Sean Dyche says football is becoming a 'non-contact sport'
'Gamesmanship is through the roof'
Sean Dyche is a football manager who lives up to his reputation. While his football is probably more sophisticated than people give him credit for, the stereotype of a Proper Football Man who dislikes many aspects of the modern game is probably, on the whole, quite accurate.
In a recent interview with the i newspaper, the Burnley manger bemoaned the amount of gamesmanship in modern football and claimed it is becoming a 'non-contact sport'.
"I love the competitive side of football, I love the competitive edge, I love what it brings to me trying to compete in it. But the true love of football is being questioned, I think, by fans," Dyche said.
“You can only hear a player yelp and try to get someone in trouble so many times before you think that’s not right, people feigning injury and diving on the floor, there’s only so many fans who are going to put up with that sort of thing for so long."
Dyche believes football is at a "delicate time", and that the game needs a reminder of the "gentlemanly" side of the game.
“There’s a difference between simulation and cheating. We’re now at a new level, which is feigning injury, screaming so the ref can hear you, the gamesmanship is through the roof, and I think we’ve got to be a bit careful with it," he warned.
“You can’t tackle an opponent in any physical manner or it’s a foul, so the physicality is lessening and lessening.
"Michel Platini spoke a number of years ago about football becoming a non-contact sport and we’re very close. I just don’t think fans will enjoy that."
Dyche also took a swipe at the modern obsession with possession football. Given his Burnley side have always played a pragmatic, counter attacking, long ball 4-4-2, this shouldn't come as a surprise.
“They’ve almost been brainwashed into believing there’s only one way of playing and that’s you’ve got to have 5,000 passes around the pitch to win a game," he said, warning that fans will eventually get bored.
Read the full interview here.