David Preece: Behaviour is grace and sportsmanship not an act of treason or a lack of commitment

Chelsea's Eden Hazard (left) and Manchester United's Juan Mata embrace after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (left) and Manchester United's Juan Mata embrace after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his Manchester United team-mates really are a despicable bunch, aren’t they?

Zlatan, De Gea and Martial really are everything that’s wrong with football.

I mean, who on earth would even contemplate smiling after losing 4-0 to one of their bitter rivals?

If it was down to me, I’d fine them a week’s wages.

It’s disgusting really; Zlatan smiling at Eden Hazard, De Gea laughing with Pedro and Martial with his arm around Kante.

It makes me sick to my stomach to see such behaviour. You could see the distain in Ryan “Call me old fashioned” Giggs’s face as he poured scorn on the current United squad.

You would never see Roy Keane with his arm around Patrick Viera if they had just beaten United. No.

Roy would be waiting for him in the tunnel to tear him a new one because that’s what real winners do.

Of course, Zlatan was the biggest culprit of them all.

Not only did he move the corners of his mouth in a upwards direction, he committed the most heinous football crime of swapping his shirt with Hazard too.

I know. I’m thinking exactly the same thing as you. Hanging’s too good for him, right?

To be fair to some of the United players, not all of them were so pleased to have been humiliated at Stamford Bridge.

Juan Mata, on the other hand, was the model of what a winner should look like after he has lost a game. In fact, his face expressed so much disappointment and rage you’d think he’d just been asked to track a runner from midfield by Jose Mourinho.

Credit should also go to Paul Pogba, another player who conducted himself in what many former players would describe as “the United way”.

The defeat seemed to weigh heaviest on him, especially since he had “Mour is better” shaved into his head to wind up his old manager Antonio Conte and he didn’t get to “Dab” with Jesse Lingard.

All those hours of practice at home in front of his mirrored wardrobes wasted. He knew he’d let everyone down too, especially Stormzy.

And what of Mourinho? Did he react in the “United Way”? Well, I’m sure Giggsy will be delighted that Jose pulled-up Conte for his contemptuous antics inside his technical area.

Although why it’s even called a technical area is beyond me.

You hardly see any technique at all in there, apart from the odd occasion when Jody Morris nonchalantly back-heels the ball on the volley back to his player to take a throw-in.

There’s more pushing and shoving goes on in the rectangle of righteousness that perhaps it should be call “The Sumo Box” or something.

Jose was well within his rights to be upset because he didn’t like the way his opposite number was gesticulating to the crowd whilst being three and four goals to the good.

It’s not as if he would sprint down to the corner flag to celebrate a goal and disrespect a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson is it? Or even windmill his way across the Nou Camp to incense the players and staff of Barcelona.

He has for too much decorum for conduct like that. It’s beneath a man of his standing. He would never poke fun or try to humiliate a fellow manager. Poke in the eye, yes. But not poke fun.

So we’re agreed then? No more smiling after a defeat. No more shirt swapping on the pitch.

That sort off offensive behaviour should be done in the privacy of the tunnel, away from the innocent eyes of children.

And definitely no gesticulating to your own fans and enjoying moments of victory in case you hurt the feelings of a manager already embarrassed by his team’s ineptitude.

Now that we’re clear about these new rules and we have eradicated such evils from the game, there’s only the more minor problems of racism, homophobia, sexism and corruption to rid from the game until Football is the utopia we all dream of and Twitter will be the joyful playground it was in 2012, its halcyon days of cheese puns and people being polite to one another.

All of the above move seem like utter nonsense to some of you but then again, so is people complain about players smiling or swapping shirts (even at halftime) and managers hypocritically complaining about the disrespectful behaviour of others to me.

They’re incidentals that have no bearing on the game whatsoever.

Do you think Zlatan smiling and swapping shirts after a game is a sign he doesn’t care? His 13 league titles tell me different.

Is De Gea’s lack of scowl a reflection of his effort and performance? United usually win because of him, not in spite.

In other arenas, after the battle is over, this kind of behaviour would be seen as grace and sportsmanship, not an act of treason or a lack of commitment.

Just as the player who screams the loudest, isn’t the one that cares the most, a player who throws a tantrum isn’t necessarily the one who is most hurt by defeat. The fight is done, slipped from your grasp.

It’s understandable fans wanting to see their disappointment reflected in faces of the players they support, but honestly, in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter. Let it go.