Sport is anything but predictable. This time last week Golf took centre stage after a monumental, historic and breathtaking Ryder Cup, which was played in a backdrop of a word cherished by Aretha Franklin but sadly overlooked by footballers; R E S P E C T.
Already the remarkable scenes at Medinah seem many moons ago as football hogged the headlines for all the wrong reasons this weekend. Any hope of our heroic golfer’s character rubbing off on them soon evaporated, with Ashley Cole’s Twitter blunder setting the tone before it even began.
It descended into another weekend in football purgatory as Bale dived again, Suarez dived again, RVP brushed Cabaye who went down like a Mike Tyson opponent, Millwall fans allegedly subjected Bolton players to racist chants and Ashley Cole showed why he is not employed by NASA.
Those incidents shadowed some incredible action across the continent of Europe; From the Messi/Ronaldo extravaganza at the Camp Nou, to Zlatan Ibrahimovic showcasing his unique finishing ability during the Marseille V PSG game, via a sensational goal bonanza throughout the English leagues.
However, the ugly side of football is bubbling at the top of the conversational pot. It does moot the question as to when the football pantomime will mature and become a sophisticated West End show.
Indeed, far from the main protagonists attempting to earn some respect by admitting to their misdemeanours, football managers have either attempted to detract from their player’s faults by focusing on their opponents or slipping on a veil of silence. Would that type of nonsense happen at the London 2012 Olympics? No chance.
Subjecting myself to Twitter and Sports Radio has just exacerbated my grumpy mood too. Highlights (should that read ‘lowlights’?) include:
“Bale thought Guzan was going to try and break his leg…there was intent. Bale doesn’t dive and it was definitely a penalty against Arsenal last season, not a dive”
“Suarez is unfairly treated by refs – he was assaulted by Huth and I thought it was a penalty…definite contact”
“RVP threw a vicious elbow at Cabaye. Surely a 5 match ban”
“Players who go to down after slight contact should be awarded a penalty”
“Ashley Cole is entitled to his own opinion. He didn’t do anything wrong”
“Im sorry, but if a non footballer like Huth was kicking 8 shades of **** out of me throughout, I would have no problem trying to stitch him up for a penalty”
“Dont worry man u fans Howard Webb saw the incident on video this morning and is reporting cabaye for head butting rvp's elbow”
No wonder players continue to break the rules when the governing body does nothing and the fans and club blindly defend them.
The FA’s April announcement to clamp down on diving now seems farcical and I can’t see the dark side of football coming to a sunshine conclusion for a long time to come.
For what it is worth, I believe it is time for the FA to make an example of serial offenders like Bale and Suarez. Heavy bans are the only way of stopping the cheating epidemic that threatens to engulf our favourite sport.
American Soul Legend Aretha Franklin could definitely teach Premier League players a thing or two about R E S P E C T
image: © dannymol