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And The Oscar For Best Dive Goes To…Gareth Bale – But Where’s The Media Outrage?

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale took a dive to win a penalty against Arsenal on Sunday, so where is the media witch-hunt to have him banned? We asses the inconsistency

Arsenal 5-2 Spurs Bale Dive

Another amazing North London derby and i don’t think there can be any doubt that it’s easily the most entertaining derby in the Premier League. However, the match on Sunday was almost ruined by a moment nobody wants to see in the game, when Tottenham’s Gareth Bale burst through on goal, knocked the ball past Szczesny only to take the most blatant of dives to cone the referee into awarding a penalty.

Just to be clear, i condemn ALL forms of cheating including Arsenal players when they have done it in the past. Pires’ dive against Portsmouth was embarrassing and will always take a little bit of gloss off the unbeaten season for me as it may never have occurred if the Frenchman had stayed on his feet that day.

But my gripe is; where’s the consistency? Arsenal fans have had to put up with their fair share of abuse for diving in recent seasons, from fans and media alike. Two particular incidents spring to mind, the previously mentioned Pires dive against Pompey in 2004 and of course the Eduardo incident against Celtic in the Champions League in 2009.

The furore that followed the Eduardo dive was relentless with the media driving the calls for retrospective punishment. Images of Eduardo diving filled the back pages for days, even weeks, after the game with pundits and journo’s calling for him to be banned. To make an example of him to rid the game of diving. They eventually got their wish after UEFA charged the Croatian for ‘deceiving the referee’ to win a penalty against Celtic.

So in the interest of fairness and consistency, should we not expect the FA to step in and charge Bale as well? Should we expect calls from pundits to see Bale banned? Surely the back pages will be filled with images of Bale diving and a media-backed campaign to haul the Welshman before the FA?

Yet there is nothing. The incident has pretty much been forgotten about already and has barely got a mention. The guys on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night didn’t even show a replay of it or discuss the incident at all. Truly disgraceful.

I’ve read that people think Arsenal fans ‘should get over it and just enjoy the win‘ and that ‘the dive didn’t matter because Arsenal still won the match‘. Well, i am enjoying the victory, very much thanks and the fact the incident had no bearing on the outcome of the game should be irrelevant. Cheating is cheating. On another day, it could very well have affected the outcome but i still don’t think we’d have seen the castigation of Bale that Eduardo received.

It then begs the questions; why? What makes Bale so special that he should escape criticism for his cheating? The fact is, whether Tottenham fans like it or not, there is only one player who has received a yellow card more than once this season for ‘simulation’ and that is Mr.Bale himself. So he has previous and the dive on Sunday versus Arsenal was as clear as they come. Yet the media don’t have the balls to pull him up for it.

Is it too easy to suggest the simple fact he’s British means he’s getting preferential treatment? I would hope not, but sadly i fear this is the case. Gerrard and Rooney are two other players who also go down far too easily but neither have earned the ‘reputation’ for diving like many foreigners have. If Theo Walcott had hit the deck al la Bale, i would expect he would have gotten away with it just the same. Yes foreign players dive, but so too do the Brits, and players should all be treated the same regardless of what passport they hold.  It;s a shame the media don’t feel the same way.

I’m still seeing comments on the web from Spurs fans claiming he didn’t dive, so if the image above isn’t enough to convince you, take a look at the video below. If you still don’t admit it’s a dive, i can’t help you.

Bale Dive

toten20 by arsenalist



  1. Dave

    February 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Take another look at your footage. It wasn’t the keeper that committed the foul. It was the defender (Gibbs) hooking his foot round Bales ankle bringing him down. Hence the why the keeper wasn’t sent off. With the other defender covering as to why Gibbs also wasnt sent off.

    Talking of which, if youre talking about blatent diving (no matter whos doing it) Look at Gibbs at the other end of the pitch before this incidnet, committing a blatant dive.

    • RVP10

      February 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      Shocking. A Tottenham fan trying to defend Bale’s actions instead of just holding his hands up.

      Come on Dave, do you really think it wasn’t a dive?!!? You’ll earn more plaudits for just admitting it rather than trying to defend his actions with some pathetic excuse.

    • Gunner 1886

      February 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Your cheating Scum team still got Whipped!

      The Best Tottenham Team in 50 years still got whipped by the worst Arsenal team in decaded!

      Enough said! Losers! Go back to your worm infested Shite Hart Lane

      • Deadly Steve

        February 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

        Decaded? Typical Goon thicko!

      • Tody

        February 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        You loser. Can any of you arse fans actually write English?? Half of the stuff I read is nonsense, you deluded dumbwits. Yeah Spurs has one of its best teams in a while and you lost two of your best players and now you are focusing on that by saying it’s your worst team in however long. We beat you 5-1 if you remember with a much worse team than you had at the time so your comments are just retarded. The fact is, your position covers up the cracks and if you all took off your red tinted glasses then you would see it. Take away RVP and you would be lucky to be in 10th position- he has held your pathetic team up the whole of the season. Well done, you beat us- it’s been a while hasn’t it. We played pants, you played out of your skin. The fact of the matter is, and you can talk all you want about your ‘cup win’ against us, is that we are 7 points ahead of you still even after some dismal recent performances. The fact all you gooners are creaming your pants about this win just sums up how times have changed for you. I wonder how many of you will defect when your team declines even further. You will probably all start supporting Chelsea. Go back to South London where you came from- nobody wants scum like you lot around here.

