Clogger: The diving cheats who are ruining football

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WHERE have all the old-fashioned hard-tackling footballers of the Premier League gone?

Quite simply they have been replaced by a generation of nancy boys who hit the deck with the slightest touch, and then further their embarrassment by feigning injury.

The English game used to be home to the likes of Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson, who took the ball and had every intention of taking the man as well.

However, only Nigel de Jong, Lee Cattermole and Joey Barton can be considered members of the dying breed of rough and tough ball winners.

The likes of serial divers Luis Suarez, Didier Drogba and Mario Balotelli take to the field with two aims - the first being to score, the second being to con the officials as often as they can.

The game has become so ridiculous that fans are now starting to suffer.

They are paying their hard-earned cash to watch a high level of football.

They do not want to see a man of Drogba’s physical size knocked to the ground holding his face like he has been take out by a sniper, when the truth is he has been accidentally poked in the eye.

Sports like rugby must watch football games and laugh at them.

At the weekend, England’s Phil Dowson took a nasty blow to the head and was knocked unconscious, before accidentally having his head stamped on by team mate Tom Croft.

Dowson left the field covered in blood and only just able to walk unaided, but he still wanted to finish the game.

Another famous incident that puts footballers to shame was when winger Tom Voyce had his two front teeth knocked out during a heavy collision.

But he did not go down. No, he picked up his dislodged teeth, slid them into this sock and carried on till the interval.

The game of football is shrouded in so much gamesmanship and on-field cheating that you have to feel sorry for the officials.

They have a split second to judge a tackle and decide how serious the potential injury is.

When footballers receive the touch of a feather and go spinning to the floor, claiming to have suffered a horrendous injury, they should feel embarrassed.

But instead they are applauded, and we have now reached a stage where diving is now considered a valued skill.

If this continues, football will become a laughing stock amongst other sports.