I was inspired today whilst demolishing a collection of Easter chocolate and watching Manchester United take on the struggling Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford. So on this day of all days I thought it would be apt to resurrect not only the Messiah but that other Mecca of hope and salvation...my blog.
After spending a year in the great commonwealth country of Canada, and having to constantly defend our nations sport to vast sums of people who think football is just a game played by talented artists rather than true sportsmen, I thought I would return home to re-involve myself with the sport and for it to reaffirm everything I had been fighting for. Well I can officially report that as the season is rapidly coming to an end, I have been sorely disappointed.
Many of the debates I had with friends across the pond were alcohol fuelled and therefore would constantly go round in circles culminating in little to no conclusion, but even when not, I found that the substance of the conversation always had one common ground...passion. See the big argument from their point of view was...we have Ice Hockey, a sport ruled by a complex equation of physicality and finesse, and when compared with a sport which actively encourages its players to dive, such as football, there is simply no contest. Of course I responded as any great lover of the great game would... “not everyone is like that, only the minority, and we hate them”...but people, I have realised the truth today and I'm sorry to say that it isn't good news.
The minority has become the majority, and not only that but the pundits in boxes reviewing the events at half and full time are actually trying to justify it! Take the match this afternoon, you had Jamie Redknap (ex pro-footballer) Gary Neville (ex pro-footballer), and some other knob-head whose name I didn't bother to take note of talking about an incident which I hope gets splashed in big shiny letters across every newspaper as a disgrace. The incident in question saw Ashley Young, an English midfielder, take a deliberate and far to obvious dive in the penalty area which resulted in a penalty for the reigning champions and a red card for the opposing player! Just watching it I was appalled, I mean there was no need for it, and it's not just him. Only the other week another player who is also English named Any Carroll took what I would only describe as the worst and most blatant dive in the history of football...luckily the referee recognised his idiocy and gave him a yellow card, and it was for that reason that some consolation was taken.
I honestly think that Premiership footballers should be strapped with explosive devises and every time they do something like that some guy pushes a big red button with the offending players name on it and...BOOM!
These incidents are no coincidence either, it is now common place in the footballing world and now the English are getting in on the craze. A nation which is supposed to be renowned for its physicality in the game has fallen prey to the demon which is diving. Can you honestly imagine Paul Scholes diving? Proving that it is clearly not necessary to do it, because as we all know, Paul Scholes scores goals!
I know what all you football die-hards are going to say and yes, of course the referee is to blame as well, but I mean come on...anyone who has played a game of football knows how demanding it is on the body, and how committed and talented you have to be in order to reach the top level, but there should be no room for diving, let alone that unnamed bastard in the pundits box trying to justify how its “OK.”
So it is with this final note that I re-open the debate which stimulated many, many drunken nights in Canada!
|Young and stupid!|
Ashley Young takes a very unconvincing dive.