Diving and whining was never a good look and will come off even worse after country’s coronavirus struggles – The Sun

WELL now we know. After all the rows, all the self-serving arguments, all the false alarms and panic stories, the Premier League is coming back.

WELL now we know. After all the rows, all the self-serving arguments, all the false alarms and panic stories, the Premier League is coming back.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

 Man Utd winger Dan James was booked for this dive against Wolves earlier in the season

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Man Utd winger Dan James was booked for this dive against Wolves earlier in the seasonCredit: Rex Features
 Going down in estimations - Dan James blotted his impressive debut season in the Premier League with this tumble against Joao Moutinho

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Going down in estimations – Dan James blotted his impressive debut season in the Premier League with this tumble against Joao MoutinhoCredit: Sky Sports

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Not as we last saw it — then again, no one thought for a second it would be — but the season, touch wood, will be played to a conclusion after all.

Assuming there are no setbacks, pray God there is no second wave, then the title, relegation, everything will be decided on the pitch and not on a computer.

It will be decided by the brilliance of men like Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes. By talent, not technology.

But when we do return to business in just over a fortnight, fingers crossed there may even be a few improvements.

Let’s hope this terrible virus, this lockdown, this sense of pulling together — until someone took that trip to Durham at least — brings some perspective to our national sport, too.

For a start, it would be nice to think we might see a bit more sportsmanship.

I don’t mean extending that “Be Kind” mantra to not going thundering into full-blooded tackles.

Just don’t take the mickey.

Don’t give anyone the excuse to start pointing fingers at football by flailing around on the ground like you’ll struggle to walk again.

The last thing we need to see now is players diving to try and sucker referees into giving a free-kick or land an opponent in the book.

And linked to that, can we please call a halt to play-acting. An end to players rolling around holding their face when they’ve been shoved in the stomach in a 50-50 challenge.

In recent months we’ve seen too many pictures of people on ventilators. We’ve seen a centurion doing 100 laps of his garden to raise millions for charity. We’ve seen real heroes with genuine cause to complain, who kept their head down and got on with it.

Don’t give anyone the excuse to start pointing fingers at football by flailing around on the ground like you’ll struggle to walk again.

That’s never been a good look. After these last few months it will be an even worse one — and the watching public won’t forget.

The same goes for moaning, too. No more throwing arms around, shouting and screaming for a decision to be changed.

That whining extends to the sidelines as well, and not just in matches either.

When we resume we will know when and where the matches are going to be played.

So let’s not have managers whining about congested fixture lists. Yes, there will be a demand on players, there will be injuries, there may even be weeks when an automatic choice is sidelined because of a positive test.

But the plan is that if 15 players are available, then the game must go ahead. So don’t try and bend the rules on that, as poor taste as it would be.

If anyone does try and claim they haven’t got enough to pick from and it’s found to be untrue, then come down on them like a ton of bricks.

Not with a slap on the wrist and a warning. But with a fine that makes their eyes water.

Maybe even the threat of points deduction — but that’s another argument and, hopefully, will remain a hypothetical one.

No more whingeing about VAR, either. We know the faults, we know there is huge room for improvement.

But the fact is, like it or lump it, we’re stuck with it.

Although with no crowds in the stadium, there is no reason why the VAR system can’t be shown in full on the big screen.

At least players can then see how a decision has been reached.

Talking of no supporters, as much as that makes it all a bit sterile — and the Bundesliga has proved so — at least there is a silver lining.

No more tourist fans rushing down to take pictures with their camera phones, or waving manically to try to get their mugs on television at every corner and throw-in.

On a lighter note, let’s not hear any more from all those who are outraged the next time Phil Foden starts on the bench.

And lastly . . . for that moment when Liverpool do finally get to savour what it’s like to win the Premier League, one for those who dreamt up that sick-in-the-mouth marketing slogan.

It’s a great feeling, but no, it WON’T mean more — whether it’s the first time you’ve done it or not.

COUT HIM OUT

NOTE to clubs being tipped as a potential next stop for Philippe Coutinho, for all his undoubted talent and flashes of genius.

Liverpool have made it clear they don’t want to re-sign him. Barcelona are happy to sell. Bayern Munich, where he’s been on loan, won’t be making it a permanent move.

If that doesn’t sound alarm bells for Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and anyone else linked with the Brazilian, they’re not listening closely enough.

 Philippe Coutinho seems unwanted by parent club Barcelona, current loan team Bayern and old side Liverpool

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Philippe Coutinho seems unwanted by parent club Barcelona, current loan team Bayern and old side LiverpoolCredit: Getty Images – Getty

MISSING INACTION

AS DEBATES about football’s restart rumbled on, and how the various divisions will be decided, all we got from Uefa was the sound of silence.

President Aleksander Ceferin was quick to insist the Champions and Europa Leagues will finish by the end of August, but has given no evidence of exactly how.

Will it be on a home and away basis, despite some domestic leagues being axed and air travel hardly a great draw?

Or will it be in a compressed, mini-tournament format, with all games in one country?

Uefa, Ceferin and those before him haven’t exactly had a reputation for keeping their views to themselves in the past.

It seems a strange time to start now . . .

TACKLE AND HIDE

SO much for the supposed 100-plus strong WhatsApp group of Premier League players against a restart.

They’ve kept themselves so well hidden — the French resistance are said to be asking for tips.

LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

TWO things have arisen from the return of the best sport of all, with Australia’s NRL coming back like it had never been away.

Firstly, the addition of crowd noise by Fox Sports made it much more entertaining than the sterile silence of Germany’s Bundesliga.

Secondly, having seen the level of Parramatta Eels and the cream of Aussie stars, maybe it’s no bad thing that the Ashes, planned for the end of the season, has been KO’d!

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