British Media Thinks Diving Is REALLY Wrong, NOW…

By on August 27, 2009

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…but only because, for once, it was Arsenal benefiting over British opposition rather than United over continental opponents.

Can I have begun by mentioning anything other than what The Fiver called “top drawer filth” or what The Guardian called a “taint” or what The Times called a “cheap trick?” The feigned indignity of the British press, and Celtic supporters, makes headlines, if not much sense. For instance, F365  wrote, “Arsene Wenger has bucked the trend of leading managers by all-but admitting that one of his players has taken a dive…” But that’s not right at all. Arsene said, quite plainly, that just because the player goes down does not mean it is a dive. He may have had no other option to get out of the way of the tackle. The Boss in his post-match press conference also said something which I had already written on Twitter, that because of his previous injury he may have been trying to avoid Boruc. He also said that had the penalty not been given, Eduardo would not have argued with the referee.

Eduardo penalty All this talk of a ban is just ridiculous… If that’s the case, surely we could retroactively ban Ronaldo for life, or more! Ban his children from ever playing the game, even. I don’t once remember the English media calling for Ronaldo to be banned for diving -repeatedly- in the Champions League against more foreign competition than Celtic. Or when Rooney dove against us a few years ago in a desperate but successful bid to end our unbeaten run or against Villareal in the Champions League or any of a dozen other times. Or when Gerrard dove after actually kicking Brad Friedel? Please. Vital Arsenal gets the award for best headline today, “Mass Hysteria as Eduardo Invents The Dive.” Eduardo is merely being scapegoated by people like Kenny Dalglish who want to think diving is something done by cheating foreigners.

It seems that diving now is even more wrong -or wrong enough now to be punished- since it is Arsenal that have seemingly benefited from it and not the darlings up at Old Trafford or Anfield. And, while the Scottish FA calls for a ban on Eduardo in a bid to deflect attention from the fact that the SPL  is, at best, looking  more and more like the very bottom of the English Championship, even F365 seem to have come around to reason by this morning, writing, “This is getting a tad ridiculous now. Even Arsene Wenger admitted it wasn’t a penalty but surely we can’t just start spuriously banning people now?” The SFA Chief Executive, Gordon Smith, has called for “retrospective punishment” for Eduardo… Fine, we’ll make him sit on a chair in the corner and think about what he did. Besides, I’m sure UEFA could dig through videos and find some dives to “retrospectively” punish Celtic for. (The correct word is “retroactive,” Mr. Smith.)

Eduardo argues

I can understand Celtic being upset about the call but some of the tackles that directly followed were just ugly and could have resulted in injuries for either side. Celtic lost this tie when they couldn’t even get close to getting a goal at home and lost 2-nil, not from a dodgy penalty in the second leg when they had already created their own Mt. Everest to climb. The referee didn’t lose this tie for Celtic, they only put two shots on goal in the entire tie.Of course, the English media are rife today with cries of “Cheat!” aimed at Eduardo. But let’s be honest, Eduardo is not a diving kind of player which tends to make me think it is very possible he was trying to get out of the way. In the opening half hour, he put Celtic under so much pressure, and on another night could have easily had a hat-trick, the dam was inevitably going to burst. The really sad part is that this is overshadowing what was another good performance by the midfield three of Song, Denilson, and Diaby, not to mention Eduardo and Eboue, who is proving to be one of the most versatile players in European football having played wide right last night in an attacking role in addition to his repertoire of right back, right midfielder, and even defensive midfielder.

So, are Arsenal fans feeling bad? No way. We’ve been on the end of what seems like a disproportionate number of shady calls, especially in the last few years. As Arsene pointed out, I don’t remember anyone mourning for us in the papers when Hleb was denied an obvious penalty (on replay, even) against Liverpool in the 2008 CL Quarterfinal First Leg or, especially, in the second leg when, following Theo’s amazing run, Babel came down the other end and got a penalty just as dodgy as the one awarded last night. Perhaps if we had been playing Atletico Madrid or Fiorentina, the media would not have even cared so much. But, honestly, Arsenal are, and, last night were,  of a different class than Celtic and it would’ve taken a dozen miracles for them to have gotten through to the Group Stage on our backs.

So it’s on to Old Trafford where we will face the reigning champions on Saturday evening. 15 goals in 4 games seems to stand us in good stead but let’s not forget that United have had no CL Playoff and, therefore, have had the entire week off to rest in preparation. Arsene will continue to rotate and, despite saying yesterday that Cesc was “a little short for Saturday,” I expect him to play. Even if he doesn’t, I still see a midfield of Song, Denilson, and Diaby as being far more effective than one with Carrick, Park, Anderson, and Giggs. United scored 5 last week in the second half at a Wigan side that seemingly sent their grandmothers out to play the rest of the match. When United have come up against determined sides, such as Burnley even, they have struggled to break them down. United’s midfield is not the threat it once was and it will be interesting to see how our new formation handles one of the big boys.

