Sean Dyche has expressed incredulity over Harry Kane being tested for concussion at Everton and believes the England captain’s theatrics show how football has accepted gamesmanship without question.
The Everton manager accepts Abdoulaye Doucouré deserved to be sent off for raising his hand into the Tottenham striker’s face during Monday’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, but he said the midfielder “certainly doesn’t need to apologise”.
Dyche added: “I thought at one point he might have snapped his eyelash, which would have been tragic. But it seems to be responding okay.”
While ridiculing Kane’s reaction, the Everton manager believes the contrast between the scrutiny of Doucouré's dismissal and that of Lucas Moura, sent off for a dangerous foul on Michael Keane, is a sign of how “precious” football has become.
“The strange thing about football, the following of football, the rules and the governing bodies, is that on one night you have a player who, in theory, is very close to getting a broken ankle and nothing is said, and another gets a broken eyelash and it’s like the world is going to end,” Dyche said.
“There is an undercurrent of fans who are like; ‘Oh come on, really?’ and just want to get on with the game, but everyone has become so precious. The rules are so precious, in society as well as football. It was a big drama over nothing, although I was worried when they concussion tested him. I thought: ‘Wow, this could be a close one’.
“I think the in-house view of things is strange in football now. What do you think my team-mates would have thought of me if I’d have done that in the mid-90s? They’d have laughed at me. But now they don’t. Millions of kids see footballers cheat every week, diving all over the place, and no one says a word. Someone gets flicked in the eyelash and it becomes a big situation. That’s just the way it is now.”
Dyche does not believe Kane cheated at Goodison, although he insists it was ludicrous that a Spurs physio tested the striker for a possible concussion after his theatrical fall.
The Everton manager clarified: “I don’t regard that as cheating. It’s gamesmanship. But diving and stuff, going down when you haven’t been touched and self-kicking, that’s cheating. There’s a difference. They brought in a yellow card for diving. If I’m a centre-forward with a chance of getting a penalty or a yellow card, do you think that’s going to stop me going down? Of course it’s not.
“I’m not talking about individuals here. I don’t think for one second that Moura meant it, but he could have hurt him. Equally, and this isn’t particularly about Harry Kane, if someone touches you in the face now, you go down. I know I joked about it but it is worrying to me when I see the physio concussion testing him after that. Really? Come on. And that’s not about being a football manager, it’s just being human. If lads go down in training here, I do tell them to get up. I have my own authentic standards.” – Guardian