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Crying Wolf

One thing I haven't seen discussed about the Villa game is Bale's obvious, not to say embarassing, dive.

Trying to argue diving is only wrong when the other teams do it is a bit too hypocritical for me, as far as I'm concerned he should have been punished. This isn't the first time Bale has hit the deck without being touched and ultimately I think it will cost the club. You only have to look at Suarez's situation - his reputation for diving is such that the referees main concern is not being conned.

Consequently he is most unlikely to ever get a legitimate penalty and this has already cost Liverpool this season. It seems to me Bale is going down the same road, there will come a point where referees stop giving him penalties almost regardless of the foul because of his reputation as a diver. AVB needs to take him to one side and make it clear going down when you haven't been touch! ed is just not acceptable.

Written by jod

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The journalist

Writer: jod Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 9 2012

Time: 1:40PM

Your Comments

Err we were discussing it much of yesterday in the vs villa thread. Also off topic forum re Saurez.

SECOND dive from him this season isn't it?

In these situations, I would like to hear what these players have to see. Just want to hear their defense, if they have one. I saw Suarez dive yesterday, it was just laughable. As for Bale I feel so let down. Such a skill full player and this is the last thing I expect from such players. Single reason why dont buy his shirts.

Yea he's taking this Ronaldo imitation thing too far with the diving. Would rather he just copied the 50 goals a season bit.

there is nothing i hate more in the game than diving. It's cowardly, dis-honest and shows no respect for yourself, the oppostion, the fans and the game of football in general. It needs to be addressed and players need to be severely punished when it is clear that they have dived. It is blatent cheating!!!

Bale is interesting because he has changed his approach. When he broke into the game he used to ride tackles he should have gone to turf for. Then that mug Charlie Adam broke his leg and he started jumping out of them and going straight over. I think Adam should serve any suspensions he gets for diving and have to pay his fines. There sorted.

It is me, or is Bale trying to act more Spanish in order to ready himself for a move to Spain? He definitely is diving more, and he appeals for absolutely everything with a Welsh-stroke-Latin gesture... He is auditioning for Spanish Idol...

Agree Spurdon. It's difficult to imagine what it's like to go out every week with the opposition taking turns to try and cripple you. Jumping clear of a wreckless sliding tackle to avoid injury probably becomes second nature. I'd like to think that Sunday's was a jump/trip rather than an intentional dive and to give him credit, he didn't appeal for the foul, but it was embarassing! I think on balance I'd prefer him to carry on rather than risk serious injury, but he needs to improve his timing!

I think that is what he did on this one Spurdon... expected contact so got his feet off the floor and it never came... made him look like a bit of a mug but despite hating diving i'd rather see him get the hell out of the way and not get injured. The pace he's running at and the slightest touch is enough to make him hit the deck as he is tall so doesn't have a low centre of gravity like a player like Lennon... I suppose Ronaldo would fall into the same category though i've watched him play a bit recently and seems to be quite honest in his play now, as you rightly say i suppose if you're scoring 50 goals a season why wouldn't you be!

This was also the worst sort of dive... It was one to try to get the keeper sent off. Thus ruining the game as a spectacle. The thing I did not like was that he stayed down. I would have more credit for him if he got up straight away - because he felt no contact. Guzan did well by "drawing the dive" and retracting his leg. Bale needs to watch out because he may find defenders doing the same trick. I did notice that much much much more is made of the Suarez incident.... But then again, Suarez has a long varied history of cheating...

I know that his prior responses have been that he goes to ground to avoid the challenge and possible injury but in this case he could have quit easily have jumped over the expected challenge. That being said, at least he did ot jump up will his arms flailing like Basil Fawlty looking for the foul.
I agree with jod, he needs to be told enough is enough or the whole team faces repurcusions in the form of blown calls by the refs.

Cheating is cheating, irrespective of whether you're a first time offended or repeated offender there is no place in the game for cheating. Divers frustrate me the most but I also hate to see players waving the imaginary yellow/red card. Why the game cannot be reviewed afterwards and bans/fines applied for cheats like an incident where the officials have missed such as serious foul play. As soon as there is a deterrent the number of incidents will decrease...Simple!!

