Date: 7th May 2013 at 12:00pm
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Luiz-SmilesDavid Luiz has received a lot of criticism from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the media for one of the most heinous crimes ever witnessed on a football pitch – he smiled.

He was likened to a ‘dying swan’ by the Old Trafford boss who believed that his actions got Rafael sent off during Sunday’s match, not the fact that the young fullback lost his cool after a perhaps over-zealous physical challenge and decided it would be a good idea to kick out at his opponent.

The Brazilian defender-cum-midfielder said that the smiling act wasn’t anything to do with Rafael but he was amused by the abuse he was getting from the home support, who likened him to the Simpsons villain Sideshow Bob amongst calling him other things.

It would rile me if I saw an opponent doing that, as it would most, but everyone is missing the point in every aspect of this whole non-story that has suddenly shot to prominence.

Firstly, the only party responsible for Rafael’s red card is the man himself. Doesn’t matter if he wasn’t happy with the rough treatment, it was incredibly stupid for him to react in the way he did and I’m sure he would have received a dressing down from the manager if the result had meant anything to United, who have already won the Premier League at a canter.

Secondly, TV pictures proved that assistant referee Sian Massey had seen and brought the incident to the attention of Howard Webb, who had an awful game, and his mind was made up in spite of what Luiz was doing rolling around.

And finally, as Adrian Durham points out in his piece for the Daily Mail today, what is worse the smiling or the abuse the player was receiving?

It wasn’t the best showing of sportsmanship from the 24-year-old and it’s understandable that rival fans will use their right to complain as nobody wants to see players feigning injury but the overreaction is incredible considering we see it often and it’s never as much of an issue. He’s currently getting as many column inches as a man that tried to sink his teeth into the arm of an opponent and more attention than Sunderland’s Craig Gardner – who not for the first time this season – tried to chop an opponent in half during the match against Stoke last night.

Source: Daily Mail