Hold on! Back the clampdown
I’m really enjoying this ‘clampdown’ on holding offences at setpieces in the Premier League. As expected it’s been far easier so far to punish Stoke City than to punish Liverpool. Mike Dean (above) has been trying to clean this area of the game up, the rest not so much. The move to stop player dissent is also welcome, but the laws to cover foul-mouthed and abusive behaviour have been in place for decades. Referees with the courage to apply the laws without fear or favour have been less obvious. Too many are too starstruck to want to upset anyone famous. Obnoxious Chelsea striker Diego Costa should have been sent off in each of the first two matches of the season, but was instead allowed to stay on and score two winning goals.