Bloody foreigners!!

i was the first to criticise him for it during the match and I am really all for retrospective action, however, i have watched the clip a few times now and i have to say I think that there was more than an degree of his trying to avoid the collision rather than just feigning. Bale is targeted immensely in games and because he tends to be going at an unreal pace when he is taken out it is much more likely to cause longer term injuries, which he has already experienced. He has spoken about the need to avoid impact in interviews and i think that when you watch it at real speed that is what is going through his mind. he didn't jump up and demand the keeper be sent off or even really claim the foul. he does dive sometimes for sure and i hate it, but he also just gets out the way too sometimes and that also involves going to ground. i have never seen Bale apply mid-air contortions a la suarez though, nor does he make such a theatrical song and dance demanding cards etc. it is an unfortunate trend to be sure and one I hope he reverses soon, but to be fair on the lad, he is a long way from the histrionics of suarez

SanchezSpur I totally agree, no one has the right to tell you to stand there and get bones broken by players not fit to lace your boots. ParkLane67 it didn't look good though did it as you say much better timing needed.

All this talk of going to ground to stop injury is bollox. He dived, he dives, he'll dive again. The dive yesterday was bang out of order as it could have seen their goalie sent off and i see no other reason for him to have done it. When i see the likes of Suarez do it i want them punished for it so i have to keep the same opinion for Bale. The punishment should be equal to what the punishment would have been for the player they are trying to get a card. If he'd conned the ref yesterday the goalie would have seen red so i think it's fair that the diver gets red. Harsh? maybe, but it would stop it. Managers would sure as hell tell their players to stop doing it for fear of going down to ten men. It would help towards protecting players such as Bale when they get the type of tackles they get from the likes of Adam as Ref's would have it easier.

For those arguing he was trying to avoid a collision, just think about it. If he stays on his feet then either the goalkeeper fouls him and gets sent off or Bale has the ball and the keeper is stranded miles from goal. Football is meant to be a contact sport, diving to avoid imaginaryy tackles is not meant to be part of the game.

It did look bad and the excuse of expecting to be hit doesn't stand up either. Excuse pun. The great George Best was clattered regularly by licenced thugs masquarading as footballers but rarely went down. He could ride those wild tackles like a surf-boarder. Gareth should watch some of his videos and learn to anticipate the hit and go with it.
Love totty

Carroll did virtually the same thing against Newcastle and got a yellow for it. If that was another teams player you'd all be saying he's a Suarez. It's double standards. I'm all for protecting your own but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and se what's in front of you. The boy's one hell of a player and he gets kicked a lot game after game but the fact remains, he dives.

I agree with earlier posts, it will end up hurting him and us. Ref's watch that kind of thing and make note of it. There'll come a time where he is fouled, in the box, but won't get anything for it because there will be doubt.

The ref gave nothing, so I thought that according to dump FA "rules" they can still punish Bale for it..... And they should. However, I have now learnt that the same dumb FA "rules" mean that they cannot punish him because the ref saw it and chose not to punish anyone. The is why Huth's stamp CANNOT be punished. The ref saw the APPALLING stamp (that left stud marks!) and chose not to punish him. Case closed.

@Love Totty, Best gave as good as he got, just ask Glyn Pardoe amongst many others. Best was an exceptional footballer but he could be just as big a thug as many others from his era.

Jod, I agree he had nothing to lose there by trying to stay on his feet. Was just a heavy touch that went out of play, but had he flicked it passed Guzan then he has a run on goal from a wide area to make a chance. He needed to be a bit braver. Not sure he deserved a card as was expecting the tackle that didn't come. Sometimes it is not a foul, but also not a card. He just looked a dick at the time. He will be suitably embarrassed I am sure.

How care u compare the piece of trash that is Saurez to Bale? Diving, fouls bad linesman calls are all part of the game. It's been here since before we were born and the greatest names in the game have cheated. Maradonna, Henry, Ronaldo are some of the biggest names to have cheated their way to glory. How about we let the corrupt refs or the farce of an FA deal with it?

@Mix, because both have cheated, I would've thought that was obvious. ps shouldn't the title of the article be Crying Chimp?

Aaah Bluedub take a walk down the tunnel u beginning to make the air stink around here....

Mix26 - you would not like it if Walcott did the same to Lloris and causing Lloris to get sent off... unless it was England vs France as opposed to Spurs vs Arsenal! That is exactly the point. We would rather that NO ONE did this. Let's start by cleaning up our own club. One reason to be proud to be a Spurs fan is that our team is NEVER dirty. Other teams may cheat, but we do not. We are usually high up in the fair play league. Yes people push the envelope, but Bale was pushing far too much there. Trying to get someone sent off is plain wrong - UNLESS they deserve it - which Guzan clearly did not. There IS no game if it is not played with an acceptable level of fairness.

