London – Ashley Young is a cheat and he should be banned for FIVE games – then he might stop diving to try and con referees. Both his past and present Manchester United managers have admitted he goes to ground far too easily and do not condone such actions. Referee Jon Moss rightly called Young on Saturday as he threw himself to ground after deliberately drawing contact with Crystal Palace defender Kagisho Dikgacoi. I could see how angry Moss was at Young’s attempt to fool him and understand that annoyance.This time Young’s duplicity did not fool the referee but it will in other games.
A little after his yellow card Young was ‘clever’ in winning a penalty as he appeared to slow his pace, ensuring the same defender clipped him. It was a foul and unfortunately a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity but, as the contact was outside the penalty area, Moss erred in giving the penalty. That was an honest mistake.
As for the Sunderland game, had Martin Atkinson ‘held his whistle’ for a few seconds when Bacary Sagna started to block Jozy Altidore just outside the Arsenal penalty area, as all referees are advised, he would have been rightly recognised as contributing positively to a game. Referees have much more licence to wait and see if an advantage accrues. If not, they can pull the play back and punish the initial offence.
That is what Atkinson should have done. Cameras would have proved the ball crossed the goal-line before being kicked clear. It would have been 2-2 and Atkinson knew that as he cleared the message ‘GOAL’ from his wrist monitor. That will have made him feel even worse about his early whistle, with Sagna getting a yellow card which could easily have been red for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.