Home > Football > Diving in football – Less Tom Daley, more Ed Moses please.

Diving in football – Less Tom Daley, more Ed Moses please.


Normally on here i wouldn’t be getting het up on non WHUFC football stuff, but after watching Ashley Young secure a championship for Manchester United, with his second dive in a week, i felt compelled to comment.

I remember football on muddy pitches and when men were men and all that. Would i like to regress to overly tough football? No!. The skill level and speed and all round facilities are light years away from the 70/80’s, and this has be applauded (and paid for !).

But the histrionics that come with the modern game are outrageous. Some years ago (over 20) Jurgen Klinsmann came over to Tottenham from Europe, as one of the greatest strikers in the world. After one season he was tagged as a diver, by a confirmed parochial English press, due to his tenancy to drop to the ground within 2 yards of any opponent. In England this was not acceptable, and known as a “foreign disease” (Bear in mind the “English Disease” at the time was running around Europe fighting with Police and opposition fans”) . This was the first wave of europeans to enter the premier league, and the things they brought with them was not well received. Diving, ref intimidation, pasta, and extra training.

Part one of the European Invasion

Part one of the European Invasion

The years that passed brought more players from foreign shores and made the premier league the best in the world. However, the more diluted it became the more diving became fashionable. From Ronaldo to Di Canio (there i said it), and inbetween, people were dropping like flies. Top flight English players of the like of Owen were happy to go down, and in Owen’s case defend it, and said they would be happy to do it at England level, as well. It was now accepted practice, along with foul throws and shirt pulling.

Now i would estimate about 70% of the premier league are happy to dive, and it is a regular talking point every week. This has to stop, and the only way it can is to punish immediately. Bring in the video evidence for the fourth official. The time it takes to blow up and get people organised is longer than the time taken to review 3 angles of the same incident. If you are guilty you get a yellow. 3 times in 10 for diving / simulation you get a 3 match ban. That will stop it immediately. Remember the elbow business. They mad e raised elbows a sending off offence and after about a month of chais it was eradicated. Well here there will be no chaos, as cheats should be sent off.

While we are blaming Ashley Young, remember he has no personal knowledge of football without simulation, for him it has always been there, and at that level it is accepted practice. He is not the only one , but he is the current poster boy for cheating.

It doesn’t happen on a Sunday morning on Hackney Marshes and it shouldn’t happen on a sky game. One reason it doesn’t happen on in the amateur game, is that the lad would rather run past or around the defender and try and score, therefore taking the chance for some glory. Professional sport is all about winning (rightly) and less these days about real sportmanship (wrongly).

The Tom Daley of English Football

As i watch this game Ashley Young has been subbed off, i assume to hope we forget the incident prior to Fergie’s interview !  I really wonder what Paul Scholes will say to him back in the dressing room ! I imagine nothing, as United won, but I can hope.

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  1. mophead88
    April 15, 2012 at 19:29

    It is really starting to wind me up as well now. Not enough done to applaud players that avoid it as well – Shane Long could have easily taken a ‘fall’ in WBA v QPR game yesterday but opted to remain on his feet and have a chip at goal (which he missed, be partly off balance from defender’s shove).

    • April 16, 2012 at 18:50

      The reason people dont get the credit they deserve is that it’s almost expected in the premiership to go down. You even hear commentators saying, “definite penalty if he HAD of gone down”. I noticed you support swansea? Having experienced most divisions in the last few years, you must of noticed the diving quotient going up with the divisions !
      By the way i enjoyed watching you last year in the championship, and you have been great this year. Real West Ham football !, Sam take note !

      • mophead88
        April 16, 2012 at 19:00

        Agree mate! Fortunately, We have not suffered at the hands of too many divers this season, but there is definitely more of it going on in the Premiership.
        Swans have been a joy to watch last 5 years – maybe we’ll see you in the Premiership again next season. Saints loss to Reading may have shaken them up.

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