More claptrap from Poll: “I remember Rooney”

” Manchester United star Wayne Rooney must not be labelled a diver – I remember him as a player who tried to keep on his feet.”
Graham Poll was always a buffoon. The depths of his incompetence was plumbed with the Josip Simunic farce in the Croatia vs Australia match in the 2006 World Cup. Give him a platform and he becomes God. An incompetent buffoon with a Messianic complex leads to gibberish like that concerning Rooney.
On the other hand Poll with his new column, maybe trying hard to be a shock jock, which is equally sad.
Do you know how many players can claim that defense? Lets start with the English. Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, and Ashley Cole, are all part of the upright citizens brigade? They can go ahead and show footage of them upright, cleverly editing the bits about them strewn on the ground, evidence that they always tried to keep on their feet. Its a great brochure for English honesty. But its not true. Even in the past for every Juergen Klinsmann there was a Gary Lineker. And we can forget about it now. Diving is endemic to every nationality. And once again, John Terry is not in a position to pontificate.
Its interesting to note that in the article that Poll does not back up his claim with evidence. Link to clips? Its just a vague “I remember” statement. Maybe Rooney like everyone else did start with the intentions of playing a clean game but found out that it paid to be crooked. Even I have a recollection of Rooney as a somewhat inarticulate Neanderthal but he did write a book which means he can now be sought out for his opinions on Gerard Manley Hopkins. Eh! Say wot?
The more sinister interpretation is that Poll although retired is already adjudicating the Croatia England match from the armchair since diving forms such a huge subtext to the encounter.

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2 comments on “More claptrap from Poll: “I remember Rooney”
  1. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it was a dive (that’s not to say Rooney doesn’t dive, I just don’t think he did on this occasion). I also think a referee would have to be a complete fool to call that a penalty. If anything, Rooney was fouling the Slovenian player, and should’ve been booked for persistently lashing out. If not for that, then he should’ve been booked for protesting for a penalty when it clearly wasn’t. And although he didn’t directly say it (Gerrard did), I think it’s outrageous to claim he was fouled.
    As for Graham Poll, in his prime, he was the best referee the Premier League ever had. Given the quality of refereeing in England, that’s not saying much. However, later in his career, he became a total media whore, and an embarrassment. I wish he’d stop trying to force his relevancy upon us at this point. To be perfectly honest, he’s a referee, and at the end of the day, no one cares what they think. It just goes with the territory.
    All I can say is that at least the English referees are better than the ones you get in Spain. They are truly awful, and for as good as the quality of football is in Spain, it’s often ruined by their poor excuses for referees. Italy probably has the most skilled referees, but they’re so easily corrupted by money from the likes of Milan and Juventus, it’s hard to respect them on the whole.
    So from that point of view, England probably has the best referees of the top leagues in Europe.

  2. Andrew,
    I agree, on the average refereeing standards are higher in the English league but individually there are better referees to be found elsewhere. Massimo Busacca, Lubos Michel, Pier Luigi Colina (who did not officiate in the 2006 World Cup), Hector Elizondo, Benito Archundia, Luis Medina Cantalejo are all better rated than Poll.
    I maybe reacting too strongly to Poll’s article but what it reveals is a bias to certain players. The article was written to vouch for Rooney’s character. It is dangerous. It makes you wonder about Poll’s impartiality officiating a game with Rooney on the pitch. For that matter, you can easily defend Eduardo’s actions on the same grounds. Slaven Bilic said the same thing about Eduardo, that he is a “clean player” tainted by a dive. Why have these double standards?

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