  2. GunnerX

    February 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Mate, I suggest that it is you that needs to take another look at the footage, clearly you can see bale hook his trailing leg around Gibb’s foot looking for a touch in order to deceive the ref.

    • Dave

      February 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      of yes of course, running in full flow he decide to hang back a little. Get real. He made sure he went down but no more than anyone else who gets contact like that in the box. Bale does need to cut out his theatricals though. Enjoy your win.

      • james

        February 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        Has been done by loads of players sticking their legs out to make contact Johnson for man citeh rings to mind

        if it came to the last game of the season and it happened to spurs and you missed our on the champions league again what would you all say to a similar incident then

        • james

          February 28, 2012 at 7:43 am

          ~ missed out on champions league

  3. Dave

    February 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Im not defending a dive. Look at the footage properly. Dont just listen to the commentary at the time and not use your own eyes. Look at Bales left leg as the keeper gets there. Gibbs catches it. Bale has committed some HORRENDOUS & SHAMEFUL dives of late, Liverpool being one example. This wasnt one of them. Why do you think he didn’t send the keeper off?!

    Well done to your boys yesterday, you earned it and wanted it more. 1 a piece and a very interesting run in now.

    • RVP10

      February 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks for a very dignified response Dave. To be honest, my point here isn’t particularly whether Bale dived or not yesterday, it’s more about how the media react differently to similar situations.

      If you remember the Eduardo incident, he was actually caught very slightly by the keepers hand, but not enough of a touch to warrant the exaggerated dive. Thats why UEFA charged him with simulation, as he made too much of it to ‘con’ the ref.

      And as you say, Bale has previous, and yet we’ve heard very little about his ‘dives’ in the media. Why? All people want is consistency, and unfortunately we’re not seeing it and it does seem the British players are being protected from the ‘diving’ scandals more than foreigners.

    • Andre

      February 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      ok you say look at the footage and i suggest you do the same. i am a striker and if i manage to get the ball past the keeper i would do everything i can to stay on my feet as i would have an open goal to slide the ball in.

      if gibbs does foul him then it is on his right leg/foot… so why did bales left foot suddenly stop working and flick out to try and catch schezza. one reason to get him sent off, you would choose an open goal over a penalty. this was a dive and attempt to get a keeper sent off

  4. antarchile

    February 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    It is not because Bale is a media darling that the media does not nail him..It is because he is British…he is ”one of us , one of our boys”..The British media is tremendously xenophobic…Any foreign or black player found diving is humiliated by all the UK media…

    • Joblow

      February 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      Well it is a dive, looking for a penalty and possible sending off. Sad arsenal players are not media darlings as i recall after the Eduardo incident vs Celtic how he could not get a blatant stone cold penalty again. The BPL is a good league but the media hype the wrong incidents and are very inconsistent in their treatment of foreign players and sad to say but the referees suck, like seriously they are the worse and they show this at international events for everyone to see. I recalled soon after the Eduardo dive, Rooney dived and not a word was said about it. Oh how great to be a gooner. Arsenal vs ‘whoever’+ ‘referee’+ ‘media’+ ‘FA’+ ‘the pitch’.. lol

  5. Tom

    February 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I’m a Chelsea fan who didn’t care which club won, but from what I saw of it Bale’s was a penalty. And anyway, Gibbs clearly dived earlier in the match so where’s the complaints about that?

    • James

      February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      cut the crap Tom,we all know Chelsea fans wanted Arsenal to lose

    • james

      February 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      because gibbs wasn’t given a penalty for it thicko

  6. Johnny

    February 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Bale was just being a playful monkey, its in his character to monkey about. Have a look at him after Adebayor scores the penalty, he jumps on Ade`s back like he was swinging from a tyre. Dont hold yesterdays incident against him, he was just acting the fool. He`s a very cheeky little chimp that one.

  7. Mick

    February 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    It cannot be anything to do with whether you are British or not. Last season Walcott owned up to diving if you remember, I can’t remember who against, but he was crucified on Talk sport for day’s and in the papers, Collymore even called for him to be banned for 8 games!! More likely to be an anti Arsenal/ pro Spurs thing. Remember that Bale is part of the Spurs/ Redknapp set up, the media darlings, their players cannot be criticised as that is a reflection on good old ‘arry. You forgot to mention Ashley Young by the way, probably the worst offender when it comes to diving.

    • RVP10

      February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Mike, I do remember the Walcott dive last season. Wasn’t a great attempt if i remember correctly! lol Yeah Theo got a bit of stick but nothing like Eduardo/Pires/Ronaldo.