There is no excuse for this. It needs to be dealt with by the club as there is no will at the League level. AVB should tell him straight out, next dive, you're off. I'd have pulled him straight away the other day. Not onlt was it embarrassing (and don't tell me that dive was to avoid potential injury) it could have seen the keeper shown red and then what? This is cheating, pure and simple. When Zokora did it, he was lamabested (rightly) on all of the Spurs forums I read. Bale should receive no better treatment. He doesn't need to do that. Unacceptable.

It is also time for the league to retroactively suspend players. Suspend Bale and other divers 2 games. Make it stick. Make teams pay for it. Force officials to make the call on the pitch. When not a 50-50 or a ball first situation, there needs to be a card. Someone is getting it. Bale poked the ball by butt the keeper never even touched him, or got close to touching him. Kagawa was going down long before any contact with Dembele, which he initiated in his fall. These acts cannot be tolerated.

I didn't see much of the post game press conferences - was AVB asked about it? The players, teams, league all need to be accountable. COYS

It doesn't matter who you are, cheating diminishes you as a player, and a person. Did Pele cheat? Did Bobby Charlton? Tom Finney? Jimmy Greaves? Stan Matthews? Bobby Moore? Eusabio? Puskas? There are NO mitigating circumstances or weasel worded excuses. Perhaps our greatest Welsh winger ever might take his modern counterpart to one side, and tell him how disgusted he is by his antics?

Avoiding the impact is a complete red herring. He could just as easily have jumped up to avoid the impact but he chose to go to ground in a spectacular fashion. I expect better. COYS

Guernman, Ronaldo has always, IMO, taken more shots than most and continues to do so. He is fouled game in and game out. Some quite blatant, but he does not go to ground in the fashion Bale does. It's embarrassing and often with no contact at all. I hate the way Hazard plays the foul rather than playing the game, but at least he waits for the contact to go down. Suspend the lot of those who cheat. I really wish there were an official who could look at plays as they happened and get the calls right. Whether goals, dives etc. Blatant dive should be a straight red. COYS

Wishful thinking LJ, it's endemic in the game atm which is a shame.

Bale needs to man the fack up, challenges are part and parcel of the game. I recall an interview of his where he saying he doesnt dive but gets out of the way of challenge to avoid injury. I can understand that to an extent, but had he carried on with the momentum on sunday he either would have come away with the ball with a free goal to aim at or the keeper would have a chopped him down and seen red early in the game. He needs to grow a pair and take one for the team at times and stop being a pu55y COYMFS!!! BTW Scotland with Charlie Adams vs Wales this week...lets hope bale gets a mystery illness and withdraws from the squad cant be having him miss the Chavski game cos of that ugly thug

Too true Tony hence the frustration at comparing any of our players to such scum as Ballotelli for example... I'm not by any means condoning what Bale did but in any sport u have to push the boundaries of the rules. Look at Holt for example, he is an annoying cf who gets away with sooo many silly little challenges that merit a foul but the ref does nothing??? If Bale dived in the fa cup final and we won on that goal then who will complain? Perhaps we deserve to receive a little luck rather stick for once.

Too many misdemeanours such as diving, swearing, shirt pulling etc go unpunished because the game would end up five-a-side if yellow cards were shown. I floated the idea recently that players should get black marks which don't get them sent off but accumulate into league points deduction for the team. That would soon sort it.
Love totty

I can't believe some one said in effect "they never managed to cripple George best so he should not go down" Well lucky old George! Bale has had a bone broken and is obviously nervous of the contact. Yes he needs to cut out the theatrics but I stand by he has the right to try and avoid perceived danger.

Tony Pulis was spot on when he said players diving makes refs jobs 10 times harder. We all blast a ref for getting a wrong call but it has to work both ways. If a player is trying to con an official surley that increases the chances of a ref making a bad call. Players should respect officiating. Its hard enough to call every incident right let alone trying to deal with simulation.
spurfect one

Can we please stop bringing up Pulis like he's some kind of ******** "God of Fair Play". The man is as crooked as anyone out there, his teams don't even play football.

