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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 10, 2006

Moyes still fuming over Johnson diving slur

Everton boss David Moyes has accused Andrew Johnson's English critics of double standards as accusations of diving continue to plague the striker.

Johnson has been at the centre of a controversy in which his honesty has been questioned, with his former boss Iain Dowie claiming he is the victim of a witch-hunt.

And it has become clear that the situation has started to affect Johnson's play with the £8.6million striker having failed to score now in six games.

Everton boss Moyes said: 'I don't think Andy's recent lack of goals gets to him at all, what gets to him are the decisions that are going against him.

'If that was happening to me or anyone else we would be saying `what do I have to do?'

'He doesn't remonstrate with the referees, he doesn't get booked for diving, so what is it that he is doing wrong?

'He's been named for England again, and if he gets brought down playing for them in the way he has been in recent weeks for us, everyone would expect him to get a penalty for England!

'Andy won't go down unless he has had contact, he doesn't just `go down' in the box. The penalty decisions we have had turned down include against Blackburn, Fulham and Arsenal of late, and if that was to happen in an England shirt there would be a lot greater clamour from people saying that Andy Johnson has been fouled.'

Johnson will again come under the spotlight at home to Aston Villa tomorrow and Moyes knows that refereeing decisions will again be under that same spotlight.

He has already lost striker James McFadden, starting a three-match ban, after being sent off by Graham Poll against Arsenal in midweek for foul language.

Moyes is exasperated by the situation, and said: 'There is scope for referees to explain themselves after matches, that could be the way forward.

'We always have the opportunity to air our views, we are expected to do that for the media, and at Everton we always try to do just that.

'We had James McFadden in the spotlight to explain what he did against Arsenal before he was sent off. Maybe people will criticise that but we always try to be open and up front here.

'It is the same as we have always said to our players. We won't have anybody diving and if anybody does then I will be the first to punish them.'

He added: 'I have a respect for referees and I am sure the players have as well. We need them for the game to exist.

'But currently I can only put it down to some mistakes being made by referees which I believe is happening, and we have suffered.

'But if you look at the television programmes of the last few weeks, they all seem to revolve around refereeing decisions, so maybe it isn't just the players' fault that there is argument.'

Moyes could recall Simon Davies in place of McFadden as Everton try to arrest a run that has seen them win just one of their last seven league games.

Bur refereeing decisions are haunting Moyes, who said: 'Maybe we are going through a period where decisions are not being called the way everyone else sees them.

'The scrutiny is there for referees because of technology, but that's the same for the players, too.

'There are lots of ideas about how things could be improved, but football has survived the test of time. We trust referees to make the right decisions, we hope they do it as honestly as they possibly can, and I believe that is the case.

'But from our point of view recently, we believe we could look to three or four decisions that have definitely gone against us. There may well be a few that have gone our way, but on the balance in recent weeks things have gone against us.

'That is why we are slightly aggrieved, we have tried to keep our counsel as much as we can because I think it is wrong to come out and criticise referees.

'But it is getting to a stage now that if they do make mistakes then I will have to come out and say something for the Everton players and the fans because they are seeing it and if I am not going to comment on it they will start questioning my sanity.'

He added: 'We haven't appealed against McFadden's red card because you know you cannot swear in games.

'But anyone who plays the game or is involved in it, will know that there is an industrial language that is used. I am not saying that is correct in any manner and there is a level of tolerance from some referees to accept it more than others.

'But we start getting into situations over what is acceptable and what isn't. If that case we are in a situation when you don't know when you can say something and when you can't.'

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