Should the Lee Bowyer question replace the Eduardo question?


Fans with highly developed abilities to read lips and interpret body language detected attempts by Lee Bowyer to influence decisions by the referee, Anthony Taylor, in Saturday’s match against Birmingham City.

In particular, Bowyer – old pic courtesy of “Michael Kjaer”‘s Flickr pages – stands accused of trying to persuade Taylor to reduce us to nine men by sending off Kieran Richardson.

Is there a viler act on the part of a professional footballer than trying to have cards shown to opponents, whether or not accompanied by rolling around on the ground in mock agony? Well, yes, I suppose there is: dangerous challenges and professional fouls are worse and diving is as bad.

It is vile all the same. And coming from Mr Bowyer, one of the least angelic players to grace an English football field. it seems all the more disgusting.

As one of the Ians contributing to the Blackcats list – in response to fully justified criticism of Richardson’s indiscipline – put it: “Flattening Bowyer counts as community service, so I’ll forgive him that one.”

Perhaps last season’s Eduardo question in our Who Are You? series – “would you welcome or be ashamed about a crucial win secured by a blatant dive?” – should give way to the Bowyer question: “Do you feel it is acceptable or shameful for players to try to get opponents booked or sent off?”

But Mr Bowyer has also been known to suggest that he’s really a nice man, utterly misrepresented by the press and therefore misunderstood by the fans.

So fans may have misread his intentions. The pages of Salut! Sunderland are open to him for a clarifying piece explaining that far from trying to goad the ref into sending off a fellow footballer, he was pleading for leniency and understanding.

Colin Randall

22 thoughts on “Should the Lee Bowyer question replace the Eduardo question?”

  1. Cheers Stan. I was simply trying to introduce some levity into what appeared to be becoming a tense debate. To be fair, Bowyer does seem to have got his act together. Its taken him some time and his previous antics have cost him a lot professionally. He may well have matured in the last few years, and he seems to be doing well under McLeish. The whole notion of brandishing imaginary yellow cards is a nonsense and unacceptable by whoever it is. I wouldnèt be any less unhappy if it was one our own, either Stan.

  2. Disgusting tackle by Cattermole. He cost you lot three points, probably the first of many if he carries on tackling like that.
    Bruce is just as bad for backing that sort of challenge – thought he was better than that. KRO

  3. Malcom – spot on mate….most footy fans agree that the blatant cheating needs to be stamped out…you’ll do for me.
    Jeremy – you’re response made me laugh…fair play, but joking aside you get my point right? He gets a lot of bad press based on his wrongdoings in his youf….
    SalutSUnderland – No i’m not ‘Brummie’ ?? I am a Brummie, but was not on hear previously slagging you? Cross – no? Passionate about my beloved Blues – guilty!!
    I merely responded to your post as I felt it unfair and an easy kop out- when actually these incidents of brandishing imaginary cards are more akin to the elite teams?
    Anyway – interesting deabate otherwise – hope you all have a good season under Brucey and all told I thought it was a fair draw in the end.

  4. I cherish the 4th picture in this series:

    I like to think that the full horror had suddenly dawned on Bowyer and Dyer of just who it was they were playing for, rendering them temporarily insane with shock, anger, grief and shame. Looked at in that light, their altercation could have been nothing more than a charitable mutual desire to remove the offending shirt from the other’s shoulders and thus quite laudable.

  5. I am delighted to see so many Birmingham supporters coming here to argue their case. I am sure some of them once held views on Mr Bowyer that are not so far removed from those of supporters of clubs for which he has never played. And I accept unreservedly that many Bluenoses feel he is, generally at least, a reformed character who has served their club well.

    The aim of Salut! Sunderland is to offer interesting and/or thought-provoking, and sometimes downright provocative, articles from a wide range of people on issues that concern people who follow football. Especially for Sunderland fans, of course, but publishing material that is likely to draw in more supporters of opposing teams is also part of the fun. As is the encouragement to tick the like and dislike boxes. You are all perfectly entitled to dismiss what appears here as tosh, but that’s beside the point.

    This is not intended to close the debate, but to repeat that whatever differences we have on one issue, one that does affect football at large, it would be idiotic – going back to Stan031 – to suggest Birmingham left the Stadium of Light with a stolen point. You deserved it; our indiscipline, a shabby trademark of our 2009/10 season, brought its own, justified consequences.

  6. Go on then tell me – what incidents (on the pitch) have you seen Bowyer involved in the last 5-6 years?
    The only one of any note was his on pitch spat with a team mate – Dyer, who is generally accepted as a bit of a tw@t..apparantly the incident came about as Dyer refused to pass the ball to him (his own team mate!?)…who’s attitude would you side with (honestly – and perception of personality apart?) if you were picking the team?

