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

News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas
film
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee