So Perth Glory’s Michael Baird has been suspended for two weeks for diving, and fans and the club seem to feel that this is unjustified. The game can do without these histrionics and there is no doubt he was not impeded and simply fell to the turf. Therefore he deserves the ban.
If however the club looked at the big picture it was probably worth it, as they kept their unbeaten record intact, the remain unbeaten on the road after two games, which is a massive improvement and will no doubt do the team’s confidence the world of good. A year ago they would have been on the receiving end of such a decision. It is amazing how the pendulum of fortune swings.
This incident was highlighted in the post match show on Fox and it was without doubt the talking point in the game, but the situation could have been diffused slightly if the Glory had been a little cleverer.
Knowing that coach Dave Mitchell would be questioned on the incident post match, surely someone in the Glory camp saw the incident and prepped Mitch for the upcoming questions? It appeared that was not the case. If you watch the incident, – and I have several times – Baird attempts to cross and the ball is blocked by a Heart defender, which from the angle behind could have been deemed as a handball, the ball comes back to Baird he turns and then dives. The whistle blows and the penalty is given.
Had Mitchell entered the interview and said “I thought the referee awarded the penalty for handball, and looked to play advantage when Michael went to ground.” Would this have made a difference? Would it have made people look at the situation a bit closer? Who knows, but can’t help feeling the Glory missed a trick.