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Villain Mitrovic gets off scot free



By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings


As we move into February the Pantomime season should be well and truly behind us. Sadly that appears not to be the case because what we saw on Saturday night at Craven Cottage was a panto in every sense of the word.

As we all know you need either a Prince Charming, a Principal Boy a Villain (or two) or a couple of Ugly Sisters. No prizes for guessing which duel roles messrs Mike Dean and Lee Mason filled!

Universal condemnation today from past and present players, together with every section of the media will ‘hopefully’ persuade the FA to do the right thing and overturn Tomas Soucek’s disgraceful red card.

Sadly, expecting the football authorities to actually hold their hands up and admit their boys not only got it wrong, but hopelessly wrong, is probably too much to expect.

But while the anger has rightly been directed at both Mike Dean and Lee Mason for their starring roles, the part played by Aleksandar Mitrovic shouldn’t be overlooked.

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He was part of the supporting cast, and certainly played his part in the evening’s performance. His remarkable ‘recovery’ and futile attempts to persuade Dean he was okay really didn’t wash with the official – and shouldn’t wash with the rest of us either.

There was contact with Soucek’s arm – we could all see that – but it was a mere accidental brush, no more, of the Czech’s arm.

Was it enough to send the big Serbian – who has had brushes with authority on several occasions for his own ‘strong-arm’ tactics – crashing to the ground clutching his face as if he’s been poleaxed? No way! Never! He was at it! Looking to gain an advantage – defuse a dangerous situation for his side, win a free-kick and hang on to a valuable point.

Trouble was his performance was too good! It went too far! A couple of inept official were influenced beyond belief – and the rest, as they say, is history. During the week Anthony Martial played a similar supporting role in another contentious decision from the dynamic duo of Dean and Mason.

His trademark dive was enough to secure Manchester United a penalty, not for the first time it has to be said, and also a red card for Southampton defender Jan Bednarek. Thankfully that card has been swiftly overturned.

Dean and Mason deserve every ounce of condemnation and all the derision that continues to come their way. But Aleksandar Mitrovic needs to look in the mirror and question the role he has played in all this, as do other players whose ‘acting’ is a blight on our game we could do without!

Are you listening Mr Grealish?

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

8 comments on “Villain Mitrovic gets off scot free

  1. Scott Parker needs to condemn the dive. When Ashley Young dove, early in his career against Chrystal Palace, he was taken off by Sir AF.
    No cheating.

  2. I thought “Simulation” was a bookable offence?
    How often are players booked for obvious acts of Simulation?
    …. This is the reasons officials don’t look for it and it has become an act without consequence… unless you play for West Ham (Lanzini).
    Mitrovic, Grealish, Salah, Zaha and a few others consistently get rewarded for what is meant to be a bookable offence that can now be identified by VAR.
    Also, Mike Dean has been at this nonsense for years and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s been earning money on the side for some of his decision making in these matches. Stranger things have been known to happen 🤔

  3. Mitrovic is caught in the face. He falls. He gets up rather quickly. And he immediately tries to convince Dean there is no need for further action. Calling him villain in this is weird. He should rather be applauded. Like Soucek does!

    • Are you for real Soren? Did you watch a different incident to the rest of us? Mitrovic’s over acting was embarrassing!!

      • I watched the game and the incident yes. He gets caught in the face. Falls down instantly (no Grealish delay). Holds his hands where he was hit. Assesses that it was not hard. And gets up and actually tries to tell that to Dean.

        I am all for shaming the theatrics of some players. But this was not that. Not in my view.

        And even if we then say that he fell down too hard. Or that he should have exaggerated the force he was hit with. It would still stand that he actively tried to stop Soucek from being sent off.

  4. And so the pantomime continues, watching Salah con another pen today v Man City. Even Graeme Souness called it out tonight.
    Unless referees start penalising these cheats it will continue to flourish and they prosper.

    • Sorry, I disagree entirely. Rightly or wrongly, the Premiership is full of diving! Being a more mature supporter, I remember times when diving was heavily frowned upon. Klinsmann was one of the first to bring diving to the PL, and now it is a regular feature of the game, a side that I don’t like! Mitrovic got an elbow in the eye which possibly even hurt, but the modern game is about trying to make an advantage for your team. Fair play to him to try and tell Mike Dean that he had got it wrong, but he is a Fulham player first, trying to get his team out of trouble. Mitrovic isn’t the bad guy here, Dean and Mason got it horribly wrong on the VAR approach. Hopefully it can be turned over and show the world that these idiots should not be in charge of a game.

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