City need more wholehearted players

PUBLISHED: 16:06 01 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:19 14 September 2010

With a lot of football fans across the country reaching the point of realisation that their chosen team is heading for mid-table safety, it is understandable that other subjects move up the hot topic list.

With a lot of football fans across the country reaching the point of realisation that their chosen team is heading for mid-table safety, it is understandable that other subjects move up the hot topic list.

A popular cause currently is that of player (and team) respect. The debate over diving, cheating, handball etc is raging.

At last there seems to be a lot of people saying that they are not keen. Even Chelsea fans were not too happy about Drogba's deliberate handball method of scoring a recent goal. Television replays can make a mockery of appeals for penalties.

Famously, Rivaldo in the last World Cup appeared to have suffered a fatal head wound until the replay showed the ball hitting him was not even close.

Presumably he did not realise that the stadium screens were also showing the replay.

Mido was substituted in the recent African Cup of Nations semi final and proceeded to remonstrate furiously with his manager in front of a full house of 75,000.

He was so incensed that he nearly missed his replacement scoring the winner within two minutes. Even our own otherwise holy Iwan Roberts admitted live on Radio (at Portman Road) that he would dive in the box to get a penalty. I'm sure that readers could add many more instances.

I can only hope that those virtuous enough to make a stand against cheating maintain their stance if Michael Owen dives in the penalty area against Germany in the imminent World Cup.

Luckily there are some instances of respect in the game to provide balance. The return of Vieira to Highbury this week was well observed by those present. I remember the applause for Malky at West Ham last year.

Historically it could be argued that a greater tribute was paid by Leeds and Juventus adopting a different team's colours (Real Madrid and Notts' County respectively).

With the season coming to a close, and our play-off hopes all but gone for the season, we deserve to see players still giving 100 per cent.

I can accept that not every player wearing the City shirt is a true yellow born within earshot of Carrow Road and may well move on, but we need more like Malky and less like Tony Cottee.

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