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Magician Mancini And His Magic Cards

One of my biggest pet hates in football is simulation – put simply it’s the biggest form of cheating going and it’s a disgrace.

Seeing a player dive or feigning an injury is one of the many sight’s that drag football into the gutter. I’m very well-informed that ‘back in t’day’ players were made from granite and simply ran off a broken leg.

Don’t believe me? Ask Stuart Pearce. While playing for West Ham against Southampton back in 2000 he suffered a broken leg.  But rather than simply allowing himself to be taken off the field for treatment, he first tried to run off the injury, then refused the offer of a stretcher when it became apparent his injury was more serious, insisting on walking off the field. 

That was then however, this is now.

As I was saying, there’s nothing worse than seeing a player feign an injury with a triple roll into a double pike, or is there?

Magician Mancini

Sadly there is…in the shape of Manchester City boss/magician Roberto ‘flash a card’ Mancini. Recently Mancini has been caught twice on camera demanding cards from officials. Flashpoint (get it?) number one came during the Liverpool match when he asked for Glen Johnson to be dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Adam Johnson. Flashpoint number two came during  the Carling Cup semi-final match against Wigan. Magician Mancini produced another card after clearly thinking Wigan’s Maynor Figueroa should have been red-carded for a deliberate handball.

This imaginary card waving is slowly overtaking my annoyance with simulation in football.

I’m fed up of hearing the FA bang on about ‘respect’ in football. How can there be any respect when the boss of a title chasing side is jumping up and down on the sideline waving an imaginary card? Respect is not one word I would associate with Mancini at the moment sadly.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez hit the nail on the head suggesting:  “I’ve been here long enough to understand that trying to influence the referee is not accepted in the British game.

“I’ve been here since 1995 so when a player tries to simulate or to buy a decision from the referee that’s not seen as clever, that’s seen as cheating.

“It’s different ways to understand the game. In Italy and Spain and France, you try to get decisions from the referee and both teams are allowed to do that. But it’s very different from what happens here.”

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy jumped into the argument accusing Mancini of ‘cultural ignorance’ in pushing for opposing players to be sent off.

“None of us should do it – it is something I don’t like,” McCarthy said.

“I wouldn’t expect him to do it to one of my players or anyone else. I don’t think anyone should do it.

“It is wrong. It looks bad and I’m sure if it is pointed out Roberto won’t do it again” – hopefully Mick.

Apparently the FA are keeping close tabs on Mancini’s behaviour now after warning him of his future conduct. A case of strike three and you’re out for Manchester’s favourite magician.

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