Manchester United slumped to another home draw this weekend. Let’s be honest, it’s the story of their season so far. Jose Mourinho must be supremely disappointed with his side. In fact, it could have been even worse if the referee didn’t give a penalty after an alleged foul on Marcus Rashford.
On second viewing, it definitely looked as though the 19-year-old did go down with minimal contact in the incident that led to Wayne Rooney converting a penalty.
Rashford refused to comment on whether he went to the deck rather easily, but Gary Neville then took to Twitter to defend the young forward, by saying he doesn’t have to do that.
He Doesn't need to justify himself for winning his team a penalty ! https://t.co/x5b6AXbBLe
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) May 1, 2017
To me, it has always felt like Neville has had a consistent viewpoint on diving. Whether we like it or not, it has become part and parcel of the game at this point in time, and players will do it if it means the difference between their team winning or not.
I personally don’t enjoy watching it, but on that Sunday, three players (Kane, Sane and Rashford) all dived – and in the end, it benefitted their respective teams in one way or another.
There is only one way you’ll get this out of the game completely, and that’s to introduce video refereeing and then sending the offender off on the spot. The repercussions for simulation aren’t anywhere near serious enough, so why would these footballers suddenly stop doing it?