The discussion about diving in this country can go on until everyone is blue in the face. It’s not acceptable here in the same way it is in other cultures; it’s frowned upon, it’s immoral, however it’s not breaking the rules.

You don’t want to see it and you definitely don’t need it. When you see serial divers go to their famous party trick for one reason or another, it makes your blood boil; maybe not in the same way a chair shot to the back in professional wrestling does, but near enough.

Santi Cazorla’s dive in the game against West Brom was another disappointing mark on English football and another problem Arsenal didn’t need. Yes, the player has come from a footballing culture where the issue is swept under the carpet in a far more nonchalant manner, but that doesn’t make it OK when he does it in the Premier League. English football needs foreign players to bring their finest qualities to this league, not one that starts a witch hunt.

And that’s the thing, it only seems to be the actions of Arsenal players which force people to spring into action. Paranoid fans? Yeah probably, but not without good reason.

The handling of the Eduardo incident back in 2009 was disgusting, and Uefa knew exactly how much of a hole they dug when they enforced a two-match ban. The only positive thing they did was almost immediately jump out of the hole and rescind the suspension.

So is it really a case of one rule for one and one rule for another? Or how about a third, whereby Arsenal players are dragged over burning coals and dipped into a pot of boiling water. That will show them.

Ashley Young’s two-week episode last season drew plenty of criticism and even more jokes (each one got progressively funnier or more ridiculous, whichever you prefer). But no one called for the FA to take matters further and introduce technology, no one got on the horn to Uefa and demanded something be done about this cheat. The dive was disappointing and was naturally overanalysed because of the climate of football in this country, but where were the calls for a beheading?

No, that wouldn’t be right: an English player representing Manchester United on the end of a good rollicking and potentially a ban? Not in this league.

Santi Cazorla shouldn’t have to apologise and nor would I expect him to. West Brom’s players were clearly wound up by the Spaniard’s decision to go to ground, but the player has been in the country for five-minutes and has one stain on an otherwise spotless start in English football. Where are the apologies from Gareth Bale, a serial diver who is continually excused yet has been booked more times than is worth remembering? What about Steven Gerrard or Wayne Rooney? If those players want to go to ground then that’s their decision, but it also becomes their clubs’ prerogative to take action where they see fit. Don’t use Luis Suarez and Cazorla as a scapegoat while excusing the Brits.

But that’s the larger point, it needs to be one rule for everyone and not people making it up as they go along based on the player’s nationality.

If people feel the English game has been besmirched then fine, but governing bodies need to take a step back and look to address the issue in the summer when there isn’t such hysteria around one player. Don’t make the need for a new set of rules to be off the back of one player, forcing him to carry the stigma.

Again, this issue of diving is not a rule, but referees make up their own decision if they believe the player has conned them. If it were a rule, the FA would retrospectively punish the players who got away with it in the same manner they do with other incidents.

And here’s the thing: I’m not even sure diving warrants a ban. Yes it’s frowned on and can really grate at the best of times, but there’s no way that a dive can be punishable by the same measure as breaking someone’s leg. If you’re going to give someone a one-match ban for diving then you have to come up with a whole set of varying ban lengths to fit other incidents. Like the case with Uefa and Eduardo, it just opens up a can of worms.

No Arsenal fan wants to see their players go to ground in such a way. But good lord, some perspective please.

What do you think?

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  • Pete
    2 years ago

    “It only seems to be the actions of Arsenal players which force people to spring into action” Nonsense. You yourself mentioned Bale and Suarez, two serial offenders who have prompted huge debate all season. More likely you only took notice when it affected one of yours

    Reply
    • davi
      2 years ago

      Serial offenders vs a one-time offender. I don’t think either of them made headlines the first time they took a dive

      Reply
      • SP
        2 years ago

        Apart from the fact that bale has had two yellow cards when he has aactually been fouled.
        And that is the irony. Bale is fouled = yellow card. Carzola dives = penalty, and rather than having the good grace and good sense to keep their mouths shut at this good fortune from blatant cheating, they are all up in arms because anyone dares say “Santi Corzola, he cheated for that penalty”.

