating were shown straight red cards I have no doubt that all players would do more to stay on their feet. If retrospective video was brought in to look back over certain situations and aid the referee this would also make the officials job that bit easier and help cut down simulation in the Premier league.