Playing dead is now a plague and our hapless refs haven’t got a clue.

Published: Monday, 12 April 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t do irony. He doesn’t so funny either. You shouldn’t try Ole. It’s embarrassing. Sadly - he doesn’t do honest. He should definitely try that.

I’m tired of this subject. I really wanted to talk about something else today, but after what happened at Spurs I can’t.

Before we go any further. This is not anti-Manchester United nor anti-City. It’s not anti-Spurs nor anti-Liverpool. It’s anti-cheating. And before the scumbags pipe up - my private life is just that - private.  One opinion of any event doesn’t make it true - certainly not when you read it in the Daily Mail. And how sad is it that the first version of an event that we’re told is true is the one we believe? That’s it. No more. I’ve never commented beyond that and I’m not going to now.

So. I’m anti-cheating. We all are surely? What on earth was Solskjaer thinking when he went into that rant about his son not eating? I’ll tell you this - you can see in his face that he was initially going in another direction - but he pulled back knowing that it wasn’t a good idea. I’m guessing his daughter was about to get a mention.

Yes Ole - you’re correct. Son conned the ref - and his mate at Stockley Park. You had a perfectly good goal ruled out. You should and would’ve led at half time had it not been, because Spurs wouldn’t have scored. It was a joke.

But so it was when Rashford went down on the edge of the box just before that incident. And when our serial offender Fernandes collapsed with a scream clutching his foot mid-way through the second half.

Sterling conned a pen when on international duty recently. He’s almost as bad as Fernandes, Martial and Rashford.  Kane does it. As we know - Son does it. Mane used to do it until he stopped because Salah is on pens. Salah has done it too often, but not at Arsenal the other week when he could’ve gone down, but chose to score instead. Good on him on that occasion.

United are now nearing 40 penalties across two seasons. I’ll repeat what I’ve said before - that’s an impossible stat. Compare it to penalties given to Burnley, West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom, who I don’t think have had six between them. Hold on - there’s a theme here. I’ll come back to it.

My point about Solskjaer is simple. This weekend he was the biter bit. How on earth can he complain about players conning refs if he won’t stop his own team doing it? He sits - with a smug satisfied face - week after week watching the three amigo’s go over when they’ve been sneezed on. Fernandes did it in Europe last week. Oh, we shouldn’t forget Pogba, who was caught on camera earlier in the season bollocking Shaw because he didn’t take a dive in the box.

Enough. It’s a plague. I’ve been saying it all season. Players have to take the blame. Managers who don’t call them out are culpable - and our hapless officials haven’t got a clue.

I’m happy for VAR to look at incidents if the technology helps. Fine. Check the goal. We all saw what Son did - except the officials. Give the goal - and put Son on a charge. Monday morning slap a 2-game ban on him for ‘deceiving’ the officials. Whatever happened to restrospective action? I suppose the problem with that is that it would require our refs to have something of an idea of what is happening to our game. ‘McTominay wasn’t running naturally’. Please. Stop it. It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. If coaches won’t put an end to this creeping farce - the answer is a panel of three x-pro’s - sitting on Monday morning and banning players for two games.

Did you work the link out above? Yep. All four clubs are managed by Brits - who won’t put up with the nonsense. It’s ruining our game. It’s time to stop it.

It was good to read Henry Winter finally calling it out in The Times Monday. Too many of UK Press won’t because they’re too close to the PL and PGMOL. If they rock the boat they don’t get fed tits bits. Grow some balls and call it as it is. We’ve got to remove Mike Riley before he inflicts anymore damage.

What about the pen Newcastle should’ve had? ‘Ah, but Tarkowski got the ball first’ say the PGMOL. What? He nearly took Longstaff’s head off. Of course that should’ve been a pen.

If getting the ball first is a factor - then why was Leeds’ Liam Cooper sent off at City? ‘He was endangering the well being of an opponent’ say PGMOL. Really? And Tarkowski wasn’t? It’s a nonsense. Two more errors that Riley will add to his ‘got it right’ column when he releases his own stats at the end of the season. Why is it that Riley allowed to police himself?

Well done Brendan Rodgers - who put principle before points at West Ham.
It would’ve been easy for him to ignore his Covidiots, but he took a stance that made Leicester’s job all the more difficult. It might ultimately cost him a CL place. I really hope not, and perhaps those who suggest a collapse is on the cards should stop to think before alleging that all too easy assumption.

And I have to say - brilliant Moysey. It’s not quite an achievement of Leicester proportions, but if Moyes lands a CL place this season it won’t be far behind. He’s done a monumental job in East London. If he makes the top 4 he’s got to be Manager of the Season.

And a final word for Steve Bruce. What a terrific win at Burnley. Newcastle aren’t safe yet, but I’m sure they’ll be ok.

Mike Ashley isn’t anybody’s favourite on Tyneside but he struck a blow for those in charge of clubs when he publicly backed his man recently. Those Newcastle players downed tools v Brighton. Ashley was having none of it. ‘Bruce stays’ he told them. The message was simple - ‘if you want to play Championship football next season - fine, but it’ll be with Bruce’. A draw v Spurs and Sunday’s win followed. Further message to Bruce - get them safe Steve and then get out of there. It really is as Graeme Souness described it - ‘the impossible job’.