        Reply
        • davi
          2 years ago

          That’s a different issue. If Bale has changed his ways, then perhaps he is getting unfair treatment at the moment because he earned himself a reputation last season. That reputation was earned over several games, h/e, but Cazorla is going to suffer the same based on one dive.

          Reply
    • Essexian76
      2 years ago

      Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo, Drogba or is only those mentioned lately that get the flack-As for Bale being a serial offender-perhaps try looking at his ‘dives’ first-in all cases contact has been made-he’s been booked for exaggerating the foul-unlike Cazorla where no contact was made whatsoever. And as for Arsenal players in the recent past-try looking a RVP, Nasri,Pires and Bergkamp-all cheats much like the bloke who fails to see anything when its his players that are cheating!

      Reply
      • davi
        2 years ago

        But there was the slightest contact with Cazorla – does that mean he didn’t dive?!
        Jesus, you guys will defend Bale to the hilt despite his obvious diving, and yet you think I’m nuts. At least I’m admitting that Cazorla did dive (ONCE!).
        Pires dived once or twice, but was hardly the biggest cheat in the world. Gerrard, Rooney and particularly Van Nistelroy NEVER got the credit they deserved for diving (at least Drogba and Ronaldo were called on it, although there was never as much outrage as there has been over this one dive by Cazorla), so we’re in agreement there I think.

        Reply
    • Mikedtan
      2 years ago

      My problem with carzola is he didn’t have the grace to admit wrong, he admitted diving and said its ok,nod we want to o there? Letting him get away with tht attitude sells the wort message ever

      Reply
  • Buzz3210(GOONER4LIFE)
    2 years ago

    That was a good rant for all the right reasons thanks for common sense and now i can say i do sometimes feel justified when arguing the point about Arsenal getting it in the neck compared to others.

    Reply
  • Jay
    2 years ago

    I assume you are an Arsenal fan. What has led you to believe that Bale has gotten off easy exactly? I’m pretty sure it has been the contrary. In fact, replays have shown that the last two “simulations” he was booked for actually consisted of him being fouled. Contact was made, and this is known to all with a brain.

    Cazorla was not touched. Not even close. So to say that people are on a “witch hunt” and to insinuate xenophobia is ridiculous. You should be embarrassed of trying to defend someone who clearly simulated and produced a penalty. Embarrassed.

    Reply
    • davi
      2 years ago

      He’s not defending Cazorla’s actions, he’s defending the team because only when an Arsenal player dives do they seriously call for action.
      I agree RE Bale to a degree – some have at least said that he dived, but it was hardly back page news and a subject of every football talkshow for who knows how long.

      Reply
      • davi
        2 years ago

        Also replays have shown that Cazorla was touched, but it was still a dive.

        Reply
  • Indyfan
    2 years ago

    What disgusted me was Corzola’s feigned agony when he rolled on the ground, clutching his leg. Should have been booked for simulation.

    Reply
  • davi
    2 years ago

    THANK YOU! How many times was Nistelroy’s diving completely ignored, or Rooney’s or Gerrard’s!? They just pick on who they want, and it’s tiresome.
    I agree that diving is not even close to the level of dangerous tackles, but I couldn’t really argue with introducing a match ban. The thing is, they have to go to the FA or EUFA during preseason so that they can make the rule before the season starts. The way that these incidents involving Arsenal players really exposes the bias in the media.
    The real problem I have with them introducing a ban is: how can we REALLY expect them to follow through? Surely you can see what would happen? They’d only do it when there was significant pressure from a manager or the media in general – and that only happens when the ref get’s it wrong! SO Cazorla would be banned, but the WBA player who went for a dive at the end of the game would get off. Nothing would have happened to Carlton Cole when he dived against Arsenal a couple of times, or Rooney when he ended our unbeaten run because the media didn’t call it a dive!

