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Show Some Respect

By Dave Harrison :  20/08/2008 :  Comments (23) :
I may be alone as a Goodison season ticket holder, but the last few years have seen me increasingly looking at other sports for entertainment and sporting goodwill. My problem is I don?t understand the nuances of rugby (union or league) or cricket ? these are the team sports that I would naturally look to. I?ve wondered why my team, our team, has never been as good (or at least for 20 years!)?. but still football (and maybe not particularly Everton) is turning me off??

So the new season has started and if you were watching before the game (the banner was rolled out) and on Sky TV, the Premier League have come up with a campaign (Programme they call it!) for the new season following feedback from us, the fans (did the questionnaire come with the Sky magazine??).

Eight and a half years after the Man Utd players surrounding Andy d?Urso and Roy Keane showed how many veins were in his neck, the FA have embarked on a campaign to clean up the game. This time they are targeting all levels of the game, Premier League down and grass roots up? how exciting. It?s called ?Respect? and ?it is The FA's programme of activities to combat unacceptable behaviour in our game at every level ? on the pitch and from the sidelines.?

The problem is this Programme will remove the lowest common denominator?. the players harassing referee?s? but the FA could have done this by straight yellow or red cards?. but this isn?t what is spoiling our game!

For those of us at the Blackburn game, we witnessed ?Respect? at its worst. It isn?t about constant challenging the referee, it is about cheating both the referee and your fellow sportsman of true and fair decisions. Midway through the 2nd half, Steven Reid fell injured off the pitch near the six yard line. He then rolled around enough to be half on the pitch by the time the trainer got to him. Fortunately in this instance the referee was wise to this, and made him move off the pitch, but unfortunately Steven Reid was guilty of cheating - further exasperated by him entering the field of play like a gazelle less than 15 seconds later.

However small this offence, it is showing a lack of ?respect? to both the referee, the fans and the Everton players? he tried to gain a bit of advantage for his team by having the game stopped whilst he was treated.

Many more examples could be given and most less trivial? until players treat each other with respect what chance have we got?

Fast forward to June 2009. The FA/Premier League boardrooms are full?. Trieseman, Brooking, Scudamore... there have been no instances of players running 30 yards to press their nose into the referee after a difficult decision. Ashley Cole has admitted he was wrong about Graham Poll. Roy Keane sacks two players for blaming the referee during his half-time team talk... ah the sweet sound of success? performance bonus?s to the boys?.?Respect? really worked? the fans will be pleased???We must get Sky to send another questionnaire??..

But cheating?. show some respect ? that?s just part of the beautiful game.

Reader Comments

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Jason Lam
1   Posted 21/08/2008 at 03:21:13

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My fellow blue, welcome to modern football. We follow suit, or we get left behind. My questionnaire for you:

Your team is leading 1-0. The opponent’s captain Steven Gerrard is racing alone towards your goal, and moments from entering the penalty box. You are Tony Hibbert making the chase behind him. Do you:

A) Continue the chase into the penalty box and wait for an opening before making a fair tackle.

B) Hack the player down way outside the penalty box and receive your marching orders.

Brian Williams
2   Posted 21/08/2008 at 04:41:43

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Neither: You signal to your mate in the Top Balcony who puts a couple of grams of lead right in the cheating, diving, whingeing, OCD suffering t**** head...with the aid of a sniper rifle...because hacking him down could be mistaken for lack of respect !
John Andrews
3   Posted 21/08/2008 at 06:44:29

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Welcome to the real world Dave !
How many times do you see players raise their arms looking to gain a throw in when they know full well that they were the last person to touch the ball. It happens all of the time.
A player will concede a corner and then berate the linesman claiming this , that and anything else that might cross their tiny minds.
Very few footballers are well educated, erudite, call it what you will. Their first thought is to cheat, gain some sort of advantage.
Ashely Cole suddenly springs to mind for some reason !
Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 21/08/2008 at 07:07:15

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Strange analogy but the way I see it, I was a young naive kid that used to really enjoy "It’s a Knockout" with Stuart Hall, Eddie Waring and even David Vine commentating and at that age thinking how the cheats always won especially the European sides. It’s exactly the same in life, people "bending the rules" as far as they will go, the honest guys and girls finishing second nine times out of ten. Football has gotten a whole lot worse but this old mentality of turning the other cheek gets you nowhere.
jarrod prosser
5   Posted 21/08/2008 at 07:33:17

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Technically speaking, moving the ball forward a yard on a free kick is cheating.

If we want to eradicate every form of cheating from the game, we’ll end up with a human version of Pro evolution Soccer.

Great game, but it’s not the real thing.

Another point, who do we direct our vitriol towards if players stop trying to take unfair advantages? Imagine a world where John Terry or Steve Gerrard were considered ’fair’ or ’upstanding’.

Makes me shudder....
Nich Starling
6   Posted 21/08/2008 at 09:15:32

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I’m a Norfolk born and bred Evertonian who often goes to Carrow Road to watch Norwich and I saw a similar example many years ago which had awful consequences.

