Dirk Kuyt: Why Liverpool's Dutchman Should Lay Off Italy
There was a time when footballers had something of a code of honour. You used to fight tooth and nail with an opponent for 90 minutes but once the final whistle blew it was all forgotten.
Obviously those days have gone.
Dutch international Dirk Kuyt spent his Saturday night in Pescara constantly complaining to the match referee throughout his country's clash with Italy. And once the dust had settled on the goalless friendly, he continued with his gripes.
He told Sky Sports he was "very disappointed" with the Azzurri and in particular Giorgio Chiellini's tackle on Robin Van Persie.
"We played a friendly against a big country and if you see the way they kicked us it's very sad, very sad for the Dutch team and also very sad for Robin because he was in great form," said the Liverpool forward.
"I think it was a bad tackle. Sometimes you think about this when you play a friendly for your country there should be more respect for each other and hopefully it won't happen in the future."
But hold on a minute Dirk, you missed out something important there - the facts.
Fact number one. Chiellini's tackle on Van Persie was a hard but clean one. If anything, it appeared to be the Arsenal man's follow-through which caused the injury.
Fact number two. Some of the worst incidents in the game came from his own team. In particular, a horror challenge by Nigel De Jong on Angelo Palombo where he was grateful to have shinpads.
Fact number three. See fact number two.
Holland have never been shrinking violets when it comes to putting the boot in. Even the great Total Football side knew how to mix it at a physical level.
And Kuyt himself is hardly slow in letting an opponent know he is nearby.
Italy were far from dirty in their approach to the friendly clash. There were a few tough challenges but nothing out of the ordinary. And they received as much harsh treatment as they dished out.
Of course, it was a shame Van Persie got injured but it wasn't part of a systematic attack by the Italian players which Kuyt seems to suggest.
So if he wants some respect, perhaps he should think about another way of earning it. Like learning to stop complaining about your opponent long after a match is over.
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