    I like this one. “The only one etc” That’s a bit like suggesting Hitler was a canny lad apart from when he was killing people and invading neighbouring countries.

  7. He’s a nice lad Bowyer. Most people you meet would say the same about him. Model pro and not an ounce of bother. Wherever he’s been he’s always kept his nose clean. Lee Bowyer is a throw back to the likes of Bobby Charlton. I don’t think the lad’s ever been booked.

    I’m sure that I will be simply delighted if my young lad grows up to be just like him. There you go son, just follow the good example of Lee Bowyer.

  8. Once again Salut, you have started the great morality debate and in doing so upset a few Brummies. I have to say that I understand their indignation at your naming Bowyer, though I know that it was your observation of his behaviour that has started this thread. I get the feeling from the tone of the responses that most of us are in agreement. Trying to get opponents sent off, whether by diving, play acting, feigning injury or brandishing imaginary cards should not be acceptable and should disappear from the game.

    To the Blues fans posting I would ask you to realise that Salut is not having a pop at Bowyer per se but at the behaviour he displayed. To Salut, I reiterate my original point that this behaviour is so commonplace these days it is unfair to highlight Bowyer as a culprit. But we all get defensive about players in our own colours. Remember Lorik Cana and his robust performances!

  9. Unless, Bluenosed, you believe as I do (naively, I know) in the game being played in a spirit of decency and fairness. Or, equally, unless you feel it is such a non-article you are moved to go through the hoops it takes to post a response!

    There is something much nastier about seeking an opponent’s expulsion, and therefore suspension, than looking for a dodgy throw-in.

  10. Players appeal for anything, offside. no goal, throwings. They cheat at every oppertunity with diving etc.

    Do you think showing the imaginary card influences the Ref? Not a chance. If anyhting the Ref may become a little more lenient on the offence itself. No one is going to tell them what to do.

    A basic non article.

  11. Paul: if it gets people talking about a scandalous but relatively recent phenomenon in football, it does no disservice at all to a valid point of view. And though some of you are reluctant to admit it, we have been utterly fair in our post-match appraisal of

    1) the sending off
    2) the penalty
    3) and, by implication, the result of the game, which we brought upon ourselves and for which we can therefore blame no one else. It is beyond serious question that Birmingham deserved their point.

    … and I have agreed, here, that if SAFC players urge refs to book/send off opponents, they are also to be condemned.

    Stan: you are clearly not “Brummie”, who came on the other day asking whether English was my first language. But you were probably just a bit cross.

  12. I know football supporters the world over are one-eyed, but come on! You do your argument a complete dis-service if you mention only Bowyer.

  13. What an idiotic response – I hope that writing on here isn’t your proffesion as I wouldn;t pay you in monkey nuts. Talk about a one eyed view….
    Go on then tell me – what incidents (on the pitch) have you seen Bowyer involved in the last 5-6 years?
    The only one of any note was his on pitch spat with a team mate – Dyer, who is generally accepted as a bit of a tw@t..apparantly the incident came about as Dyer refused to pass the ball to him (his own team mate!?)…who’s attitude would you side with (honestly – and perception of personality apart?) if you were picking the team?
    As other posters have stated in response to your initial piece – there are many players who brandish the imaginary card every week and yes we ALL agree it needs to be stamped out.
    But to pin it on Bowyer is weak and easy and then to throw in the comment comparing with Martin Taylor is simply baffling and has absoloubtly no relevancve to your own point??

  14. Completely agree, Malcolm. I’ve admitted that as last season progressed, the very title of the “Eduardo question” could easily have changed to the N’Gog, Gerrard, Drogba or Rooney question. In my view, Graham Poll was quite right to use his Mail column today for another pop at Steve Bruce (over the sending-off; he points out that Cattermole’s first booking was an accumulated sanction for three offences).

    Bowyer is among a cast a umpteen players who now regard trying to have cards shown at opponents as normal practice.

    But it is his fault, not mine, that his long record makes it tempting to pounce on him in a way I would not have pounced, say , on Martin Taylor for a question about career-threatening challenges; in Taylor’s case, I am simply not aware of a remotely comparable record.

  15. I’m afraid that with the amount of money that is generated in the Premiership, both in terms of revenue to the clubs and players’ income, morality no longer seems to have a place in the minds of those involved in the game at that level. That is a crass generalisation and patently not true for everyone. What worries me is that the absence of morality at the top level permeates down until schoolkids and Sunday League teams feel that it is an acceptable way to play.

    Try and make two lists. One where players/officials are generous and take the moral stance and one which lists examples of the opposite. I started by putting Sir Niall Quinn’s donation of his testimonial money to charity and Paulo Di Canio’s catching the ball when in front of goal on the positive side. The other column was soon a lot longer. Henry’s handball, players clutching their faces when no contact was made, Aldridge’s substitution of their sent off player at Tranmere (don’t tell me he did it accidentally – I was there and saw his smirk!) feigning injury, etc. etc.