      Oh yeah, i did forget Young, and thats probably my point! Young, like Rooney, Gerrard, and many other Brits, have been diving about for years yet they are rarely the ones to be highlighted or pointed out by the media and made examples of.

  8. Andre

    February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    i dont think that the simulation should be criticised as much here as he was probably caught by Gibbs its the fact that he attempts to make it look like schezza because he knows it will be red card. shocking!!1

  9. Shannon

    February 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I’m not sure that Bale dived this time, but he does dive, no doubt about it. But come on, Gooners, try to be gracious in victory, hard as it is for you. You stuffed us royally and there’s no argument about that. Why can’t you just forget about a “maybe” moment that had no bearing on the eventual result?

    • RVP10

      February 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Like i said earlier, it’s not even whether Bale dived yesterday or not thats my issue. It’s the fact British players like Bale regularly take a dive yet the media refuse to highlight it as they did with Eduardo, Pires and other foreigners.

      • Shannon

        February 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

        Yeah,and Klinsmann

  10. simon

    February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm


  11. JaySpur

    February 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Bale has only of late (this season) become a little more; lets say ‘cute’ than he used to be. I can guarantee you that this is in response to defending players that have been kicking chunks out of him with very little protection from officials. Infact I believe it may have been the May home game against Blackpool when Charlie Adam went in studs up & put him out for months, Adam didn’t even see yellow, this is unfortunatly why Bale has become ‘cute’. He is a victim of his own brilliance & he would undoubtedly get more protection on the continent.

    • RVP10

      February 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Totally agree JaySpur, players such as Bale do need more protection. Arsene has called for ‘technical’ (= good) players to get more protection from refs. The neviles kicked Reyes out this country, and players such as Pires were also targeted in their day.

      It’s nothing new, so it doesn’t really explain why the media fail to criticize the British players such as Bale, Young or Rooney when they are ‘cute’. Yet they castigate Pires, Ronaldo and Eduardo.

      • JaySpur

        February 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        Yes my comment does not explain why the media do not go after Bale. Immediately I think of Balotelli being ‘hung out to dry’ (& rightly so) for stamping on Parker but in the same game Lescott assaulted Kaboul with an elbow & got off scott (no Parker pun intended) free. Terry gets away with it game in game out, Cole has got away with around 3 handballs in a row recently (one at The Lane lead to a goal the papers barely mentioned) & what about Lampards horror tackle at Wolves where I don’t think he saw yellow & caused a media ripple. Tell me I’m wrong but didn’t yours used to get away with much more when you did have a strong English contingent? Obviously the media employ similar fickle bias as officials do. And as for ManYoo & general northern bias don’t even get me started!

    • Mick

      February 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Being cute is one thing, a blatant attempt to cheat is another, he could have got Schezney sent off as well as the penalty. Lets call a spade a spade shall we.

  12. kikharito

    February 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    probably because arsenal won at the end that the penalty made no difference, if it was a last minute winner, then i would be surprised if there’s no outrage

  13. james

    February 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    look refs in my opinion should look at

    1. Contact, was the contact efficient enough to bring the player down especially in such theatrical fashion as in Sundays example, this instance the is answer NO! no pen should be given

    2. Control, did the player have full control of the ball and would he have scored if contact (the apparent foul) wasn’t made

    3. Position, Would the player have been in a sufficient position to convert if they were not fouled

    unfortunately refs have to work with real time and make quick decisions this is why the possibility of video refs should be appealing to FA’s around the world to help the officials out

    • james

      February 28, 2012 at 7:42 am

      another thing i think players should be punished for over simulation with a immediate booking and no penalty even if there was sufficient contact on the player

  14. Door Gunner

    February 27, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    This isn’t the first time Bale has dived.Check out the Liverpool one. There’s no press because he’s Brittish and no outrage because he’s not an Arsenal Player. Its the Old French manager=French Team that the tabloids just never get past.

    • Ray

      February 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      I agree. i get very frustrated when I hear the comments of commentators and pundits (usually in the mould of Townsend) who blame the import of ‘foreign’ players for the rash of diving. I vividly recall Francis Lee of Man City (late 1960s early 70s) who had great difficulty staying on his feet in the opposition penalty area.

  15. jesus

    February 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Crystal Palace fan here, Bale is a consistent cheat and that was a horrible dive. I actually googled Bale dive because I hate diving so much and thats how I ended up here.

  16. Ray

    February 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Also a CPFC fan in a family of in laws who are Liverpool supporters. Bale is a consistent cheat without any doubt.

    I think we can all think of our ‘favourite dives’. Bale throwing himself to the ground at Anfield on Feb 6 and Daniel Aggar standing over him berating Bale for his blatant dive. Bale is also a great one for flashing the imaginery card (Adam at WHL) The funniest incident I can recall was a Palace player, Joonas Kolka, throwing himself to the ground copying the diving tactics of Liverpools long gone and forgotten, Milan Baros. He got booked for what was a very funny reaction.

    The thing is that diving irritates the life out of the opposing side and for most (though by no means all) of the supporters of the divers team it leaves them embarrassed. There is a strong case for retrospective action and video technology.

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