Ashley Young accused of diving on Sunday Supplement

Last Updated: 15/09/13 9:56pm

Jason Burt slammed Ashley Young for his habit of diving to win penalties, on the Sunday Supplement.

The Sunday Telegraph journalist spoke out against the Manchester United and England winger after he was booked for simulation against Crystal Palace on Saturday and then went on to win a controversial penalty in his side's 2-0 win.

"It's gone too far; Ashley Young has earned himself a reputation and needs to be dealt with."

Jason Burt

United boss David Moyes has told the press he will let Young know he doesn't approve of the practice, and Burt applauded the Scotsman for publicly criticising his player's actions.

"This isn't the first time he's been accused of this and it's not the first time the Manchester United manager has taken him up on it - Sir Alex Ferguson said to him last season he'd speak to him about this behaviour," said Burt.

"It's obviously an instinctive thing in his style of play that he feels entitled to do, in terms of 'drawing the foul' as they call it, but I feel quite strongly about it.

"If a player does dive or try to earn a penalty in this fashion then it is cheating. I don't subscribe to the Michael Owen point of view that if there's some sort of contact you feel you have a right to go down; you've got a duty to try and stay on your feet and carry on playing football.

"It's gone too far; Ashley Young has earned himself a reputation and needs to be dealt with. It's quite refreshing that Moyes has come out so strongly. Young can expect a fine, because Phil Neville was fined by him for diving in that rather embarrassing incident last season."

Currently, simulation is punished with a yellow card, but John Dillon of the Daily Express suggested a harsher response from referees could deter players from diving, while high profile managers, such as Moyes, can play their part by voicing their opinions.

"One of the things that can be done is for big name managers at big clubs to speak out, like this," he said.

"This is significant that early in Moyes' tenure at Manchester United he's taken this stand. It's a little reminder of what a strong, forthright character he can be and the reputation of Manchester United is harmed by stuff like this.

"But I also think the authorities need to find a way of dealing with it far more severely. There will be huge rows because there are very finite judgements involved in it but perhaps straight red cards for this might be an answer in the long run."


In terms of Young's reputation, John Cross of the Daily Mirror pointed out that the forward could redeem himself over the course of time by changing his approach to the game and cited the case of Chelsea's former frontman Didier Drogba.

The Ivory Coast international is widely considered to have changed his style of play and cut simulation from his game, although Cross reckons Young's team-mates may need to step in to convince him to make the switch.

"The most obvious example of a player turning round a reputation is Didier Drogba," he said.

"How was that done? By the Chelsea dressing room. There was a group of players who approached him and made it absolutely clear 'we don't want this at the club, we don't want to be tarnished by that'.

"Drogba turned it around completely and has never been booked within the English game for diving.

"There has to be a power base in the United dressing room which says to Young 'we don't want that'."