    Last season our players picked up some stupid cards and it looks like it’s happening again. Bent I assume was booked for something he said. Cattermole didn’t stop and think. Bruce needs to do something to improve the players’ discipline. That might mean bringing in a behaviour management specialist. It’s only a suggestion and maybe not a good one but Bruce gets paid to deal with these situations. We all want to see the Lads get stuck in but there’s a difference between being hard and combative when necessary and indisciplined and stupid. Neither of Cattermole’s bookings were in dangerous areas of the pitch. The first was soft and he might have thought he’d get away with it but once he hadn’t the second challenge was reckless.

    Bowyer is not my favourite player and for similar reasons I’d hate to see people like Bellamy, Barton, Savage, all of whom have been linked with Sunderland at some point, in a red and white shirt but it would be unfair to single him out for something so widespread. I’d like to see FIFA advise referees that any player brandishing an invisible card is actually asking to be booked himself for some undetected offence.

  16. The Birmingham fans who have come here today, who are genuinely as welcome as those who visited for their own fan’s preview of the game, are spectacularly – but understandably – guilty of missing the point.

    Salut! Sunderland has said over and again that it opposes cheating of all kinds by all players, including those wearing our own colours.

    If Riveros and al Muhammadi also did it, then I haven’t the slightest hesitation in condemning them, too. Look back over the post-match coverage and you’ll also see Cattermole sharply criticised for conduct that placed a question mark over Steve Bruce’s decision to make him captain.

    Bowyer is, as one or two of you say, an easy target, having made himself so. On this topic, he has merely offered the earliest opportunity to make a perfectly respectable point.

  17. What is worst and universally accepted as such is clattering your own team mate for not passing to you. The ref had a shocker and it seems Bruce will be in trouble for mentioning it, but during the World Cup, Blatter openly critised the refs and booked them on the next plane home if they had a bad game and he wasn’t punished. Maybe the FA should accept that if ref has a bad game he deserves to be publically exposed.

  18. Your article stinks of sour grapes to me!?
    Whilst I agree that trying to get a player sent off is not an endeering trait in any football player – how can you single Bowyer out on this one? ‘Cheating’ is unfortunatly now rife in the game at all many forms and I whole heartidly agrre with you that this is to the detrement of English football.
    In this case Bowyer is just an easy target for writers like you , as you know there will be many Bowyer haters that leap to back you up.
    Like you I didnt particuarly like Bowyer before he arrived at BCFC – same went for Savage….but I have to say (& yes I would be biased as a Bluenose) that since his arrival his attitude and application whilst playing for the Blues has been nothing short of inspirational. He comes across very well in media interviews too- like he has realised he has not helped his on cause with his well published history of ‘incidents’ on and off the pitch. It probably cosy him any chance of international football too- especially when he was at the top of his game when at Leeds.
    There are may other top level pro’s who could learn alot from Bowyer’s revised attitude…particuarly the England flops- Bowyer is a tenacious, commited player who ‘appears’ to have finally learnt from his mistakes – you/we can only hope that your Lee Cattermole is clever enough to follow his example and reach the potential he surely has…I for one would love to his committed application in the England set up for years to come. The danger is the game has moved on from tackling / enforcer type players that have always made English football the game it was and been replaced by a culture of winning at all costs where blatant cheating is deemed more acceptable than a couple of good old bone shaking tackles.

  19. Is there a viler act on the part of a professional footballer… and what about the supporter, unhappy that his side gave up a 2-0 lead to come away with a point, who gives dogs abuse to players and yet are the first to complain when it doesn’t go their way?

    Let’s face it, before the game we would both have taken a point and, given our form last season you’d have been happy with that. However, our first-half performance was miserable so i can guess why we’re the happier of the 2 sets of supporters but it’s no use having a go at Mr Public Enemy Number 1, in Lee Bowyer – an easy target.

    Perhaps looking at your own side’s inept ability to defend set pieces is more worthy of attention.


  20. What a load of tosh. Trying to deflect the blame from that nutter Cattermole to Bowyer. A dangerous tackle from behind, lucky it was only yellow it could easily have been red. What about the elbow on O’Connor, that could have been red.

    Perhaps you should have been more critical of Cattermole rather than castigating Bowyer. He was the one that let your side down, the guy is a complete fool. I’m guessing he’ll see quite a few more red cards before the season is over

  21. Although it is disgusting i noticed riveros and al muhammadi doing it for a couple of birmingham players hope we dont start doing it all the time and it was just heat of the moment given the catts sebnding off!

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