Ashley Young has had a exceptional start to his Manchester united Career since making the step up after his transfer from strugglers Aston Villa for a fee between £15 – £20million.
Despite a strong season for the winger, he has been at the centre of much controversy as he has been the prime example in the ongoing argument of diving in the modern game.
Young’s suspected dive during United’s home game against QPR which saw Ranger’s midfielder Shaun Derry’s sent off has been highlighted as a key demonstration of how theatricals has worked its way into the game. Young has received high levels of abuse for his involvement in diving, with a cartoon video of Young in goggles and swimming hat learning to dive, where referees mark his performance becoming an internet sensation.
Young’s manager Alex Ferguson has been quick to defend his winger, implying that his ‘diver’ tag is an unfair one, suggesting that ‘It doesn’t take much for the press to get a bandwagon rolling these days and in my view it’s quite unfair.’ Despite this defence Ferguson has admitted to speaking to the player about his conduct and warning him about going down easily in the future and the reputation he may develop as a result.
Young also spoke out to defend his actions saying “Professionals know that if there is any touch in the box there is a chance that with the speed and the pace that you are running at you are going to go down.” Although he has received some support from ex Manchester united pundit Gary Neville who believes diving is now part of the game, the majority of pundits and fans are hoping to eradicate it, pressuring the FA to introduce harsher laws on players who dive.