[Videos] Top 5 Terrible Dives Featuring Eboue, Bale & Suarez
With Tottenham’s Gareth Bale booked once more for diving, Tom Gatehouse accumulates a list of some of the worst dives from the Premier League in recent years
And so, once more, the currently world beating Gareth Bale ventured into the unsavoury world of simulation yesterday against Inter Milan, earning himself a yellow card which rules him out of the second leg of Tottenham’s last 16 clash. Granted, they find themselves in a most comfortable position, being 3-0 up going into the away leg, but it is yet another stain on the growing Welshman’s reputation.
With the ‘pandemic’ of diving causing concern within the echelons of the football league, steps need to be taken to ensure players are solidly dissuaded from throwing themselves to the ground in order to earn an unfair advantage. Looking back over the past few years, there have been some notorious players that have brought the subject of diving to dinner tables around the country. Here is a top five of some of the worst offenders from the Premier League over the last few seasons, and their most infamous actions at home and abroad:
5. Emmanuel Eboue vs. Barcelona, Champions League Final, 2006
The mad Ivorian, Eboue, is best remembered in English football for his mischievous antics, his powerful running, and his tendency to disappoint when it mattered. But his dive against the mighty Barcelona to win a free kick, from which Sol Campbell powered in a header to put the Gunners ahead, is not at the front of people’s minds when recalling the right back.
Hurtling down the right flank, he skipped past one challenge, before overrunning the ball as Puyol came at him. Knowing the attack was lost, down went Eboue, hands and tongue flailing. It looked as though he had thrown himself off a high building, maybe chasing a balloon, considering how the ground seemed to give way beneath his feet. Sure enough, the free kick was awarded, and Arsenal took an unexpected lead. Not that it won the game, mind you, as Gunners fans everywhere will surely remember.
4. Eduardo vs. Celtic, Champions League Qualifier, 2009
The now infamous Eduardo dive against Celtic was one of the most recent, high profile cases of simulation. An inquest into the incident found him initially guilty, and he was banned for two European matches, much to his and his manager, Arsene Wenger’s disgust.
After appeal, the ban was overturned, but this does not take away from the fact that it was a quite blatant dive, and it had a direct impact on ending Celtic’s qualification hopes. Already 2-0 down on aggregate in the tie, Celtic were put to bed after Eduardo charged after a long through ball, touched it past keeper Artur Boruc, and let himself fall over the Celtic man’s outstretched arms. The penalty was dispatched by the Croat, and Celtic’s hopes were all but over.
3. Gareth Bale vs. Aston Villa, Premier League, 2012
As I mentioned previously, the flying Welshman is finding himself in the spotlight for diving far too often for such a talented individual. His ‘fall’ against Aston Villa last year is far too amusing for omission from this list. 50-50’s are a common occurrence in the life of a professional footballer, and as Nani found out against Real Madrid on Tuesday night, you can’t really predict a common outcome.
As Bale and Villa’s Brad Guzan charged towards a loose ball in the Premier League match last year, no one could predict that the sight of the Villa keeper’s leg shaping up to welly the ball away would cause Bale to lose the ability to use his legs. In his defence, Bale was expecting a painful coming together, and possibly an untimely kick to the nether regions. But this does not excuse his obvious and hilarious attempt at conning the officials.
2. Luis Suarez vs. Stoke, Premier League, 2012
Yes, Stoke are a tough, often brutal team to play against. Their tactics sometimes do not extend past roughing up a team’s flair players, and grinding out hard fought, low scoring victories. But to be fair to Tony Pulis’ side, the ‘tackle’ on Luis Suarez in this clip would have roughed him up as much as a bee roughs up a flower.
Finding himself trapped amidst a sea of Stoke players, Suarez loses control of the ball, slips, and then cascades to the floor with a sort of worm dance manoeuvre. Yes, Stoke are tough to dribble through, but Mr Suarez, your dive was not tough to see through.
1. Morten Gamst Pedersen vs. Arsenal, Premier League, 2009
Number one on this list is a truly shocking example of diving from Blackburn’s creative fulcrum. A farcical dive which brought both laughter and anger from fans and pundits everywhere. Finding themselves 2-0 down to Arsenal and in dire need of a goal to get back into it, Blackburn were willing to try everything to grab a goal. But Pedersen took that a step too far as, after chasing a lost cause away from the penalty area, he looked over his shoulder at the advancing Arsenal right back, Sagna, and just crumpled into a self-inflicted heap.
Rising to his haunches in order to protest, the referee waved play on. We can only assume that the angle was in Pedersen’s favour, because had the ref seen it from our point of view, he would have surely have been fighting back a fit of giggles while producing a well-deserved yellow card for the disgraceful Norwegian.
What do you make of this list? Any suggestions for a worse dive that’s not been included? Leave your suggestions below.
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