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
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.
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