Decision to book Adnan Januzaj for diving was wrong, says Manchester United manager David Moyes

The youngster is gaining a reputation for play acting

David Moyes has thrown a protective arm around Adnan Januzaj and insisted the youngster's latest booking for diving was wrong.

The 18-year-old received his third yellow card of the season for simulation on New Year's Day, when he went down under Danny Rose's challenge on the edge of the area during the latter stages of Manchester United's 2-1 defeat by Tottenham at Old Trafford.

Januzaj now has the unwelcome tag of being the second worst offender for diving in Premier League history, behind only Gareth Bale and the worry must be he is developing a reputation that will eventually go against him.

Moyes has never been scared to confront the diving scourge, and previously this season declared an intention to speak to Januzaj in an effort to stamp it out of his game.

However, in this instance, the United boss feels his duty is to stand up for Januzaj as he remains convinced referee Howard Webb made a mistake.

"I am always the first one to come out and say I won't have players diving and I will deal with it," said Moyes, ahead of Sunday's FA Cup tie with Swansea.

"In the same breath, I am going to protect them when I think it is wrong. I thought it was wrong the other night."

Moyes hopes the diving stigma will not attach itself to Januzaj due to his immense talent.

It could be argued both Bale and former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo escaped extreme negative publicity because of their ability to get a crowd on the edge of their seats.

And, whilst Januzaj evidently has much development ahead of him, his manager feels there are similarities.

"Adnan is such a talented footballer," said Moyes.

"I have no doubt he will go on to be one of the best players to be playing in this country for a long time, and probably even at Manchester United.

"I remember when (Cristiano) Ronaldo came over, a lot of people said the same thing about him.

"Not for a minute would I even try and compare him to Ronaldo because of how good he is. But the boy is only 18. He will get better. He will learn. He will understand the game more.

"What he is doing at the moment is making a contribution in games as a footballer."

Januzaj only has to look at Ashley Young for an example of how divers can find themselves being wronged.

Whilst it would be unfair to say officials take an especially hard line with those who have transgressed in the past, common sense would dictate they err on the side of caution.

That would seem to be the only plausible reason why Webb did not award a penalty for Hugo Lloris' high tackle on Young at Old Trafford in midweek, a challenge so severe the in-form England winger faces a spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury sustained as he fell.

"The level of the tackle meant Ashley has fallen on his shoulder and damaged it," said Moyes.

"We're not sure exactly how long he's going to be out yet.

"I don't think I need to repeat myself. We didn't get a penalty kick decision which I found quite incredible - and still do."

With a Capital One Cup semi-final at Sunderland looming just 48 hours after Sunday's game, which Moyes was staggered to learn will be preceded by the fourth-round draw some two-and-a-half hours before kick-off, the United boss has pledged to rotate his squad.

Wayne Rooney could be amongst those to be rested at the weekend as he continues to nurse a groin problem, although Moyes' room for manoeuvre is limited by Robin van Persie's ongoing absence with a thigh complaint which currently extends to six matches.

"Robin's coming on but we'll let you know when he's ready," said Moyes.

It does seem somewhat bizarre both United and Sunderland have been given just 48 hours to prepare for their encounter at the Stadium of Light.

Tellingly, Moyes avoided a direct answer to whether he felt the fixture schedule was fair.

"They (game's authorities) would see it as being fair," he said.

"Two teams play on Sunday and the same two play on Tuesday.

"To their eyes, that is them being fair."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor