Swansea defender Chico Flores is slowly gaining a reputation no player wants – a reputation of an actor.
Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters said he should be banned. West Ham Sam Allardyce laughed in his face.
And now his manager is speaking out as well in an attempt to keep his player on the pitch, addressing two incidents against Stoke and West Ham where Chico has taken criticism.
“I think the referee did okay in (the Stoke) situation,” said Swansea boss Michael Laudrup. “If I was the referee I would have taken the two of them and told Nzonzi next time he was off and for Chico not to play around and act dead when you are not.”
He also said he’s hoping further action doesn’t lead to his defender missing time.
“Chico reacted but we know what the rules are and he knows he will be on suspension the next time and of course it’s important to try to avoid that. Obviously the position he plays means that he will get more cards over a season than others but we have to avoid bookings for this.”
Walters, whose teammate Steve Nzonzi was involved in the aforementioned spat with Chico two weekends ago, was a bit harsher in his judgement of the 26-year-old’s actions.
“For someone to fall over clutching their face when he hasn’t been touched, trying to con the referee, should be banned,” said Walters. “It’s the same as a dive. They need to look at it because it’s disgraceful. It was very disappointing for me, when Flores went down trying to get our man sent off.”
It’s one thing for an opponent to criticize the actions of another player, but for Chico’s own manager to make a public statement about the situation, it acknowledges there is a problem.
Many Swansea players this season have shown less than the greatest emotional restraint on the pitch, but Chico’s antics hopefully will be halted in their tracks before things get really out of hand.