Sean Dyche makes a good point:
It’s true. Kids are very impressionable. When I were a lad, whenever we saw anything different or exciting in the football over the weekend, there would be loads of us trying it out in the playground on Monday morning. I wonder how many kids were “moving the ball” (and the foam) before taking their free kicks, after Ivan Toney did it, and after it was praised so roundly by all the pundits?
As we remarked at the time, moving the ball might have been seen as being “a bit clever”. But as soon as he moved the foam as well, well, it was clear that he knew he was cheating.
Sure, it’s not the biggest thing in the world, but it is symptomatic of the way that some bits of football are going. And the well-paid, “celebrity” pundits sitting in the cosy, warm studios are – for some weird reason – encouraging it.
So why not start with the small stuff and actually note that Toney was deliberately breaking the rules, rather than admiring his actions? Just say that it was wrong. You don’t have to want him to be banned for 8 months: he can do that himself.
Also, I quite enjoyed this quote because he’s basically taken three whole paragraphs to just say “Fuck you, Michael Owen”.
It’s something I regularly find very easy to condense into just those four words.
Oh, and also, one more thing: I put this graphic up on our football team Whatsapp group this morning and no fewer than six people agreed with it. All of them dads. We’re bringing up our kids right. Forza.