Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann believes Ashley Young will cut his career short unless he stops diving.
Hamann has accused Young of “blatant cheating” to win a penalty in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Real Sociedad.
Manchester United manager David Moyes, who has spoken out strongly against diving in the past and censured Young earlier this season when he was booked for simulation against Crystal Palace, has defended the England wide-man in this instance.
However, Hamann does not believe there was any justification for Young’s reaction to the faintest of touches from Markel Bergara.
And he has warned Young of the consequences unless he stops such acts in future.
“I would say to Young, ‘if you want to stay in the game for the next 10 years, you’ve got to cut that out’,” Hamann told talkSPORT.
“I just think it’s in him.
“It will be very hard for him to cut out. It’s gone too far now.”
Indeed, so outraged was Hamann over Young’s conduct, he has claimed it is worse than Luis Suarez, who has been castigated over such antics in the past.
“Ashley Young is much worse than Suarez has ever been,” Hamann told talkSPORT.
“It’s blatant cheating to try to win a penalty.
“You’ve got to be very careful because sometimes it’s about protecting yourself in anticipation of a challenge.
“If someone comes to clatter you, your first instinct is to jump in order to protect yourself.
“(With Young) there was no protection (issue), it was a slight touch on his arm and he stated rolling over.”
Not even Robin van Persie’s failure to convert the spot-kick has saved Young from the ire of his fellow professionals.
Former United skipper Roy Keane claimed the winger had “conned” Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, whilst another ex-Red Devils captain Ray Wilkins was equally scathing.
It remains to be seen how Moyes responds when he faces the media again later this week ahead of United’s crucial Barclays Premier League encounter with Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Evidently though, the issue is not straightforward given that whilst the scourge of diving maybe a hot topic in England, elsewhere on the continent it barely raises an eyebrow.
And retrospective action is a non-starter, according to PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor.
“The feeling of all the stake holders is to be very wary of re-refereeing situations if the referee and assistants have ‘seen’ the incident in question,” he said.
“If it is not seen it can be referred to the panel of ex referees.
“With that penalty decision the referee was very close and clearly saw Ashley Young being held, albeit briefly, and felt it was a penalty.
“There was a game at the weekend that featured two similar incidents. In one the player fell down, in the other the player tried to stay on his feet. As it turned out, neither were given penalties.
“It just highlights the fact nobody said refereeing was easy.”