Spurdon - I can't believe that someone could use "speech marks" to signify a quote and then say something completely different. LOL
Love totty

Crissyboy. I only agreed on one certain opinion of his. Does it mean i think he is "the God of Fair Play"? Hell no
spurfect one

No Crissybwoy it's not wishful thinking. Everything I said was not wish fulfilment, it was stating the bleeding obvious. If you cheat, you are less of a player and a person. Those I listed did not cheat. They were the greats of the game. For those who have cheated, including Maradona, they cannot be up there with the best. And whether or not it is commonplace is irrelevant. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the individual to decide not to cheat, and have the morals to abide by that code. Managers who acquiesce or turn a blind eye, defend or even encourage such behaviour are complicit, which in turn tarnishes their achievements. When all is said and done, when you are remembered after you've stopped playing, do you want that caveat "....yeah, but he was a cheating diving ****", no matter how many medals you pick up?

spurfect, wasn't having a dig mate, just he's been mentioned a few times on here the last couple of days by various people. I respect the fact that he spoke out about it, but on the same token it's laughable coming from him. He didn't mention Huth stamping on Suarez, maybe he didn't see it like our friend 'specsavers' in the dugout down the road at the scum.

LJ, it's wishful thinking with regards to the fact that there isn't going to be a solution to it anytime soon, there should be, but there won't be. The clever players will still dive just like they always have, if there's contact it's hard to tell how much contact warrants going to ground. Some players find diving totally acceptable, that's where the "win at all costs" mentality has taken it too far imo.

Yeah, Spurdon, lets have two types of football. One for those who abide by the laws and accept it is a contact sport, and one for the mystic meg community who wish to 'anticipate' challenges by giving it the full dead parrot impersonation to 'avoid perceived danger'. Oooh, euphemism overload.

There seems to be a key point missed here, usually when Bale goes down under a foul he puts his arm up and claims a foul, against Villa he didn't he simply laughed it off, I think he was expecting contact and went down to prevent injury, it never happened and he laughed it off.

I hope if I am right that Refs are made aware of the fact that he might choose to go down and recognize the difference between a claim for a foul and an escape.

We can't call anyone for cheating when in Bale we have a major culprit. I know that when you are going at the speed he usually does, it is wise to try and vault tackles, to prevent injury as often the challenges are late. That is one aspect but it doesn't excuse the blatant diving that he is guilty of from time to time. AVB needs to have a serious word as it can come back to bite you as Suarez is now finding out. It does neither Bale or the club any credit, and must stop.

"dead parrot impersonation" lol

Bale didn't dive to get a player booked or sent off though, he got out the way. Yes it is splitting hairs a little, but there is a difference, he wasn't trying to gain an advantage. He had a 6'4" player running full-tilt at him.

Crissybwoy-Without labouring the point, do we regard these players who dive as 'clever'? Sure, in the short term they gain an advantage, but ultimately they have been shown up to be cheats.

I agree though, Bale is taking the "avoid contact" thing to the extremes. This is a contact sport, a sport that has been watered down in favour of the attacking player, from previous decades. You don't see leg breaking tackles every week anymore.

Mix, I cannot agree with you on that one. It's cheating plain and simple and it should not be condoned for our players or any other players. To do as you suggest takes any complaining away from Spurs and will mean that when you play Chelsea, ManU or any of the other habitual diving teams, you may as well expect that you are going to get shafted every time. Eradicate it for all. We have the technology. All that is missing is the will to do so. It has gotten so bad that players who try to avoid tackles and jump out of the way and wind up going down as a result of the contact are getting carded for simulation. At no point were they simulating, yet they got a card because there is no longer any benefit of the doubt. I remeber Michael Owen slipping about 5 years ago in the box. He jumped up immediately and gestured to the official that there was no penalty. The official still gave the penalty. Even honesty is not enough.

Anyway, Villa took care of Bale later in the game. That shot he took at midfield where his feet were pushed out from under him when he went up for a header was retribution. Watch how the contact goes right through his upper legs undetected by the official. He's lucky he did not have his ankle done. COYS

We don't LJ, the players regard themselves as clever if they manage to gain an advantage. Remember Suarez handball V Ghana, disgusting play, yet in his home country he's feted for that moment, when he should actually be fetid.

Crissy, sorry was not aware of the previous comments you mentioned. I agree he is a hypocrite with the way stoke play.

As for bale hes diving is getting embarrassing. I watch suarez and cringe, hope it never gets to that stage with bale

spurfect one

stu_u2k- That's priceless. Next time Bale goes down perhaps the man in black might ask whether that was for real or pre-emptive 'escape', and check whether he's laughing it off? Might actually be simpler if he wasn't such a diving cheating tw*t, and giving himself and the club a bad name, as his shameful antics on Sunday showed. And, someone from the club, management or otherwise should issue a statement deploring this sort of thing. The silence is depressingly predictable.