A Gillingham player fell badly after being tackled right by the half way line about a yard from the edge of the pitch. The player, clearly in some pain crawled off the edge of the pitch in order to get treatment. his team mate (Sidibe - Now at Stoke) went over to him and dragged abd rolled him back on to the pitch in order to get th game stopped. The player himnself had cruciate ligament damage which according to one report might have been made worse by being dragged back on to the pitch.

I always feel that any player who receives treatment or any player that has the game stopped for lying down and rolling around should expect to be off the pitch for two full minutes. This would soon stop players feigning injury.
Brian Egan
7   Posted 21/08/2008 at 09:29:33

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When players stay down feigning injury in order to receive treatment thus stopping the game, I see the solution a simple one. Allow the trainer on the pitch to administer treatment while the game continues.
This would soon stop the cheating bastards from staying down when they were not hurt.
This works perfectly well in rugby so I can’t see why it can’t be incorporated into football.
Jason Lam
8   Posted 21/08/2008 at 10:31:10

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Brian, I would love that to happen if only to amuse myself of the cheating that would compound itself because of this rule. Players falling left right and center waiting for tactical instruction written on bits of paper delivered by the physios; administering treatment 2 yard in front of goal or in front of the cornerkick/freekick/throw-ins; ’unintentional’ wall-passes by the outstruck leg of the ’physio’; physios taking a extended ’short-cuts’ by running straight through the path of opponent’s passes or shoulder charging their receiving forwards.

I’ll probably lighten up the game though.
Richard Harris
9   Posted 21/08/2008 at 10:46:37

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No doubt one of the ’smaller’ teams will fall foul of this new edict from on high. If they had yellow carded all of the players from one of the ’Sky 4’ when they surrounded the referee and then given additional yellowsfor the following dissent then this problem would have been stoped long ago. But who would dare to penalise the ’Sky 4’ and then we would have commentators making stupid comments like "the referee has really ruined this game and spoilt what would have been a thrilling encounter".
Nick Entwistle
10   Posted 21/08/2008 at 10:51:31

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Hmmm Brian and Jason... maybe any player who goes down and needs the physio, once off the pitch: 5 minutes time lapse before being allowed on.

Footballers are trained as highly tuned athletes and like a racing car can break easy, but in the days of chopper harris, souness, vinnie jones or even david batty, the pysios never came on that much.

I blame the foreign influence that brought it here and the arrogance of fame that the young British have for partaking in it.

What is good though, you rarely see Everton players do this or even dive.
Alan Burnham
11   Posted 21/08/2008 at 10:56:21

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I am surprised that so many people seem to accept that it is inevitable that football has to be corrupt. In fact, it is just about the only sport in which abuse of officials, feigning injury, seeking to circumvent the rules, is to all intent and purposes accepted by the authorities which rule the game. I know it can’t be made perfect but why can’t some of the more tedious practices be outlawed. For example, when a team is given a free kick, if an opposing player runs 30 yards to stand 2 feet in front of the ball, that’s a simple case of a yellow card. It would stop overnight. It’s an expensive business watching football and I object to so much time being wasted while referees march players back 10 yards. Ever watched Rugby League ? After a tackle a player’s first responsibility is to reteat 10 yards - failure to do so means the play is advanced 10 yards. The simple matter is that football isn’t interested in sorting itself out.
EJ Ruane
12   Posted 21/08/2008 at 10:55:08

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One thing that I think we ALL forget is the difference between playing and watching.

I am completely guilty of this.

I’ll now scream at players for stealing a few yards at a throw in ("FUCKIN’ GET BACK YOU!!") yet when I ’played’ (Liverpool Business Houses, 1977-80) I would have been claiming for EVERY throw in, foul, free kick etc.

Another inconsistency comes with fouls.

A lirttle nudge on an Everton player will bring cries (yes from me) of "HE’S ALL OVER HIS FUCKING BACK REF...EVERYTIME!" etc.

Yet should Lescott steam in on an opposition player and that player lose a leg, his head and both his plums and the ref blow for a foul.

"YOURFUCKINGJOKING!! He never went NEAR him" etc etc.

There is a certain irony that inconsistency is one of the things that has infuriated supporters most in recent years.
Tony Williams
13   Posted 21/08/2008 at 12:50:14

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I have always thought that all this badgering of the officials could have been stopped with a ref who had some balls. All the ref had to say was "If you are still next to me in 10 seconds and don’t have a captain’s armband, you will be booked", the way that Cahill got sent off for lifing his shirt over his head after scoring his first goal against Man City and didn’t do it again, then the players who are booked by being too close to the ref will also learn.

The ref just needs the backing of the FA and no-one but no-one will risk getting carded for abusing the ref.

