Posted by Paul
I was disappointed to read in the papers today that Portuguese star Nani has declared he will no longer display any tricks on the field.
For me, the highlight of last Sunday’s FA Cup tie between Manchester United and Arsenal was an exquisite piece of improvisation by the young winger.
The United star showed wonderful control as he juggled the ball masterfully between feet, knees and head while being harried and kicked by a tracking Arsenal player.
The sublime moves did not go down well with the Gunners though; first William Gallas scythed him down and then, in his post-match interview, Arsene Wenger vented his fury at the "humiliating" actions of Nani.
When the French coach talked about a lack of respect you might have thought he was referring to the heinous act that was Emmanuel Adebayor trying to cheat his opponents by falling to the ground after no contact.
But alas, no, he was talking about Nani’s trickery.
And today the Portuguese star said he will cease to play in this way in future so as to avoid upsetting such purveyors of the beautiful game as Monsieur Wenger.
"In Portugal I have done this many times, but it is only because it is an entertaining spectacle and not because I disrespect my rivals," he told the Daily Mail.
So while blatant cheating and dangerous tackles may be tolerated in this country, retaining possession of the ball in a creative way is simply unacceptable.
Is it any wonder there is such a dearth of footballing talent in England with this depressing attitude?
I suspect that while the Portuguese winger’s tricks cause more upset than the antics of Adebayor and Gallas, it will be a long time before we see an Englishman with ball skills to match Nani’s precocious talents.