Rotherham United Manager Paul Warne was asked, during a Fans’ Forum at the New York Stadium, last night if he thought our players are ‘too honest’.
Time and time this season we have seen opposition players fall over at the slightest touch, get fouled and roll around the floor requiring trainers on the pitch before getting up and running about like spring chickens within a minute or two (we saw this on Saturday when we played Hull City). Yet, on the other hand there is Michael Smith who is pulled and pushed whenever he goes for the ball – and, yes, I do think there are times he ‘makes a back’ but not every time – and gets nothing from the referee with us, the fans, remarking that maybe he should fall down. Matthew Olosunde is another who gets whacked and kicked all the time as he runs past players and often gets nothing.
I’ve said in the past that our players should ‘go down’ more often but then, as Warney himself remarked last night, do we really want our players to do that and get the calls of ‘cheat, cheat’ from the stands?
‘You pay to watch football,’ the Gaffer said, ‘not to watch players rolling around the ground.’ Perhaps he should pass this on to other clubs because I know he’s right. Although, it is annoying when you see other teams getting away with it.
And how many times have we seen opposition players surround the referee or go over to him at a stoppage in play to talk to him. Now, I don’t want our team to be like that particularly but I do think our captain should keep having a quick word with him when they pass each other, tell him he’s ‘not happy’ about something that’s happened. I did actually notice both Richard Wood and Michael Ihiekwe having their say on Saturday.
So, to the question, ‘are our players too honest’ then the answer is probably ‘yes’. But as the Gaffer says, do we want to watch football or players rolling around the floor? I know what I’ve paid my money to see but I also think we should let the other teams know what we think of them when they do it. In fact, I think it’s one of the things that has to be addressed in the game sooner rather than later.