Disgusting? I'd have done what Suarez done if I was playing for England. I didnt see it as cheating, he wasnt trying to deceive anyone. Its something LOADS of players have done, remember Robbie Keane getting sent off for it against Bolton, only difference is the timing and that its a knock out competition. Thought people blew that 1 out of proportion due to Ghana being the last African representative in the tournament.

The two recent innovations that have crept into the game in order to cheat, that I personally find most annoying, and frustrating, are diving and shirt tugging, and I think both are being encouraged by the fact that they are largely ignored by referees. Diving is simulation therefore ungentlemanly conduct, and should be punished by a yellow card, or as some suggest a red card, whether seen during the game or by video evidence later. Shirt tugging is becoming blatant often right in front of the referee, and is largely ignored, again it is cheating and should be penalised. Until players start to suffer suspensions and missing games for either offence, it will continue largely with the consent of clubs as well. Rodger's attempt at defending Suarez's comedy dive v Stoke was a disgrace. Clubs nd managers have to admit the problem and stamp it out. We jump on overly physical tackles even when the player wins the ball nowadays, yet we tolerate these divas diving asround.

Crissybwoy, he did not need to throw himself to ground the way he did. Simply getting up in the air would have prevented any of the planted foot contact from occurring. Players manage to do it in rugby, hockey, basketball and some do it in football. The way he did it was to create a doubt in the mind of the official. He did not go and apologize to Guzan nor did he let the ref know he was just avoiding the contact. It looked really bad for a split second. If I were really worried about an injury, I would have just left the ball and not gone to every length to toepoke the ball past him before going down in a heap. Please don't justify what he did. It just enables them. COYS

Crissy, there is a huge difference between Suarez's handball against Ghana. he knew what he was doing. Did nothing to hide it. Knew what the punishment was and made a calculated choice to handle the ball and take away the scoring chance. I have no issue with what Suarez did in that game and would expect any player to do the same if there was no way to stop the shot legally. It was a goal but for the handball. He knew there would be a PK and knew he was going to the showers and would be missing the next game. He made a choice and as I mentioned, did nothing to hide it. Like hauling down a player on a breakaway in hockey, you know what the result will be. Every foul is against the rules. Some have stiffer consequences. Deliberate hand ball is a red card. Shame Nani did not get one when Gomes had the "advantage". COYS

So Bale getting out the way of maybe getting battered is cheating, but a deliberate handball on the goal-line in the last minute that prevented a winning goal isn't? Interesting perspective you have there Guyver, I guess my finger isn't on the pulse of what's acceptable and what isn't. At the very least it's incredibly poor sportsmanship, what's the difference?

Frank, if players wanted shirt-tugging to be eradicated they could do so just as it was done in rugby. Make the shirts so tight that you really could not grab it unless the player was stationary. I rarely had my shirt grabbed in rugby unless it was a collar or in the scrum. Very rare. Under Armour makes some fabulous skin-tight products that are warm and weather resistant. In fact, it's ironic that the gear they wear under their kits is essentially ungrabbable during open play. COYS

peterb, I'd never try to justify any kind of dive, it's not what I want to see from any Spurs player ever, I'm just putting the other side of the debate across, standard. My point was that he wasn't necessarily trying to gain an advantage. It was less shameful than when Zokora won a penalty for his swan-dive, THAT was gaining an advantage. The alternative is that Bale takes every tackle like a man, and then I look forward to the 10 games a year we can watch him when he isn't on crutches.

Crissy, all fouls are unsporting. Some fouls are cheating. A mis-timed tackle is cheating and is dangerous play, but there is no intent. Suarez did what he meant to do and did nothing to deceive anyone about what had happened. He was sent off for deliberately handling the ball. An offense that is clearly outlined in the rules. He didn't cheat. COYS

Crissy, there should be no difference of opinion here. He took a dive. Unacceptable. The only difference here was that the official did not "buy" the dive unlike when Zokora did it. Had the ref bought it, it would have been a sending off for the keeper. Both acts are equally shameful. Zokora never did it again in a Spurs kit. Bale continues to do it, to the point where no official believes him. It is more shameful, IMO, because Bale has not stopped it and the coaches have not seen to it that it does not occur again. COYS

Above I meant to say that a mis-timed tackle is against the rules and is dangerous play, but there is no intent. COYS

Ok fair enough Suarez didn't cheat, but the point stands, I don't want to see that sort of play from any of our players either. You can't say some odious parts of the game are more or less acceptable than others, either it's all bad and un-sportsmanlike or it isn't, there's no grey areas for me.

