Alan Pardew has hit out at ex-Liverpool player turned pundit Jamie Carragher, branding him biased for his comments following Christian Benteke’s last minute penalty at Selhurst Park, as reported by the Mirror.
Speaking on Sky Sports following the controversial conclusion to the game, Carragher claimed Benteke was completely within his rights to go down under the challenge of Damien Delaney, and that the referee was correct to award a penalty.
This is clearly not a view Pardew agrees with, who claimed Carragher’s past loyalties to Liverpool were clouding his judgement.
“What annoyed me the most were Jamie Carragher’s strong comments after the game stating that Christian Benteke was right to go down to win the penalty,” Pardew said.
“I couldn’t disagree more with those sentiments and it is a shame that so many former and current players share his opinion that diving is a valid tactic.
“Would Carragher have had the same opinion had Wilf[ried Zaha] gone down in the box in the 94th minute of a massive game at Anfield?
“I suspect not, but loyalties can blur opinions at times.”
The Sky pundit’s view was not one that many shared, and the majority appeared to believe Benteke had dived. There was unquestionably some contact in the tackle, but was it really enough to send the big striker to the ground?
You can’t really blame Benteke for going to ground when he felt the contact on his heel, and you can totally understand why the referee gave the penalty. That said though, if the contact wasn’t enough to send him down, then going to ground so easily was nothing more than simulation.
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A player doesn’t necessarily need to be brought down to have been fouled, but equally just because there’s contact it doesn’t make it a foul. It’s a tough one to call, and with the nature of football and the lack of clarity in the rules, it’s really all down to opinion. It’s the opinion of the referee that counts though, and in this case he deemed it a penalty.