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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 10, 2006

Roeder and Bruce join Keane's diving debate

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder has admitted it could be impossible to stop the Premiership's divers.

Sunderland counterpart Roy Keane has sparked a major debate after claiming English football's top flight is riddled with 'conning' and 'cheating'.

In recent years, the blame has been laid firmly at the feet of the foreign imports, but while Roeder admits it is a problem, he insists it is not a new one.

He explained: 'They say diving is a foreign culture, but if you are old enough and you got back to the days of players like Rodney Marsh and Francis Lee, they used to dive all over the place.

'Then you will get a player like Peter Beardsley who you would literally have to hit with a sledgehammer to get him to go down. He would do everything to stay up when tripped.

'Players do have a responsibility, but it has become such a habit, falling down to try to gain an advantage, I do not know if it is reversible.'

Roeder's comments came as the spotlight was turned on referees following last weekend's controversy over Graham Poll's involvement in the Tottenham v Chelsea clash.

Like Keane, the Magpies boss acknowledges that the job is becoming increasingly difficult, although he admits players have to play their part in changing the exisiting culture.

Roeder said: 'It makes the job much harder for referees, especially as there are cameras all around the ground.

'It makes it hard for them to decide on whether there is intent or not.

'I have often said, the one thing referees find difficult is deciding whether a player intended to trip someone up or foul somebody, because most of them have not played. That makes it much harder for them.

'It would make their job easier if players were more responsible. Whether that will happen, I am not sure.

'Yes, players need to be more responsible. Will they be more responsible? I am not sure.'

Meanwhile, Steve Bruce - a former Manchester United team-mate of Keane - believes dishonesty is 'creeping in' on these shores.

The Birmingham manager explained: 'Diving to win a penalty has gone on for many years. Francis Lee was an absolute master at it.

'But it is the one where you are faking injury or trying to get someone sent off who hasn't done anything to you which is wrong.

'In Spain, Italy and France it's part of the game. It's part of their game to draw a foul and a yellow card out of a player.

'That's what they accept. It's part of their mentality. Our mentality is totally different, but it is creeping in.'

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insists referees should be helped by using video technology retrospectively.

He said: 'You want to win doing the right things. But sometimes when you are playing teams you know are cheating and trying to trick you all the time, it is not easy.

'Sometimes a referee cannot control what he doesn't see, but if you can control things with a video it will be easier for them.

'If managers know the referee is doing his best and that players cannot get away with diving and fighting because of the video, and their behaviour is better, managers will then be quiet and the players will understand, too.

'The video is the option to help referees. You can see players diving. I have a lot of video clips playing against some clubs that everyone will know, and they show players diving in front of the referee.

'If the video could be used to punish this it will stop players diving in the box because the FA can act.

'Referees cannot always see whether it was diving or a real penalty, and managers complain. It is a vicious cycle. The FA must act against such players.'