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Manchester United old guard slate Young for diving

Updated: Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 10:02 | Comments

Ashley Young won a penalty for Manchester United against Real Sociedad
Ashley Young won a penalty for Manchester United against Real Sociedad

A number of former Manchester United players have accused Ashley Young of diving in the wake of Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad.

The England winger won a penalty when he went down under the attentions of Markel Bergara, but Robin van Persie was unable to convert from the spot.

Contact seemed to be minimal at best and even though manager David Moyes defended Young, citing a "tug in the box", there have been other less forgiving opinions.

Ex-United captain Roy Keane was scathing in his analysis on ITV, claiming Young had "conned" Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli.

Ray Wilkins shared Keane's thoughts, telling Sky Sports: "This is pathetic. This is as bad for me as all these over-the-top tackles we're getting at the moment because that is a conning of the referee.

"I just wish Ashley would cut this out because he's a good player but he's getting a bad name."

Former defender Paul McGrath - who like Young played for United and Aston Villa - feels the 28-year-old is detracting from what he can do on the field.

"I was disappointed with Ashley Young," he told talkSPORT. "That was never a penalty.

"I genuinely believe he is a very good player but he's got into this habit of tripping himself up if anyone bumps into him in the penalty area.

"It takes away from the fact he's a brilliant footballer. He's going to be left with the perception he's the one who always dives in the penalty area.

"It's not good for Manchester United and it's not good for kids to see him doing that. I hate to see any player doing that sort of thing."

"This is as bad for me as all these over-the-top tackles we're getting at the moment because that is a conning of the referee." - Ray Wilkins

Young has been embroiled in a number of diving controversies before, with Moyes telling him as recently as September that he had to cut it out of his game.

Speaking after an incident against Crystal Palace, Moyes said: "I've always said I don't like diving. He deserved to get booked. I don't want any of my players diving, I don't want anybody doing it.

"If you look at it (the penalty), the boy definitely throws his leg out and Ashley's leg goes into it. I think Ashley has put his leg into it. But I will definitely say to Ashley that it is not what I want."

Former United boss Alex Ferguson also spoke to the player during his tenure after other simulations.

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