Friday, July 7, 2006

Book the manager

I watched the France v Portugal semi final last night.

Initially I was in a quandary about which team to support. I have no ties to either Country but I was tempted to go for Portugal because, if they then won the competition, I could at least take some comfort in knowing England were knocked out by the eventual winners. On the other hand it would also have been nice to support France just because Portugal did knock England out. Not supporting one team and being impartial wasn't a viable option for me as I find I don't get into the game as much that way.

I couldn't decide so I started to watch without making my mind up. Within 5 minutes I was a Frenchman. I was wearing a stripey shirt, a string of garlic hung round my neck, I wore a beret, was drinking red wine like there is no tomorrow and glamorous women were flocking at my feet because of my sexy accent. All the typical Frenchman's characteristics were upon me.


Because the Portugese team were a bunch of cheats.

They were diving and appealing all over the park. Scolari, their manager, was the biggest culprit. Not for the diving of course, but for the appealing. It ruined the game for me and millions of others. I wonder how I would feel if I were Portugese. I thought the ref did a great job of trying to let the game flow and he hardly got fooled by any of the dives but this is "gamesmanship" gone mad.

France deserved to win but, as a football match, it was a let down.

Scolari should be embarrassed by his team's and his own behaviour. English football has its problems but excessive diving, acting and appealing is not one of them. Nor is it three of them actually.

But, I have a solution that I reckon could work. On BBC1 Alan Shearer, Martin O'Neill and Gary Lineker were talking about the "gamesmanship" and O'Neill made the point that it is very hard for a ref to book or send off a player for this unless he is totally sure that they are acting. Alan Shearer said that one red card will soon stop the others doing it.

They are both right. One red card may stop it but it will also change the game. My solution is that the referee talks to the manger of the offending team. He would give him a minute to talk to his team to tell them to stop it. If the behaviour continues then the manager gets a yellow or a red card. As the person in charge of the team it is his responsibility to ensure the team acts correctly and, if he is not willing to do that, then let the ref send him off.

I have never seen this idea mentioned and the only downside I can see to it is if a punished manager were to complain by saying that he cannot actually control his players' behaviour when they are on the pitch.

What do you think?


childof25 said...

That my friend is a stellar idea!! Did anyone get a yellow for diving so far? I really like the Ports footwork, but yes they are a bunch of pussys on the are a fair amount of other teams.

I always find it funny when a player moaning and crying on the floor gets up and trots off at a moments notice as if nothing happened when he doesn't get the penalty. Footballers are as a whole a bunch of crybabies compared to say rugby players!

Theena said...

Viva La France.

I hope Ballack and his boys kick some Portugese butt on Friday.

Mr. Evil said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you!!

drac said...

but how does this stop the players diving? Managers have gotten sent into the stands before (usually for verbally abusing the ref), but does this really penalize a team? Actually, will the players even care if their manager gets sent off? They still have 11 men on the team, don't they?

Also, why on earth would a manager care where he is (stands, touchline, at home) if his team wins? No one really cares how much red cards a manager accumulates in his career, but two consecutive yellows in a tournament and a player would miss the next game...

FWIW, I think FIFA needs to go over the games and hand down suspensions and bans to all those caught diving (with video evidence). They already do this for some other classes of offenses (and indeed, for diving too), but the only thing they don't do upto now is explicitly say "player X is suspended because he dived".

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

drac - I think would act as a deterrent as I don't think many managers would want to be forced to watch a game from the touchline. I reckon that many players would be afraid to incur the wrath of their manager by getting him sent off.

I am sure you're correct in your statement about a manager not caring where he was standing if the team wins, but I really think that the team would stand less chance of winning if the manager was forced to sit in the stands.

YOur idea for FIFA to look at video evidence and punish people for diving is also a good one too. The whole subject of video evidence is one I am very uneasy about but, to see some players punished retrospectively for diving, might just stop them doing it more.

Thanks for your comment

sittingnut said...

why diving makes soccer great interesting article from slate.