Wolves goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme took to Twitter on Sunday to defend his actions in the incident that saw him sent off at Carrow Road on Saturday.
With the game finely poised at 1-1 in the 72nd minute, after the visitors had equalised with a soft penalty of their own, Wes Hoolahan went down in the box and was awarded a penalty with Ikeme adjudged to have brought him down.
Having got to his feet, the smallest man on the pitch, Wes was surrounded and confronted by three Wolves players including Ikeme and Matt Doherty and then pushed to the ground again by Ikeme to the chest.
A melee ensued and after it had all calmed down, the referee showed Ikeme a straight red card and Doherty was booked.
Ikeme took to his twitter account @Carl_Ikeme on Sunday to defend his own actions and accused Wes of diving – twice.
“Ok then… been mulling over whether to say anything or not,” he tweeted.
‘Some will say don`t react. I understand ur point. It`s hard not to be frustrated when someone blatantly dives to win a penalty.’
“Then dives again when pushed on his chest. I supposed you live and learn but this one is hard to take. I apologise if anyone feels let down.’
Predictably, the Canary twitterati reacted and he got a fair bit of stick in response, so he finally tweeted: ‘A lot of Norwich fans not happy. I have nothing against your club or Wes. These things happen in football so we just move on.”
That I suppose is the bottom line here. Players from every club go down too easily to try to gain an advantage via fouls or winning penalty kicks. The era we are in sees plenty go down as soon as they feel any contact at all.
Jamie Vardy became an expert at that last season and the penalty he ‘won’ against Norwich when Seb Bassong challenged him at Carrow Road was a text book example of the ‘dark art.’
Some players have a negative reputation for diving such as Ashley Young at Manchester United but Wes Hoolahan does not have that reputation nor does he routinely dive.
The push on Matt Doherty at the other end was perhaps even softer than the incident that’s got Ikeme going public. Having said that though, Ivo Pinto put his hands on Doherty’s back and he goes over, it was stupid by Pinto and gave the referee a decision to make and I would say that he got that one right. The same goes for the Vardy one I mentioned. If you give the ref a decision to make then you can’t complain when it goes against you.
Ikeme gave the referee such a decision when he tackled Wes with his feet. Whether he goes down too easily, only Wes knows but then Ikeme gave the ref another decision to make. His rash decision to push Wes was stupid and effectively cost his team the game. Frustration or not, you cannot raise your hands and the result was a red card and three lost points.
He let himself and his teammates down but most importantly he let the travelling Wolves fans down. They will have paid over £100 all in, to get to Norwich and back and buy the match ticket, a pie and a pint.
No different to Nelson Oliveira at Rotherham last week, a petulant, irresponsible act that effectively cost his team the game.
It’s swings and roundabouts but every player knows the rules and they’re all professionals. I don’t think they can argue when such a decision goes against them when they behave in such a way. It’s not like their playing for the King’s Head on a Sunday morning after a skin full the night before, is it?!