Ashley Young took plenty of heat for his dive against QPR, helping Manchester United gain an unjust penalty, en route to a comfortable win. Alex Ferguson said there was no dive. Not much later, another easy home game for Manchester United, another penalty opener after a disgraceful dive by Ashely Young.
The rest? Pretty much the same. Wayne Rooney finished with a couple of goals, Danny Welbeck and Nani added their goals as well as United regained a 5 point lead at the top of the English Premier League over Manchester City (6-1 over Norwich) with four matches left to play, including what could be an anti-climatic derby match.
Young isn’t having a wonder season for Manchester United, who shouldn’t be needing Young’s help to win the title and keep their distance from the rebounding Manchester City. Enough talent. Enough Wayne Rooney. Enough experience through Giggs and Scholes. Antonio Valencia in a remarkable season. Maybe deserving the Player of the Year award. Even Young.
The long time Villa winger had good matches here and there. Especially against London teams, like the 8-2 win over Arsenal (seems year ago, doesn’t it) or the impressive win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane. But those performances were too far in between. Those aren’t what stands out,, as United, despite an unimpressive win, fall into the same category of being helped by referees to achieve their goals. Ashley Young is once again branded a diver, a cheater. In England, that’s usually worse in the eye of the fans then violent players.
Ferguson will probably defend his player, saying there was some touch. Young will get some heat from fans and the media for a while. But United will win the title. No one will bring back time, to see how the game might have been like if Villa hadn’t conceded that early penalty. We’ll never know.
But that takes us deeper into the problems of the sport. Not Manchester United and Alex Ferguson constantly getting favors from frightened referees, falling over and over for diving players, manager intimidation and the Old Trafford effect. The FA, and FIFA, need to bring in replays and goal line technology into the game. Not just for goals. But for this.
We’re tired of injustice. This isn’t ‘part of the game.’ I’m willing to slow down play once in a while to get these things right. We want Young to be suspended for a couple of matches because of cheating. Yes, cheating. Who cares if the referee saw it, or didn’t see it.
The FA needs to change its rules, because as time goes in, this becomes more and more of a joke. Everyone is losing – The players who get robbed, the fans who watch these jokes of decisions and the referees who don’t get the right tools to do their job. Only cheaters win. Even if they get caught by the cameras. Ashley Young is just the latest example.