Swansea manager Garry Monk has risked sanction with an extraordinary post-match rant about the refereeing in his side's 2-1 defeat to Stoke City on Sunday, having seen his side concede a penalty following an apparent dive.
With Swansea 1-0 up, also from the penalty spot, Stoke's Victor Moses fell to the ground in the area following a light touch from the arm of defender Angel Rangel. Charlie Adam converted and, with the game then tied heading into half-time, the balance of the match swung in the hosts' direction.
Simon Bird @SimonBird_
Fantastic, blistering rant by Swansea boss Gary Monk re Moses penalty. "Disgrace, dived, he should be ashamed, disgusted" etc.2014-10-19 17:25:28
Per Sky Sports, an understandably irate Monk said of Moses post-match:
He should be punished for diving, a clear dive, which is cheating. He’s cheating the ref and then the ref has cheated us in terms of giving a decision that never was.
I think it’s a poor, poor decision and it’s cost us at a vital time. We were coming into half-time and should have been coming in 1-0 up, and it’s a different game then.
It went against us. It’s going against us a lot this season.
It would now seem likely that Monk will have earned himself a touchline ban for his comments, laying heavy criticism at the door of both Moses and the referee, Michael Oliver.
Having given a penalty to Swansea for grappling in the area by Ryan Shawcross on opposite number earlier in the game, there is a sense that the official could have been looking to even up the numbers—a view aired by BBC Sport pundit Danny Mills.
The decision to penalise Rangel, though, will once more open up the can of worms that is the debate on diving, with advocates of video technology or retrospective sanction likely to use Moses' clear intention to deceive to further their cases.
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
Penalty? Victor Moses takes a tumble, the spot kick awarded and converted by Charlie Adam. [via @touchlinetalk] http://t.co/pThycz5X7P2014-10-19 15:46:08
Monk's side had started the season in fine style, but have lost pace in recent weeks after what the manager described as a run of poor decisions. Indeed, Stoke's success sees both sides level on 11 points from their eight games to date.
In a league where success is worth so much to clubs and managers are afforded such little time, the Englishman's frustrations are understandable. However, it is likely that he and his side will now suffer for his ill-advised public comments.
Poor refereeing performances will always attract ire from supporters and there are ways for managers to publicly express their dissatisfaction without facing punishment for their words.
Monk, though, has overstepped that mark with his use of the word "cheat" to describe both Moses' actions and the referee's decision. It is an emotive word perhaps used without thinking, but one which casts aspersions on another individual.
The Football Association will doubtless take action, and it could well be that Swansea are forced to play without their manager on the touchline to add to their sense of injustice at recent decisions.