    Reply
  • JimB
    2 years ago

    Oh, do shut up. Risible persecution complex. It’s “only the actions of Arsenal players which force people to spring into action”??? Really?? Where have you been if you missed the far more widely stories, over many weeks, about Bale and Suarez – to name but two? Diving is a big issue. And I won’t try to excuse Bale. But please, drop the pathetic “poor, persecuted Arsenal” routine. It’s embarrassing.

    Reply
    • Thomas Hallett
      2 years ago

      I think – and this is well before I even entertain the idea of discussing sports with you – that you need to think about the way you address people in a public forum. Telling someone to shut up because you don’t agree with their opinion on sports (not war or increased taxes or far right fanaticism) isn’t the way you do things. So try, please, to act like an adult. It’s embarrassing.

      Reply
      • JimB
        2 years ago

        Not just a persecution complex, then, but a Mary Poppins complex to boot! Man up.

        Reply
      • Jay
        2 years ago

        “…and this is well before I even entertain the idea of discussing sports with you…”

        HAHAHA. Watch out, the authority of sports journalism has arrived!
        That is probably one of the most narcissistic comments I have ever seen. The fact that you would warrant a response like that shows how much of a conceited person you are.
        You are NOT a journalist, let alone a sports expert. Give up

        Reply
  • KIT
    2 years ago

    lol…talking about a witch-hunt, you must have missed how the narrative on Cazorla’s dive moved immediately to how Luis Suarez had something to do with it (in fact, i heard about santi’s because i kept seeing twitter references to suarez diving)…has nothing to do with him being an arsenal player and everything to do with him being not british….suarez has been getting it in the neck, even gotten two yellows for diving when replays showed clear fouls (one of which should’ve been a stonewall penalty)…even united who are almost never pulled up have had criticism about nani and ronaldo in the past….but young wins a penalty with a dive on a weekly basis, neville dove embarrassingly in the merseyside derby, westbrom won 2 penos on dives in the same game, but not a peep….my suggeston is you just ignore it, because this will never change in our liftimes

    Reply
    • davi
      2 years ago

      Well, Neville got called out on it, and seeing as he has a history of not diving, it seems fair enough to leave it at that. Suarez has built a reputation over a number of months, and refused to change. It’s far more understandable for them to be singling out Suarez than Cazorla. Did Suarez make the back pages of a paper the *first time* he dived???
      It’s a little more complicated than just xenophobia – Nistelroy dived for years and they said nothing of it! Maybe xenophobia coupled with a pro-Utd bias?

      Reply
      • Smeghead
        2 years ago

        Davi, Luis Suarez was completely all over the front and back pages the first time he dived!
        The first time he’s dived in the Premiership was against Stoke.

        It’s the media narrative (started by Ferguson after Charlie Adam dived) that says Suarez dives. However, if you look at the very good “Debateable Decisions” website you will find that Suarez has had as many legitimate penalties waved away as the second worst off TEAM in the premiership.

        Before you try and refute my assertion, I challenge you to go onto Youtube and find a Suarez diving compilation. I’ve searched a few times and could only find one! That compilation contained 3 minutes of looking at Suarez’s dive against Stoke from numerous angles.

        Reply
        • davi
          2 years ago

          That’s absurd. Suarez had established his reputation well before the Stoke game. Come on, you’re going to go with Youtube as your evidence? It wasn’t that long ago, people remember. He dived against Arsenal for a penalty last season ffs!

          Reply
        • davi
          2 years ago

          I don’t doubt that Suarez has had legitimate pen decisions waved away though. I will admit that he should have had a penalty against Arsenal earlier THIS season, however, when Mertesacker held him back in the box, but by then he’d already gained that reputation (I fully remember them saying so in commentary). Still, 2 wrongs don’t make a right and it should have been a pen.

