Former Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson has appealed fto the football players of today to show more respect to referees.
Bobby Robson – appeals to players
Bobby told BBC Radio Five Live:
“It’s a very big problem at the moment. It has got worse and I think in a way it is not only down to the self-discipline of players – and that has to improve magically – but also down to the authority and clout of managers.â€
“Strong, tough managers will have no problems with disobedient players. But players have to show far more respect to refereesâ€
“I want to go back to the Bobby Charltons, the Bobby Moores, the Billy Wrights. These were very wonderful footballers but they also knew how to behave on the pitch.â€
“We must stamp out the awful disrespect which is ongoing and is spoiling our game.”
We saw all those players play the game, and there was never more of a gentleman on the field than Ashington-born Bobby Charlton, but those days seem to have gone.
An example of the current lunacy on the pitch was Liverpool’s Javier Mascheranoâ€™s bout of madness on Sunday against Manchester United.
Javier had already been booked once, and he came running over to referee Steve Bennett after 44 minutes, and started to argue vehemently with the referee, apparently about why Bennett had booked Fernando Torres.
He kept in the face of the referee, like a little kid, and was then rightly shown a second yellow card and sent off. To us he was pleading with the referee to send him off and he got his wish, and by his deeds lost Liverpool any chance of getting anything from the game.
He should have been kicked up the behind but no, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez actually defended him. That’s what the problem is today, right there. Managers have to discipline their players.
We know football players donâ€™t live in the real world, and they often behave like children, but Mascherano deserved to be sent off. He acted like a spoiled little kid.
We hope heâ€™ll learn from this episode, but from the comments after the game we donâ€™t think he will.
Maybe heâ€™ll eventually grow up when he retires, but donâ€™t bank on it.