Fair comment Peterballb, perhaps the governing bodies should be looking at that. I think it is their responsibility rather than the players. Having said that it still baffles me that a referee can fail to see a shirt being pulled off the back of a player right under their nose, and fail to penalise it, especially as it is common at corners and should therefore result in a penalty. If teams started to concede penalties, and lose games, then managers would see that it stopped.

Yep, shirt pulling is another one that has become a regular part of the game too. Some examples iv'e seen of it recently have been unbelievable, right under the ref's nose. There was one in the Newcastle - Utd game that the ref was looking right at and did nothing. If a player is running down the wing and the defender chasing him grabs hold of his shirt the ref will blow up for it but at corners and free kicks it's acceptable? The longer they go on unpunished the more it becomes "just part of the game"

Crissybwoy, difference is, diving is rightfully seen as cheating, anywhere, any time. Its trying to fool the referee, get another player carded/sent off, win a penalty that should not have been given. Its just cheating. Intentional handball on the line is done all the time and nobody says anything about it, you can't suddenly call it cheating just because its the final minute of a game. He receives his red, a penalty is given. He broke the rules and paid the price. Not too dissimilar to being the last man and pulling down an attacker who is through on goal, in the last minute. You can call it poor sportsmanship, but its just not on the same level as conning the ref. If I genuinely thought Bale was trying to avoid the perceived incoming tackle, id agree with you, but I don't, im obviously talking about diving here.

No time for divers unless they are submerged in water!

wasted my time posting that, should have simply typed well said Peter!

Frank - the problem is that no referee is going to dish out red and yellow cards for these "minor" misdemeanours. They'd be off the list in no time for ruining the "product". Players know they will ususally get warnings so everyone can can have at least one cheating moment if it's not too blatant. We need a new punishment regime to tackle this.
Love totty

"Bloody foreigners!!" wrote Bluedub.

Yes, we know the lad is Welsh, but that's not all that foreign.

But seriously, Bale dives just enough that he's apt not to get the legitimate calls by the officials against the opposition when they hack him. That's a heavy price to pay. The more he dives, the safer it becomes for others to hack him violently. For his own health, stop the diving, Gareth!

Total knobhead

TK, exactly right, so not only Bale suffers but the team. It's up to AVB to bollock him and stop it. In the end we will be worse off if he continues.

Frank doing his best to label our team and players as usual... Peter my point is that players will always bend the rules! Name me a sport that has nothing of the above? I love how posters that have NEVER even played football call our players cheaters for tugging shirts or going down in the tackle easy. Climb off your high horse ffs! The ref is there for a reason and meant to ref a fair game. If a player breaks the law and gets caught then suffer the aftermath.

Crissy, IMO, everything Suarez did in that instant was for the team. I would applaud any Spurs player for making such a decision if it was the only option. It is poor sportsmanship and I would be loathe to teach my sons to do any such thing. But they are not professional players. There are a lot of things about Suarez I don't like, but his act against Ghana is not one with which I can find fault. I'd have done the same and lived with the goat horns if it came with it. COYS

Frank, too many instances of shirt pulling are 50-50's. The one with BAE a few weeks back, both players had a handful of shirt. I believe they have to go the way of the NHL on this one. They need an official on each goal line and they need a second official on the pitch. Call it all. The players will stop. I also think officials have to stop being so weak. When both players have a handful of shirt, show each of them a yellow. Yes, players will get sent off. Games will be affected. The players will take time to learn. Some will never. But in the end, cheating will be lessened, the jobs of the officials will become easier and they will have the backing especially if the league reviews the films and suspends players retroactively. The official on the pitch can't get it all right. Two will get more right than one. I remember when the NHL went down that road. Prognostications galore about what a mess the game would become with all the stoppages. The game is faster than ever and the number of penalties has not changed much. There is no extra-curricular activity behind the play any longer as it no longer is undetected. Video replay was the same. Oh what a mess it will become. Stoppages every 20 seconds. Ask any ref. They all love it. The call is almost always right. It also makes officiating bias and corruption almost impossible as the officials are always working with other guys. If they brought a second official, goal line officials and stop time, the levels of perceived unfairness would be reduced dramatically and the game would be better for it. COYS

Lets be honest as a Villa fan all players at some point dive or over exgerate tackles etc, we had it for years with ASH YOUNG he dived better than tom daley, its nothing really but funny imo it makes me laugh when i see managers like Pulis wanting players banned for diving Stoke are the dirtiest team to play they kick severn lumps out of teams but he says nothing about that?

