— Cheating is a growing disease in English football with players copying the bad examples set in continental Europe, Stoke City manager Tony Pulis stated on Wednesday.
Pulis, talking before his side host experienced European campaigners Valencia in a Europa League Round of 32 first leg match on Thursday, urged the English FA to take tougher action against offenders.
“I can’t stand the sight of players rolling around. It really goes against the grain of British football,” he told reporters.
“But from what I’ve seen abroad and, in a few cases here, it’s a growing disease. Players aren’t even touched and they are falling over. It puts enormous pressure on referees.
“I watch Spanish football and they are regularly doing it over there and everyone just takes it as the norm. But I do not think it is clever. I think it’s cheating.
“I’ve seen instances where players are looking to get the other player sent off. It’s wrong, completely wrong. They’re all in the same profession.”
At the same briefing, Stoke striker Peter Crouch stated that he hoped Fabio Capello’s exit as England manager last week would give him the chance to re-establish himself in the team.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is widely tipped to follow Capello into the job, and knows Crouch well having signed him when he was manager at both Portsmouth and Spurs.
Crouch has scored 22 goals in 42 appearances for England – many of those coming as a substitute – but his last appearance for England was two years ago this week in a 2-1 home friendly defeat by France.
Crouch said: “I’ve not been in the last few squads. Whoever takes over hopefully will begin picking me again but it’s only what you do for your club that warrants getting in the England setup again so I’ve got to play well for Stoke, score goals and hopefully that will come.”
Stoke, playing in Europe for only the third time after first round exits in the UEFA Cup in 1972-73 and 1974-75, beat Hajduk Split and FC Thun in qualifiers before coming through from a group that also comprised Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas and Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Valencia, winners of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup, the UEFA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the past and beaten finalists in the 2000 and 2001 Champions League finals, completed third in their Champions League group to drop into the Europa League.
Their last European match was also in England, when they were beaten 3-0 at Chelsea in their final Champions League group match in December.
Copyright 2012 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
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