Mark Holmes questions Scott Parker's inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year, blasts Wolves' board and hails Chelsea in his latest Monday Moan.
Diving was once again on my agenda in my Monday Moan last week but I'm laying off the cheats for a week to focus on the PFA Team of the Year, Wolves' relegation and Chelsea's performance against Barcelona, among other things.
Parker no longer an unsung hero
There was a time when Scott Parker was widely regarded as one of the most under-rated players in the Premier League. His work in West Ham's engine room was often unglamorous but almost always crucial, and his Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award last season was seen as long-overdue recognition for a player who was for so long unsung.
Well he certainly can't claim to be unsung anymore! As is so often the case, a bit of media praise has led to Parker's talents becoming vastly exaggerated, and his inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year came as no surprise to me.
In fairness to Parker's contemporaries, voting takes place far too early and it is highly likely the XI would be different if a poll was taken again today. Parker and Gareth Bale would surely make way for Alex Song and Antonio Valencia, for example.
Parker's inclusion, however, just proves to me how important perception is in football. A couple of years ago he was a combative midfielder whose hard work was often overlooked; now he is a combative midfielder who has been made out to be something he isn't.
Parker is an excellent player who does a crucial role for Tottenham, but one of the best two midfielders in the Premier League this season? Not a chance.
Wolves board must take blame
On the day that Wolves sacked Mick McCarthy I wrote that 'Wolves fans should not automatically assume that this move will save their season - for it could just as easily ruin it.' And so it has proved.
I could understand the Wolves' fans frustration at a lack of progress under McCarthy, but they were outside of the bottom three and I feel would have stayed up had the Yorkshireman stayed in charge.
Steve Morgan decided he'd had enough after the Old Gold were thrashed 5-1 by West Brom in the Black Country derby, but, as has been proved so many times in the past, it's a lot easier to sack a manager than it is to find a suitable replacement.
The Wolves board made a massive hash of things, eventually ending up with McCarthy's assistant Terry Connor, and, although Connor has clearly done a terrible job, the blame must lie fully with Morgan and the board that acted without proper thought.
Chelsea performance a joy to behold
Anyone that reads my pieces regularly will not be surprised to hear I thoroughly enjoyed Chelsea's win over Barcelona in midweek. The Blues rode their luck, admittedly, but their discipline, work ethic and concentration was fantastic and fully deserving of victory.
Predictably, they came in for criticism from some of life's
purists idiots, who believe a team's priority should be to entertain the viewing public, but the realists among us know it is a manager's job to set up his team to prey on the opposition's weaknesses and counter-act their strengths.
Roberto Di Matteo did exactly that and, ultimately, the victory justified his tactics. What's more, I doubt there were too many Blues fans that didn't leave Stamford Bridge with a huge smile on their face.
Any one that thinks Di Matteo should be criticised for that is living in cloud-cuckoo land.
Ok for some, but not for others
While I completely disagree with those that were critical of Chelsea's display, I accept that some people believe entertainment is more important than results and I do have some respect for those that stuck by their view in midweek.
What annoyed me far more were the hypocrites that cry 'anti-football' every time Stoke win yet were quite happy to hail Chelsea's display in beating Barca.
When Stoke recently held Manchester City to a draw, they were yet again condemned by a certain radio talk show host as being bad for the Premier League. Yet that same character argued Chelsea were well within their rights to adopt whatever tactics necessary to beat Barca.
Apparently their defensive set-up, long-throws and reliance on set pieces was justified because Barca are a far superior team to them.
Well the likes of Stoke regularly come up against far superior teams in the Premier League and I hope all of those that hailed Chelsea on Wednesday night will be similarly fulsome in their praise of the Potters if they beat Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium this weekend. But I won't hold my breath!
The sad fact is, in the eyes of the media, that there is one rule for the big boys and one rule for the rest of us. If ever you needed proof of that, read these Press Association descriptions of two recent goals scored by Stoke's Peter Crouch and Chelsea's Didier Drogba.
Crouch's began with a drop kick from the goalkeeper, while Drogba's began with a long ball by Lampard from just outside his own box.
Crouch v Man City: "It came via route one as a long clearance from Begovic was headed on by Crouch but there was nothing crude about the finish."
Drogba v Spurs: "The former Marseille man picked up Lampard's long ball and turned Gallas easily before firing a fierce rising shot past Carlo Cudicini."
Clearly long balls are only 'crude' when Stoke play them!
Fines must be put into perspective
Sunderland were fined £30,000 by the FA last week for their players' conduct towards referee Phil Dowd in their recent draw against Manchester City, upsetting those who were quick to point out Porto had only been fined just £16,700 by UEFA after some of their fans chanted racist abuse at City players during a Europa League game.
To add insult to injury, City were then fined £24,735 by UEFA after their players appeared late for the second half of another Europa League game, against Sporting.
A clear sign that football's authorities are not taking the campaign against racism seriously, the critics moaned, and I can understand people's frustration at the disparity in fines.
However, I also understand why teams like Porto were handed such paltry fines. After all, a club is directly responsible for the behaviour of their players on the pitch, but what can they really do to prevent a few idiots entering their stadium to chant racist abuse?
Let's put it this way, I wouldn't like to think my club could lose points or millions of pounds because of a few idiots in the stands.
Have your say
As always, I want to hear what has upset you over the past seven days. Let me know via the comments box below and, remember, you can follow me on Twitter to hear me moan from Tuesday to Sunday too..