Apparently, Roy McBain never touched Andrew Driver in Saturday’s penalty incident – honestly !!
Saturday`s narrow win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle contained the latest in a long line of incidents where opposing players vehemently contend that a Hearts player has “conned” the referee into awarding a penalty (or free-kick). Amazingly, Roy McBain showed his disgust at the referee`s decision, having cleverly used his left leg to halt Andrew Driver`s progress towards goal, and pulling his right arm. After the game, ICT player Russell Duncan was quoted as saying –
‘We have seen it again on TV and Roy didn’t even touch Driver. I don’t want to say someone dived but the referee could not have possibly seen it, he goes by the linesman and he is 20 yards away and makes the wrong decision.’
Eh ? he might not WANT to say Driver dived? but that`s basically what he means !!
Looking at the TV replays, there is no doubt that McBain made considerable contact with Driver’s arm AND left leg. So who is the “cheat” here ?
Before Stewart could take the penalty, several ICT players vented their frustrations on the penalty spot itself, having knocked the ball away first – a clear attempt to cause a problem for the kicker. Again, who is the “cheat” here ?
Both matches against Aberdeen this season have contained similar unsavoury incidents. Their players rounded on Marius Zaliukas in the infamous “no head-butt” incident at Pittodrie, and the reversal of a late penalty award at Tynecastle saw Langfield and Diamond berating Michael Stewart for diving. Strangely, their oily overweight manager declared afterwards that “Michael Stewart doesn’t do that sort of thing” – which seemed to be his way of implying that SOME Hearts players WOULD do that sort of thing.
And recently we witnessed Christophe Berra “jumping like a brown trout” when fiercely tackled from the side by Steven Fletcher – it may not have merited a red card, but it was a totally absurd accusation from Mixu.
Last season saw incidents at Aberdeen and Rangers where players rounded on Miko after he had clearly been fouled, in an attempt to intimidate him or get him booked.
Managers may have taken a decision not to publicly criticise referees, but some are now openly criticising the behaviour of Hearts players in key incidents where their player has been sent off or booked. In my opinion, the increasingly outrageous behaviour of some opposition players and managers has replaced the standard of refereeing as the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed in Scottish football. Gordon Smith said he wanted to get tough with cheats – how about starting with some non-Lithuanian ones, Gordon ?