Sheffield United: Chris Wilder points an accusing finger at Premier League divers

Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has accused some Premier League players of “rolling about all over the place” after expressing his frustration with the gamesmanship which exists at the highest level of the English game.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 11:51 am
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 2:18 pm

Wilder believes the theatrics some opponents employ the try and “put pressure” on referees has contributed to a situation which sees three members of his squad travel to Brighton and Hove Albion only one caution away from a ban.

John Fleck, who scored twice during last weekend’s win over Aston Villa, will miss the trip to Sussex after collecting his fifth booking of the campaign for what Wilder later described as a “non contact” foul.”

“It’s different to the Championship,” he said.

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John Fleck celebrates with John Lundstram: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“There are players in the Premier League, when the ball has not even come to them, and they are looking to go down.

“They are looking to put the referee in a tough position, to put pressure on them and asking a question, before they have even dealt with the ball.

“That is a fact from what I’ve seen and the clips I’ve got on store.”

Having revealed he is compiling a dossier of soft decisions which have affected United since their promotion from the Championship last term, Wilder added: “We try to make it competitive on a Saturday but sometimes I shake my head with some of the bookings we pick up for non-contact tackles.

“They’re so soft. John’s was a disappointing decision last week and now he is suspended for a game.”