In other news, Young Guns reports that a season-long loan deal has been arranged with Queens Park Rangers for Jay Simpson. [digg=http://digg.com/soccer/British_Media_Thinks_Diving_Is_REALLY_Wrong_NOW]


  1. McKay

    August 27, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Brilliant article

    To all you Arsenal fans, I say we must stand firm and support our team through thick and thin, good, bad or worse. We must cheer our team (From Wenger to every member of the team, including Eboue and Bendtner)even when we are goals down and it seems impossible come back like Celtic did yesterday because that is the stuff that true fans are made of and I tell you we will achieve unimaginable success this season – “BELIEVE”

    To all Celtic fans, I apologise if you feel aggrieved, Eduardo was just jumping out of the way of what could have been another terrible injury for him.

    To the media and all those other hypocrites (ManU, Liverpool, Chelsea, Hull or whatever you cunts call yourselves) I say fuck you all! Arsenal is going to lift the Premiership no matter how much bullshit you throw at us.

    We are strong, we are gifted, we are skilled, we have everything it takes and we BELIEVE – We are Arsenal FC!

  2. BendyTheViking

    August 27, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Eduardo dived, I believe it. He judged that Boruc was going to hit him, he started to go down to soften the blow and Boruc never got there. I accept it was a dive and while I am a bit disappointed his history with bad tackles certainly has to be taken into account. In addition, like many have said, every team cheats. And while UEFA and the SFA want a witch hunt and could end up banning Eduardo, who is not some Lithuanian but a star player on a huge team, I don’t think they really know what kind of can of worms they are opening. If they ban Eduardo from Arsenal they will have to ban EVERY SINGLE DIVE in the Champions League. And if the English Press want to join the witch hunt then I hope EVERY SINGLE foreign manager out there moans like there is no tomorrow next time Rooney, Cole, Fat Frank and Gerrard cheat their way to points. Honestly, UEFA wont know what hit them because banning Eduardo will open a door they wont be able to close.

  3. Jan

    August 27, 2009 at 10:52 am

    As an Arsenal fan for many years I have the firm conviction that football needs to be played in a fair way.

    So I won’t have any complaints if Eduardo gets banned.

    Let’s admit it as it is, it was a blatant dive we don’t want to see in the game, especially not from an Arsenal player.

  4. Fling

    August 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Its all sh*t. Eduardo dove bt evry1 does it and imagine if boruc had hit dudu n crocked him all over again. I hp it dznt apn again.

  5. ArsenalStation

    August 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I didn’t say it wasn’t a dive. I’m just leaving the door open by giving Eduardo, a player who actually deserves it, the benefit of the doubt. Even if it was a flat-out dive, I could care less. We’ve been screwed so many times in recent years by diving bitches (you all know who I’m talking about). It’s not like he’s a chronic diver like Ronaldo, Rooney, Gerrard, and a thousand other players.

    There is no way UEFA will retroactively ban Eduardo because it would leave them open to too many problems and while the SFA may have gotten the Eastern European banned, they have nowhere near enough clout to get UEFA to go after a club like Arsenal. Perhaps, and only perhaps, had the tie been level when it happened or something like that but, in the overall scheme of the tie, it had little effect. Celtic were never going to advance past Arsenal scoring 5 goals when they only mustered 2 shots on goal in the entire 180 minutes.

    Can someone please find some videos of Celtic dives from the last couple of years so we can shut them up? 😉

  6. alwaysgunner

    August 28, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I think a point has been missed. If they decide that Edouardo is guilty okay but now they are saying a Ref’s decision can be changed after a match has been played. This will now open the gate for appeals, decisions on all the ref’s actions throughtout the game and changing results,yes? Logic follows that if the ref’s decision was not apenalty then the result of the game comes into question. We have suffered terrible decisions and been given decisions we should have never gotten; that is the game of football. You cannot start changing the rules midway through a tournament not on. Was it a dive I dont know to be honest and Europe are the masters of diving along with someof the South American teams. Immediately comes to mind the ‘Hand of God’. Have better systems to be able to check if there is aproblem we have the tech ability to do that.
    Finally the girls in the Celtic team need to worry because there is surely now an arguement to review some of those tackles they handed out to us is that not cheating also?

  7. isle of manhouses

    February 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I think the English media would have put the boot on the other foot if it had been against a continental side.

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