Referees need even more help - Dyche

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche
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Sean Dyche feels video technology must be further integrated into officiating the game, despite losing James Tarkowski to a retrospective three-match suspension.

Tarkowski was banned after being caught on camera in an off the ball incident with Brighton striker Glenn Murray at the weekend.

While Dyche felt the severity of the ban was harsh, he feels there should be more video evidence taken into account to come down harder on simulation.

And there is the bizarre scenario that Tarkowski will sit out Saturday’s game with Spurs, as the first of his three games, but Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who were fortunate in the extreme to get away with yellow cards and no subsequent suspension after challenges against Manchester City on Saturday, will both be available.

Dyche said of that situation: “That’s up for debate. I can’t change the rules.

“I think they can be tightened up in the sense of diving and loosened up in (cases like James Tarkowski) with a bit of handbags.

“I can’t believe they’re all three or nothing. The only one that was reduced was Matic against us which was reduced to two.

“We can only offer an opinion on how we see it.

“It’s not frustrating for me because the powers that be are there to govern that.

“I’m not casting aspersions on players because I was one, sometimes you mistime it, there are extenuating circumstances.

“There’s different governance that could tighten up.

“Maybe the video thing will change the outlook and bring a bit more instant depth.”

He feels the game needs cleaning up in respect of diving: “For me personally, the moral fibre of the game is at stretch. Just clean it up.

“First things first, get rid of diving, all over the pitch, don’t wait for the million to one chance and the perfect storm of it being in the box, just stop it all over the pitch. It will soon go.

“When Drogba was falling over back in the day every supporter, pundit, manager didn’t want it. But we get used to things, it softens and we’re all guilty of it. It then becomes normal.

“It then gets highlighted again and you realise you didn’t use to look it. It seems like it’s on the turn again, they’re stopping things on MOTD again, two years ago they weren’t stopping anything.

“A few of the old players are now coming out and saying it has to be stopped. I hope fans come out and say ‘we’re not having that, I don’t want our players doing it and I don’t want their players doing it’.

There have always been players guilty of gamesmanship, clever play - depending on how you view it, in football, but Dyche added: “Nowhere near what it is now. There was a bit more clever, real gamesmanship, which has always been there.

“There was a bit more moral fibre to it with two blokes having a row, if it was a row, within reason.

“I think fans used to like see players battling it out, without the silly stuff from the 70s with players jumping on each other.

“We’ve got to go somewhere back to that bit of earthiness in the game.

“It was marvellous to see those boys (Souness, Keane) winning the battle, not the technical battle, just the battle, that was a spectacle, every fan would enjoy that.

“We’ve got to be careful that the game doesn’t get too glossy and pure. I think fans want a bit of rough and tumble in amongst the technical quality.

“That kind of edge has gone. That little edge to the game and the will and desire that was sometimes the difference. Not just a moment of brilliance.

“The will and desire of a team to give everything to win a title or a trophy or win whatever.

“The Liverpool spirit when they came back from 3-0 down. That was nothing to do with tactics, by the way.

“That was to do with a group of people who said: We are going to give every inch and more. You had Carragher getting cramp every four seconds, diving in the way and getting it smashed in his face.

“That’s as beautiful as the most beautiful football match, and as proud as the most proud Proudsville. Don’t take that away. Find a way of governing that which allows a little bit of emotion and that little edge to a game. Don’t make it too pure. Don’t make it to glossy. We’ve got to be careful, because it’s going a little bit that way. Only a little bit.”

With the influx of foreign players and importance of European competition, and differing refereeing standards on the continent, has England has to fall in line? “Yeah. A prominent manager said to me: You’re old fashioned because that’s part of their culture.

“And I said: That’s not part of my culture. It’s not part of our culture and the game here.

“And everyone’s coming here to play their football. So why are we bending to everyone else? Stiff upper lip. You used to say: No messing around like that. If you’re going to mess around, then mess around man to man.

“No messing around with all that silliness.

“We’re all old enough to remember when you were brought up like that. If you’re going to do it, play fair, play hard, but play fair.

“That’s all I’m trying to do with my teams. Look at our bookings and sendings off: Minimal. Apart from Tarky the other day. Minimal, down the years. Almost top of the league for fair play every year. We play hard but we play fair. We don’t want any nonsense.”

There is also the argument that the more high-profile clubs are more likely to get decisions - certainly Arsenal have benefitted in their last three games against Burnley: “That’s been a debate for us. It came up with us against Arsenal three times on the trot. People have been debating that for years. I believe there’s some stat or evidence-ish that implies that, but what do you think?

“Referees, whatever way you look at it, are human beings attempting to run a situation in a very, very tough environment.

“Video technology is an absolute for me. An absolute in the game. One hundred per cent.

“Back up and support about diving, one hundred per cent for me. Much more than is happening now. Allow the referee the chance to know that he can officiate a game. If he gets it wrong it will still be taken care of.

“Now the point is this: It doesn’t give you the points back, but it might affect that team from getting the next three points. So in a way, over a season, that will all pay itself back.

“If you get that one because of simulation, then maybe later you get it back because they lose a couple of players, and you get it back there. I just think that’s got to be right for referees.

“Give them a chance to officiate the game. And without us going mad. So we go mad, going: I can’t believe what I’ve just seen. They do nothing about it.

“And then after the game, nothing gets done about it. How can that be right? It can’t be right.

“The referee’s just been cheated. How can that be right? And we show respect to the referees, but the game is not showing respect to them. It’s not giving them enough support, in my opinion.”

Will there not still be grey areas, though, even with video evidence?: “You have a panel of three, a mixed panel, an ex-player and LMA member, whatever. You’ve got slow-mos, you’ve got different angles, you’ve got replays, you’ve got all sorts.

“I think VAR will help purely because there’s an instant review. But even they can be picked up afterwards.

“So even if someone went, ah that was so difficult to call, then it goes either off the referee’s decision or they make a decision, and then the board can analyse it.

“You’ve got to remember the reason for this is that it’s cleaning up the game, but also there are hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds, billions of pounds a year.

“So on the pitch morally, or off the pitch business-wise, imagine if a team went down out of the Premier League, because of three dives.

“Oh, it’s OK, because it didn’t get a ban. But you go out of the Premier League. It could happen.

“Then you go: That can’t be right. Not for a sport that’s grown like it has done. Because it’s not just a sport now. We all know that. It’s a sport and a business. So I think that’s a change.

“As the business grows, then everything must grow with it, and I think it’s been left behind with technology. Every inch counts now. We all know that. The detail in football is so, so important.”