By Matthew O`Connor

IMAGINE you are a football player. You have just dived spectacularly six feet up into the air, feigning injury, and are currently rolling around on the ground pretending to be in agony. But, wait a minute, the whistle hasn't gone and the ref, knowing full well you're acting, has said play-on. The ball is heading towards the goal of the opposition. You are now faced with perhaps the most difficult and cerebrally taxing moment for any football player. Do you get up and join in the action straight away thus proving you weren't injured at all, or, do you stay on the floor writhing about like a headless chicken trying hard to hide your glances to where the ball is? On Wednesday UEFA said they were keen to eradicate the unsporting behaviour that has crept back into football. UEFA said their biggest worry was the developing trend of kicking the ball out of play, rather than back to the defending side, when play restarts after an injury. This sporting gesture, a convention rather than a point of law, was introduced several years ago but has increasingly been abused. Okay, it's not very nice to see, but surely more worrying are the players, as above, who fake injury in the hope of getting a free-kick or of wasting time. The time wasting element was particularly evident in the UEFA Cup final when Celtic had to put up with the Oporto players pretending to be hurt every 10 seconds or so. Here in Spain, the Primera Liga is so full of players rolling around it's a surprise there's anyone to pass to.
Here's my modest proposal. Why not make any player who writhes around on the floor for over 60 seconds leave the pitch. They then must stay off the pitch for 5 minutes before returning. It not only gives the fourth official something to do other than tell off over exuberant managers, but it also stops players time wasting for hours on end. Too many players feign injury rolling around in apparent agony as though their leg has just been blown off by a howitzer only to get up almost the second after the whistle has gone. If they're down for 60 seconds get 'em off the pitch then make them wait five minutes, that's what I say.
Let's see how many players time waste when faced with five minutes off the pitch.
At a time when Ronaldinho is garnering so much media attention due to links with a move to Man United, you have to feel a bit sorry for David Seaman.
Every single piece about Ronaldinho I've read lately has not failed to mention his freaky goal over Seaman in the World Cup. Even a two line piece manages to get something in about the former England keeper's howler. Of course, if Seaman was still at Arsenal and not Manchester City I would not feel the slightest bit sorry for him. The Bulletin can exclusively reveal today that David Beckham will be staying in Manchester but will be moving to Hyde United in a bid to bolster the side's struggling midfield. “I wanted to test myself at the highest level and where better than the Unibond League,” said the England captain yesterday.
Beckham made the decision after Brazilian Ronaldinho moved to United.
Hyde pulled of the amazing transfer from under the noses of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid and European champions AC Milan after offering Beck's wife Posh Spice a TV presenting job on Look NorthWest. “Becks should slot into the midfield nicely, but he'll have to work for his place,” said Hyde boss Steve Waywell. “There is no guarantee that just because he's England captain he'll waltz into the side. He still has a lot of scope for improvement and we currently have three players vying for the right side of midfield spot.” Beckham's decision is said to be partly down to the new bed in the back of his Mercedes people carrier. Beckham can sleep in the back of the car after travelling home to his Hertfordshire mansion after big matches at Hyde's Ewen Fields ground. Beckham has been quoted as saying he didn't want the new bed to go to waste so wanted a team roughly three hours drive from where he lives. Another factor may have been the proximity of Ewen Fields to the Morrison's Supermarket -- said to be the favourite grocery store of Posh Spice -- as well as the local cotton mill, where the cotton is shipped out to the Giorgina Armani factory where Beckham's briefs are manufactured. The town of Hyde was in a state of rapture yesterday after hearing of the news. “We were hoping for a big signing this summer, but I guess he'll have to do,” said Hyde's fan.
So Matthew Upson has proven himself in the big time, we are told. Nothing against Upson, I think he's a great player, but a friendly against Serbia and Montenegro is hardly the big time is it?


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