Here’s a Salut! Reflections exclusive. We had a mole at the full dress rehearsal of David Moyes’s pre-derby team talk and it went something like this …
Right lads, I know most of you can read but in case anyone missed this, I’d like to repeat some words I used when speaking to the press about the big game. They interpreted it as being about Suarez and I can hardly deny the cheating sod was in my mind. But it goes further – I was having a go at diving generally and my message to you all now is to be on your guard and not do anything that would enable Suarez or anyone else to tumble to the floor and get a penalty or dangerous free kick …
… can I have a word, boss?
Not just yet. Listen to me first. This is a wake-up call for football; as I told the reporter from the Daily Mail, it will turn supporters away from the game if they think players are conning their way to results.
Moyes: Be patient, young man. To continue what I was telling the media: people like to see things done in the main correctly. If the ball hits a hand, of course you are going to claim for it. And you will take every decision you get. But when people are out to manufacture it, supporters in general will not like it. .. players should stay on their feet. I have got a view that retrospective viewing of diving should be seen as more important than some of the technology they are talking about coming in. I think if you banned players, it wouldn’t take long before you cut (diving) out.
That’s it, lads. Get out there and show Liverpool what you can do but beware the divers in their side … oh Leon, you wanted to say something?
Yeah, boss. I just wanted to know if going into the penalty area at the Stadium of Light, falling over your own feet with no Sunderland player anywhere in sight, raising your arms as you crash to earth and getting Howard Webb to give you the penalty that saves us a point counts as the sort of dive that’s turning people away from the game.
Moyes: Not at all, Leon. Howard’s a great ref and we deserved it.