          Reply
  • Steve
    2 years ago

    I’m a spurs fan and I agree it’s not right to pick on any one club and I do get pissed off when bale makes a meal of a challenge and we lose the ball, however stating that diving is not against the rules is wrong. It’s simulation which is bootable therefor against the rules. I personally think the issue is arsenal are picked up on it, wenger is questioned after the game and he denies the player dived. Show him footage and them ask him. Same with any player / manager. Diving or simulation is an extension of cheating. The English game is a physical one and we want to keep it that way.

    Reply
  • Weedz
    2 years ago

    The actions of the players will continue as they do presently as long as the authorities refuse to bring in retrospective action.

    And I mean retrospective action over penalties given for diving.

    Out-field diving can be controlled using the present card system, but because of it`s game changing consequence, diving for penalties should have a retrospective justice, IMO.

    Reply
  • WhiteHartKnight
    2 years ago

    Corzola dived on Saturday. He also made a meal of the challenge of Adebuyor in the recent derby game. Facts are that Wenger instructs his players to dive and in times of need, this is enforced more than ever. He is a cheat but I hope to God above that he remains Arsenal’s manager for a few more years yet because I have NEVER been so entertained by AFC as I have been this season, the article is clearly written by an arsenal fan and he needs to realise that cheats never
    Prosper. In Arsene we trust.COYS.

    Reply
    • davi
      2 years ago

      “Facts are that Wenger instructs his players to dive and in times of need, this is enforced more than ever.”
      Where the hell do you get that from!? Wenger’s the only top manager I’ve ever seen seriously reprimand one of his own players for diving, and in a CL final of all places, when the team needed it more than anything in the world! And no one would have said a thing about Eboue’s dive if he hadn’t brought it up.
      I just don’t see arsenal players diving often, and there’s no evidence whatsoever that Wenger has ever told one of his players to dive.

      Reply
    • davi
      2 years ago

      Lol – I just remembered the Adebayor challenge you were talking about. Incredible. That was a dangerous tackle and there’s no reason at all to assume that Cazorla’s reaction wasn’t genuine.

      Reply
      • Jay
        2 years ago

        Why not?
        His reaction during this recent simulation proves that he is not genuine. Rolling on the ground and grasping his ankle was completely unethical and misleading, due to the fact that there was ZERO contact made.
        After this simulation, there definitely is reason to assume that his reactions are not genuine.

        Reply
        • davi
          2 years ago

          So you think it’s crazy that Bale get’s poorly treated by refs even though he has dived a few times in the past, but it’s fine to write off Cazorla as a cheat for all time now on the basis of one dive?

          Reply
      • steve
        2 years ago

        The cahlenge by Adebayor may have been reckless but Cazorla did make a meal of it. By his reactions I thought he had broke his ankle. Funny how he ran back on the pitch immediately picked the ball up and ran 10 yard without any issues. There is more to cheating that actually diving in the game. Its the play acting to get fellow professionals booked or even sent off that is just as bad as the diving to gain a free kick or worst a penalty.

        Reply
        • Jay
          2 years ago

          Exactly, had Cazorla gotten up and been genuine with the physical contact that occurred, there is a good chance a stern and very much earned yellow card would have been presented rather then red. He duped the ref, plain and simple. There is a reason why Cazorla came back on the pitch looking 100% after Adebayor had left down the tunnel. It was a bad tackle, no one can deny that. But was it really worth a straight red in the first 18 minutes of the North London Derby?

          And as for your assumptions of my thoughts on Bale, it is hard to blame the ref. Yes Bale had a couple of questionable incidents but now he is not given the benefit of the doubt, even when clear contact has been made. I don’t fault the refs necessarily, but it is not fair for them to base decisions on past actions. They assume rather than actually evaluate in a professional manner. It should be the same thing with Suarez as well.

          Reply
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