Being English but from a non-English heritage it can be rahter annoying hearing about the sense of fair play all the time.
Unlike their South American and the Latin continental counterparts, great merit is given to staying on your feet and not feigning injuries and the like. Some of the stance is fair enough, but in others, their sense of sportsmanship as typified by the media writers is boring.
Take for instance the waving of the imaginary card. How on earth is that a form of cheating? Any game or sport has to be about looking to gain some level of influence in your favour, even if it is to the demise of your opponent and indeed anything in your favour is already an advantage. A player suffers from a foul and wants justice. If the ref doesn’t want to book anyone then that is the way it has to be. I really don’t see what the big deal is all about.
As for this statement of ‘we don’t want to see any team lost a player’ errr … surely the desire is to see fair play reflected in just payments for wrongdoing and if that’s sending off a player – them is the rules. Thus if a player commits a challenge worthy of a red card, as Glen Johnson did on Joleon Lescott in the Carling Cup match recently, it is only fair that appeals are made to the ref to do the right thing. If he doesn’t, you have every right to remonstrate and be upset, before carrying on with the game.
To suggest it’s cheating is pathetic. Gaining an unfair advantage – not if you think it’s fair you’re not. Wave your imaginary cards, as if a referee will be that affected by it anyway. I know they have been weak and somewhat shoddy of late, but I’d like to think even they are not as weak as to accept the pleas of the card-carriers. If a manager does it, seriously what is your problem? What will happen? The soul of the game will be corrupted? What more than it is already?
Do me a favour. Pick something worth stopping and leave the card carriers to it. As a spectator it makes for great viewing seeing a player do that. Especially if the ref turns around and books the guy telling him to book someone else. That’s just fantastic!