Mix, absolutely. I have no issue with bending the rules. Trying to beat an offside trap. Interfere with a player's path to the ball. Pull the ball back from the other side of the line. Play a ball that you know went out. These are all questions of playing to the whistle and officiating competency. If the officials are competent, the correct decision is made. When you introduce diving or simulation in to the mix it is a completely different dynamic. The official, if they call what they see, will potentially be making the incorrect call. Not for lack of positioning, ability, training, experience, but because the player has chosen with his actions to make the official believe he has seen something that did not occur. This makes calling the game competently, impossible. It is unfair for the player to put the official in that position. It's cheating and is, IMO, repugnant. Diving is cheating. Going down easy under contact is a whole other thing and gets in to the realm of pushing the rules. Intent cannot be determined. That Bale and Kagawa dove, there can be no doubt. The replays are there. COYS

TK, that has already happened. Last season there were at least 2 absolutely dead on penalties that we did not get because it was Bale. In fact, the histrionics every time Defoe, Keane, Bale and others would go down was, IMO, why we tended to get the short end of the stick. Play with honour and shut it. It's one of the reasons I have always liked Hudd. He just always gets on with it. He'll pull guys down and do so with some vigour. Whether he gets a card or not, there he is ready for the ball to be put back in play. Doesn't show up the officials. Has a mean streak in him, but all in all, plays the way I wish the rest of the team did. Don't dive. Don't go to ground easy. Don't yap at the officials. Do all that and within a few years we'll get all the legitimate calls and will get the benefit of the doubt on others. It has to be earned. COYS

So it's ok to have dubious morals in some instances, but not in others. I'm glad we cleared-up the hypocrisy of it all lol.

Crissy, I fail to see where there is a question of morals. Like speeding in a car, it's an offense. You are breaking the rules. You know if you get caught you will have to deal with it. Speeding to get your wife to the hospital in time for the birth of your child is still speeding but there is no malice in thought unlike when you tell your wife to fake being sick so that hopefully the cop lets you go. Huge difference. There is no morality issue with knowingly breaking a rule for justifiable reasons. Lying to get away with something brings morality in to question. Lying to get someone else in to trouble is even worse. COYS

Mix- Yeah that's right. All players should look to cheat and it is up to the hapless officials to spot it. Like in life, we are all criminals really, and Plod has to prove it, otherwise we all get away with it. Anyone who says otherwise has never done over a place in their lives, so ain't fit to comment. By the way, thanks for putting your moniker and IQ all in the same handy reference point.

Mix 26, I'll name 2 sports in which players do not bend the rules, one is snooker when even in top class championship games it is not unknown for players to call fouls on themselves, when missed by the referee. The other game is golf which is renowned for sportsmanship and fair play. Alright neither are in any way similar to football but disprove the generalisation. Football would do well to learn from rugby of both codes, where the strength of the officials, and the respect shown them by the players, makes a brutal game manageable and maintains standards of sportsmanship. Incidently I don't agree that it is wrong to crticise the actions of a player trying to cheat, just because he happens to play for us. That is simply hypocritical.

Can I just point out that Bales dive was from the first TV angle a nailed on Red card for Guzan. Yes the opposite angle showed here was mor then three feet between them but a little credit should go to Bale for the artistry of the dive itself. He should then be dragged out on to our state of the art training pitch and beaten with balls of his own sh1.t for the shamless dive he took. If he lifted hi leg out of the contact area because he feared a kick coming (as some are suggesting) then w have an even bigger problem then him diving - he is frightened on the pitch and is placing personal safety over the good of the team. Either way I'm not happy but can somone clarify for me, did he appeal to the ref afterward? On a side note I thought UEFA brought in a rule a few years back that players brandishing imaginary yellow or red cards (ala Guzan) should be booked immediately??
Slurms McKenzie

Frank-You are, thankfully, the voice of the majority. I only hope Cliff Jones gives him an earful. Shameful. I used to bang on about Bale when he wasn't in the team, and now, I couldn't care less if he left. Sacrilege for some, but he can eff off as far as I'm concerned.

