THE GOING GETS TURF
Burnley ...... 0 Huddersfield .... 0 Dyche blasts ‘diver’ Rajiv
BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche called for a review of diving protocols after Town’s Rajiv Van La Parra took an “unacceptable” tumble in pursuit of a penalty.
Both sides walked away with a point after gritting their teeth for a dour draw at Turf Moor but the Terriers might have won it had referee Christopher Kavanagh been taken in when Van La Parra hit the turf after making no contact with Matt Lowton.
Town boss David Wagner accepted the Dutchman was deserving of both his booking and a fine but Dyche came in with a full-blooded tirade.
“It would have been an absolute farce,” said the Clarets manager about the prospect of a spot-kick.
“It’s unacceptable in my book. I can’t abide it. I feel for the referee and I thought he was excellent in that moment. But he should be protected from that.
“If it is a penalty, they score, we lose and then he gets banned. How does that work?
“I’ve been harping on about this for three years and nobody wants to listen. It’s for the good of the game.
“I travel across the country with my kid playing football and I’m watching 14-year-olds diving all over the place. Where do they get it from? They copy players.
“It’s got to be clamped down on. Maybe the video assistant referee will give the refs a chance to look at it. But it’s got to go.”
Dyche suggested he would have harsh words with any Burnley player who went to ground as easily as Van La Parra and Wagner said his player had pleaded guilty. “I was too far away and Sean was even further away than I was. I haven’t seen it again but I have spoken with Van La Parra and it was a dive,” said the German. “It was nothing we like to see. He gets booked, he gets a fine and we go on.”
Wagner was happy to rack up a ninth point of the season and a fourth clean sheet – both numbers few would have backed the Terriers to reach after six games in the top flight. “It was a deserved point in a tight and even game, both sides are very difficult to break down,” he said.
“Everybody worked hard and I’m pleased with the clean sheet of course, everybody feels responsibility for the defence in our team. Every player on the grass – defence, offence, midfielder – feels responsibility for the hard yards.”
While the excitement levels may have been low, a point apiece kept both sides comfortably ahead of some gloomy pre-season predictions.
The result appeared to hinge on the duel between Burnley’s £15million Kiwi striker Chris Wood and Terriers’ centre-half Christopher Schindler.
And the German came out on top, brilliantly marshalling Wood.
Schindler was an obvious standout, throwing his body at a couple of shots to spare keeper Jonas Lossl the hassle, oozing authority and nipping in front of Wood to intercept Stephen Ward’s ball and snuff out a rare chance.
When Wood did manage to break free of Schindler’s shackles to meet a Ward cross in the 23rd minute, after a neat move involving Jack Cork and Scott Arfield, he glanced wide.
The first half was a clumsy affair with few attacks as heavy touches, mis-hit passes and caution dominated proceedings.
There were more fouls than genuinely exciting moments, most of which were sloppy rather than tetchy.
But Cork might have been flirting with a red card, rather than the resulting yellow, when he went over the ball and into Abdelhamid Sabiri.
In the end it was a triumph for the organisation and reliability that has taken two unfashionable clubs into the top half of the Premier League, although the first top-flight meeting of these sides since 1971 was not one that will live long in anyone’s memory.
Now all we need to see is if anyone takes any notice of Dyche’s outburst about diving.