Hamann: Young must stop diving

Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann has branded Ashley Young "worse than Luis Suarez" over his diving antics.

Last Updated: 06/11/13 at 16:27 Post Comment

Ashley Young: In headlines for the wrong reasons

Ashley Young: In headlines for the wrong reasons

Young has found himself at the centre of more unwanted attention over the past 24 hours after winning Manchester United a dubious penalty against Real Sociedad last night.

Not even Robin van Persie's failure to convert the spot-kick has saved Young from the ire of his fellow professionals.

Former United skipper Roy Keane claimed the winger had "conned" Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, whilst another ex-Red Devils captain Ray Wilkins was equally scathing in his assessment of Young's reaction to the faintest of touches from Markel Bergara, who was booked for the contact.

Hamann has gone even further, claiming Young has even eclipsed the behaviour of Suarez, who has been castigated for diving in the past, including a damning assessment of David Moyes prior to last season's Merseyside derby last October.

"Ashley Young is much worse than Suarez has ever been," Hamann told talkSPORT.

"It's blatant cheating to try to win a penalty.

"I'm always defending players.

"Gareth Bale got a lot of stick last year but you've got to be very careful, because sometimes it's about protecting yourself in anticipation of a challenge.

"If someone comes to clatter you, your first instinct is to jump in order to protect yourself.

"Yesterday [with Young] there was no protection [issue], it was a slight touch on his arm and he stated rolling over."

Unlike earlier in the season, when Young initiated contact with Crystal Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi to try and win his team a penalty and was promptly booked by referee Jon Moss, the fact there was contact on this occasion did give the United man an excuse to go down.

However, whilst plenty of players have earned their teams an advantage is such dubious situations, Young's reputation - he was twice accused of diving during his debut campaign with United in 2012 - means his conduct will be analysed to a far greater degree than many fellow professionals.

"I just think it's in him," said Hamann.

"It will be very hard for him to cut out. It's gone too far now.

"Manchester United, with their reputation, shouldn't need to dive and cheat to win a football match.

"I would say to Young, 'if you want to stay in the game for the next 10 years, you've got to cut that out'.

"He'll end up not getting decisions any more."

It remains to be seen how Moyes responds when he faces the media again later this week.

The Scot's initial reaction following last night's game was to defend Young, highlighting the fact there had been contact and pointing out Rizzoli's proximity to the incident.

However, Moyes has taken a hard line on diving in the past and pledged to speak with Young following the Dikgacoi furore to explain diving had no place in his vision of the game.

Evidently though, the issue is not straightforward.

The incident was not repeated on Spanish TV in their analysis this morning, underlining that whilst the scourge of diving maybe a hot topic in England, elsewhere on the continent it barely raises an eyebrow.

And retrospective action, which Moyes has spoken in favour of before, is also a non-starter, according to PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor.

"The feeling of all the stake holders is to be very wary of re-refereeing situations if the referee and assistants have 'seen' the incident in question," he said.

"If it is not seen it can be referred to the panel of ex referees.

"With last night's penalty decision the referee was very close and clearly saw Ashley Young being held, albeit briefly, and felt it was a penalty.

"There was a game at the weekend that featured two similar incidents. In one the player fell down, in the other the player tried to stay on his feet. As it turned out, neither were given penalties.

"It just highlights the fact nobody said refereeing was easy."


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