Tony Cottee Column: Piquionne’s actions cost West Ham at Everton

Rule is a joke, but striker should act more responsibly

FREDDIE PIQUIONNE knew he was on a yellow card and you must act responsibly. He didn’t and we paid the price.

It was a fantastic goal, but he had only just made a silly tackle three minutes earlier and the players know if you run into the crowd you will get booked.

You can’t blame referee Peter Walton as he is only following the rules, Which for the record a complete nonsense and I have been saying so for years.

Football is an entertainment business and celebrating a goal is part of that. Who could forget Ryan Giggs scoring that wonderful winning goal at Villa Park in the semi-final?

The celebration was almost as dramatic and sensational as the goal and nowadays you could get booked for that. Could you imagine if he had already received a yellow card and he was sent off for celebrating that wonderful goal?

Of course health and safety think its dangerous to go into the crowd which is why the rule is there, but a little girl at the front is going to get a hug from Piquionne and for her parents who have come to the game at great cost, it is a wonderful memory to take away from the game.

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Obviously if he celebrated or goaded the Everton fans after scoring then of course a booking should be handed out as that can incite a crowd and cause trouble, but celebrating success with the loyal people who watch you play week in, week out should not be penalised.

Its so frustrating because playing with 10 men for those last few minutes certainly had an impact in the way we played and no doubt contributed to the second equaliser.

Its natural when leading away from home and minutes left to defend deep. Its mental. You put everything into trying to defend well and the back four keep backing off towards goal and in doing so the others follow.

It leaves the one striker you have isolated and gives you little chance to retain possession and keep the opposition at bay.

We have struggled to defend leads all season and a big factor is our inability to stop the cross and clear danger.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner

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