Ashley Young would be a far better player if he were to stay on his feet more often and refrain from diving.
A lot has been said about how it is against sporting values and the way a footballer should treat the sport, but although that is one of the major factors in this all, he also ruins his own quality of play.
His diving has massively ruined his game. It seems to vary from the blatant obvious to a constant need to fall to floor. On many, many occasions Young ends up in situations where if he were to play like the rest of us would, he could quite possibly end up with an end product. We saw this when he received a booking vs Crystal Palace, for a dive. He pushed his leg out in the way of defender in an attempt to fool the referee that it was a foul. That is simply Young deciding to win a penalty rather than have a good shot on target.
Why does he do this? He has been booked on various occasions before yet for some reason he thinks the best idea is to cheat. It baffles me that he would rather cheat than further himself as a footballer at such a high level. Cristiano Ronaldo is a good example of a player who was beginning to grow a habit where he would throw himself to the ground. But Ronaldo soon recognized it wasn’t really doing him any favors at all. He soon learnt the benefits of continuing a run and showing just how much a better player he was and could be if he finished his moves off.
But, Young doesn’t just do it in penalty winning situations; he does it anywhere on the pitch. There are times when he next to the touchline midway inside his opponent’s half and the ball will be in a 50\50 situation. Yet for some bizarre reason it is common to see him give up on fighting over winning or retaining possession, instead choosing to win a cheap free-kick. It’s extremely frustrating to watch, no matter which team you support.
Sadly at 28, Young’s years of his best football look to be either behind him or running out. He’s ruined his recent chances at Manchester United by failing to be the player he could be — a player that scores goals, gets past defenders and consistently produces results. Despite being a professional footballer, he would rather win a set-piece than achieve something himself.