Date: 18th January 2011 at 5:30pm
Written by:

Earlier we posted Neil Ruddock’s weekly column from FootballFanCast.Com where he discussed how modern players were helping destroy the game.

He spoke of players diving, feigning injury and trying to con referees thus ruining the spectacle for the fans but lets be honest whilst these things may be a tad more frequent these days, they aren’t modern inventions.

I’ve said it a millions times and I’ll say it again using as an example, the penalty he was awarded against Liverpool in the FA Cup was a penalty. The contact may have been minimal but there was contact. Add to that John Aldridge, a player from an era before Ruddock’s, had advocated that kind of play a day before when commentating on Liverpool’s FA Youth Cup game against Crystal Palace displays this.

There were divers in every era and whilst the rules may have allowed for tougher player it doesn’t mean players from the past were more honest or tougher. Take Klinsmann for example, he was well versed in the dark arts before I was born! Ginola, another player from an era closer to Ruddock’s was also known to go down a touch easy and I’m sure there are tons more players that can be added to the conversation.

Simulation and player’s acting up undoubtedly makes a ref job harder but I can’t totally agree with Ruddock’s reasoning or sympathise with the officials.

The game of football has evolved from when it first started and will continue way after you read this. Cameras and changing laws are all part of the game now and as a referee that shouldn’t be something you should be able to fall back on if you make an error. In every walk of life if you mess up at work you will be held accountable for your actions and this should include in football too. If a player makes a mistake it will be talked about by all and sundry but it seems when a referee makes a mistake they are beyond criticism.

Mike Dean wrongly sent off over the weekend and whilst Harry Redknapp said it was hash Sir Alex would not be drawn into commenting on the matter as it was likely what he would have had to say about the matter would have been deemed inappropriate by the FA. Following the game Graham Poll chimed in claiming should have been sent off for his reaction to Rafael’s red card but Rooney was only trying to see the right thing done by protesting that Rafa not be sent off.

Honesty from players would be great but it would be just as great to see refs show some honesty too and accept culpability for their mistakes. It has happened before but the sight of a ref coming out to admit their have made a mistake is a rare one instead if their is anything said it is usually them trying to use the laws, the ever changing laws that make their jobs so much harder, to cover their backs.

To make it worse Rafael now faces an FA charge to reacting to being wrongly sent off, where is the common sense in that?

There are problems in the game from top to bottom, the governing bodies, refs and their assistants as well as players are responsible for this so if we are going to point fingers at least let us share the blame accordingly!