While this Premier League season has undoubtedly been the most exciting in recent memory, it also worth pointing out that it has also been one littered with controversies from poor officiating, racist sagas and players continuing to cheat their fellow professional and the game. The latter in particular is becoming more prevalent and one that absolutely boils my blood.
It is a disease in football that has grown 10-fold in recent years and is seemingly getting worse and worse. In the past two weeks alone we have seen both James Perch and Ashley Young get their fellow professional sent off by feigning injury with their theatrics. Don’t get me wrong Perch and Young aren’t the only cheats that exist within the Premier League, far from it, but until the likes of the FA start weeding them out retrospectively and start banning them, then this will continue to manifest itself within the game. It is time to nip this in the bud once and for all, as for far too many teams the consequences of their actions are costing them dear.
Neil Ruddock once told me that ‘Footballers were more professional on the pitch and less professional off it’ during his days as a player. What Razor was alluding to was the fact that players in those days refused to show any sort of weakness to tackles or challenges, so not to give the opposition any satisfaction whatsoever. The whole concept of diving just didn’t exist in those days and players that did would be weeded out not only by the opposition looking for subsequent retribution, but their own teammates in the dressing room embarrassed by their actions. It appears nowadays that the modern footballer doesn’t adhere to such principles and is happy to turn a blind eye to this continued lack of professionalism.
I know there is more chance of hell freezing over than there is of the FA making a positive move in football, but wouldn’t taking retrospective action actually help them resolve half the issues they currently face as an organisation. We all moan and bitch about the officiating in football, but wouldn’t taking hold of the lack of professionalism within the game that makes the referee’s job harder actually help them. If a player knew that on any given week they could be named and shamed for their cheating and face a subsequent ban, would we see the likes of Ashley Young going down like he had been hit by a sniper rifle? Would referees have greater confidence in knowing that players were being honest to allow them to make the correct decision? I think we know the answer to both questions and the retrospective action will enable the game to weed out the cheats once and for all.