If the posters are up in the changies then they have no defence, ala Cahill
Gareth Humphreys
14   Posted 21/08/2008 at 13:18:51

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It sounds obvious but what happens on the pitch depends purey on the FA and FIFA.

Don’t want professional fouls - fine, make it a red card offence - result - virtually wiped out.
Don’t want tackles from behind - fine, make it a red card offence - result virtually wiped out.

Its that easy - sure it may take a season for players, managers and fans to get to grips but with any changes but so what?

Respect ? really easy - if you’re not the captain don’t talk to the ref unless he talks to you - if you do your going to get booked. End of. Deal with it.

You don’t want players faking injury - even easier - if you need treatment your off the pitch for 5 minutes - they are the rules and if you are genuinely injured - sorry but your off.

You don’t want diving - fine - a player goes down too easily looking for a foul - yellow card - I know it’s in now but it’s only used in extreme cases - make it in everyone. We would lose arteta for a few games but he’ll soon learn.

The future of the game and the way it is played is shaped by the men at the top. If the rules aren’t there we can’t blame the players or the ref’s.
Nick Entwistle
15   Posted 21/08/2008 at 13:32:21

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Like your ideas Gareth.

I think if a player goes down injured and stays there, the ref can ask if he wants the physio. If he does, once he’s off he stays off for 5 minutes.
If he doesn’t, the game will restart and it’s up to him to get up.

Drogba would never be on the pitch!
Neil McKinney
16   Posted 21/08/2008 at 18:04:44

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The problem with a player having to be off the pitch for five minutes to receive treatment is that the team who are wronged with the foul (if it is a foul) then also lose a player for 5 mins. This has been the problem with the current rule of having to wait for the referee to allow the player to return, often causing problems for his side as they are a man down. The idea would definitely stamp out the cheating and feigning injury, but what about the player who really has taken a knock and just needs a minute to recover. The player was fouled and injured so why should his team suffer more by being a man down for 5 mins.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the suggestions cos if people don’t have these debates then how are we ever going to sort it out.
Andrew Brophy
17   Posted 21/08/2008 at 18:56:46

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Fast forward to June 2009.

Posters on Toffeeweb discuss all things Everton, agreeing and disagreeing, sometimes strongly.

But no-one calls anyone a fuckwit or closet RS, and no-one tells anyone to fuck off and stay away from Goodison because the club doesn’t need people like them.

Now there’s another "Respect" campaign worth supporting, and one that we can all actually do something about.

Just a thought for the future as I hit 48. What are the odds on silverware before the big 5 0 arrives. Actually no - don’t answer that one.

Best to every poster- true Blues one and all.
Denis Richardson
18   Posted 21/08/2008 at 18:46:29

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Bending the rules and trying to get more for less is simply human nature. As already said, the players play within the current framework of rules and until the rules change it will remain as is. So I suggest deal with it, enjoy slagging players & refs for perceived wrong doings or find yourself a "clean" sport like badminton. Altough in my opinion the refs could be a lot tougher but they’re too sacred of being dropped from the rota for punishing players for swearing etc.
John Morrison
19   Posted 21/08/2008 at 19:33:39

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Re: Physios

Would it not be possible for a physio to come onto the field of play whilst the game is still active to evaluate the injured players’ situation? He could then signal with a raised arm, or whatever, to the referee who would then allow the player to be assisted off the field when the ball is next out of play.

I don’t see there being a major problem in a physio coming on the field of play whilst the game is still active - or perhaps the referee could wave the physio on during an appropiate moment.

Injury time reduced and/or easier to measure, eliminates the temptation to waste time or exaggerate a tackle.
Dick Fearon
20   Posted 21/08/2008 at 22:55:42

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I remember sir Bobby Charlton say that if a England defender allowed an opponent with the ball a clear run at goal and not bring him down with a professional foul Alf Ramsay would have that defenders guts for garters.
That was said during the 66 world cup campaign and it was the first time I heard the term ?professional foul?
Alf must have had toungue in cheek when he labelled the Argies as animals.
Neil Scott
21   Posted 22/08/2008 at 08:38:15

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Good post this. I like the five minute penalty concept especially as it would only narrow the gap between us and the Sky 4.

Win lose or draw I?m happy we haven?t got any out and out cheats like drogba in our side. That bloke is a disgrace to the sport and even gets booed by his own fans for constantly trying it on.

However, why not make it interesting. If they want to come back on then why not make them wear something as a reward for the play acting.

I reckon if drogba had to wear a pink tutu for five minutes after each ?display? he?d soon pack it in...
Peter Howard
22   Posted 22/08/2008 at 14:46:39

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Make them wear a knotted pink ribbon then Andy Gray could scream ".. take a bow, son ! .... "
ged simpson
23   Posted 23/08/2008 at 06:47:32

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The money in the game comes from SKY TV mostly.

If the game was played with strict rules, what the hell would the likes of Richard Keys and the others have to gossip about. We all hear that phrase "Plenty to incidents to talk about" at half time.

Remember who really owns the game.

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