Another day, another ABU article in the mainstream press, this one coming from The Independent.
The acts of petulance continually committed by Manchester United on the football fields of this country and the Continent never cease to amaze.
The fact that a team with talent and quality to animate the football Gods in their prime seats cheerfully continues to stoop to such lowly antics as diving in pursuit of cheap free kicks or penalties, undermines so much of what Sir Alex Ferguson has achieved at England’s most famous club.
Of course, Manchester United are the only club who has players who dive. Didier Drogba, Joe Cole, Emanual Adebayor, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Fernando Torres, amongst others, have all shown themselves as divers, yet United are the ones to be singled out for criticism.
Wayne Rooney went to ground too easily against Villarreal and our manager was man enough to respond. Jose Mourinho could only admit Drogba dived after he left the club, Arsene Wenger never sees it, but our manager came out and held his hands up, saying Rooney made a mistake.
“If I saw a team-mate doing it, I would definitely have a word,” said Gerrard in his autobiography. “I don’t think there’s anything worse than a player diving when no one’s been anywhere near him. It does ruin the game.”
Gerrard dives but pretends that he doesn’t and claims to be anti-diving, yet he faces no public criticism from the likes of Bills. Understandably, I’m not surprised.
That Ferguson tolerates the kind of theatrical, pathetic diving by the likes of Wayne Rooney in a childish hunt for spurious awards from a referee, is bewildering. Do not such acts suggest Ferguson himself countenances these absurdities? For sure, a man of his presence and apparently strong Glaswegian values could eradicate this kind of nonsense with one blast of the renowned hairdryer treatment.
Is not Ferguson himself a vehement critic of any opponent who goes down as though hit by a sniper at Stalingrad? Is it not therefore the case that Ferguson’s judgement (and eyesight) is proven highly flawed when it comes to such antics?
Does Bills think by praising United and Ferguson that we won’t notice what a complete ABU he is? The fact that Ferguson has spoken out about this clearly shows that he doesn’t tolerate ‘theatrical, pathetic diving’, but don’t let us allow silly things like facts to get in the way of Bills’ argument.
As well as the extracts above, Bills uses the word ‘skulduggery’ three times, including in the headline, as well as claiming we ‘resort to low-life antics’. He goes on, “United go on seeking unjustified advantages at the expense of inferior opponents and harassed referees.”
Is this seriously for real? He’s talking as if United are the anti-Christ of football, setting the standard for all wrong with the game.
Whilst I’ll never be happy to see one of our players diving, particularly when it’s someone like Wayne Rooney because I expect more from him, we have to accept to a certain extent that it is a part of the game. If Wayne starts diving in every game he plays, then we can take issue with it, but for now, he isn’t even on the same page as players like Steven Gerrard.
Stick to what you know best eh, the rugby, you stupid prick.
The RoM 2018-19 Season Preview is available for just £6. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Juan Mata, a Q&A with the country's top journalists, articles by brilliant United writers, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.