Slurms, you are correct. Asking for a yellow in any public fashion should merit a yellow. Once again, if the officials would apply the rule, there would be few issues. Like taking a shirt off to celebrate a goal. Players still do it on the odd occasion. They think it through and decide to take the yellow. I have never understood all the Mia Hamm celebrating that goes on. I was always taught to act like I had been there before. In fact, I remember the first time I scored a tri, touched the ball down and left it there. Ran to midfield and awaited the kick. It was only when my teammates came and jumped on me that I realized, I just scored a tri. Being a prop, it's not often you get the ball in a position where you can run, make a couple of moves and get the ball over the line. Frankly, I just wanted a rest.

Punish divers uniformly and consistently and it will be largely eliminated. The system just needs the will to do it and a few more eyes to make certain it is done. COYS

If Bale so obviously dived, then why wasn't he booked? Someone wasn't doing their job properly. CLEARLY the ref didn't see that particular incident as a dive.

"Your honesty will get you punished with nothing???" The only punishment the honest get Big C?... Is to be able to hold your head up around your kids and sleep well at night.....Please tell me you don't coach any kids teams ok?


I don't think bale is as bad as some other players at all. But if he brings theatrics to the table then so will the refs. Hes young but he still needs to focus on other parts of his game, it could be another massive season for him so i hope he keeps his head in the game and gets us many more goals.

to be fair to bale he didn't appeal...

Lol Frank u almost had me with golf and snooker however we both know that officials cannot official a match on each individual player in the tournament. Rugby?? Yes there is respect for the ref but my word u have just confirmed my thoughts that you like LJ have never even played the sport! Rugby players always push the rules and always test the ref! In fact Richie McCall made a career out of it ffs! Frank you find any reason to be critical of our players, club and management so don't pretend to be something u not. Bale may have dived yet the official A) did not see him B) The media have said nothing C) Bale is not a phucking diver ffs!

Slurmz - I think you're beeing to harsh on Bale. Yes - he dives - but he doesn't appeal every time he goes to the ground. To me that makes a big difference compared to the likes of Suarez (I still remember him lying on the ground two minutes into a match counting on his fingers to the ref how many times he'd been fouled) and Young. If I have to choose between Bale being sidelined for months after taking a bad tackle or jumping out of the way to avoid one - I'll go for the latter - any day of the week.

only self protection, he didn't appeal for anything in that particular case. That's fine. a bit sympathy for Suarez's case as well. He was touched before that laughable falling over...

Funny how you will never see threads about Lennon or Dembele diving... something to think about there. Bale's building up a solid portfolio of dive's, won't be long before he reaches Robert Pires status if he carries on.

Anyone who thinks Bale is not a cheat is in denial. This guy has bags of talent but frustrates the hell out of me, not only with his diving but also with his rolling around in agony scene when he does get tackled, only to be running around a minute later with no sign of the injury. I think it was Frank who mentioned "simulation". Whether that is diving or playacting or waving the imaginary card all should be punished with a minimum of a 1 game ban. The injury one is the most difficult to prove right or wrong, this is where video refereeing needs to assist. If a player gets whacked on the leg and rolls around holding his face "aka Rivaldo or Drogba's sly little look up only to be caught on camera" get them off the pitch!! Unfortunately shirt pulling would result in just GK vs GK at the end of a match, still need to be addressed but in a different manner one would suggest.

Well well welll...

Bale is still young and hopefully he will learn the right way to play the game. When we critisise the foriegn players for bringing it to our game I think we're wrong, a player has a choice in how he plays the game. Also one of the most genuine/honest players in the PL is Aguero and he's Argentinian!! Look at the goal that won the PL last season. He could easily have gone down & was clearly fouled, but he stayed up and got what he deserved!! Lets hope Gareth has look at himself because he could be one of the best we've ever seen or just be labelled a cheat!! I know Spurs fans want him to stay on his feet and win us games!!!

The problem is two fold. Firstly Bale is a player of outstanding talent and ability and is selling himself short, and secondly if he gets his "card marked" by refs, we may get even less off them than we currently do, it will at least give them an excuse to rob us. It is a gift to Webb and Clattenburg and Co. if indeed they need one.

Bale supposedly carrying a knock.

Mind you he could be faking it

Well, he dived again against Scotland, got a penalty and scored. Footballers dive, get over it.

I think what he is doing now is anticipating contacting and throws himself out of the way. If contact is made then he gets the free kick and the contact is not as bad because he has already thrown himself. However, if he waits for contact the contact is harder and it could injure him. However, through anticipation the problem is like we have seen if it does't come he looks like an idiot. Difficult one because we don't know his motive. Is it to limit the contact or is it to win a free kick or penalty?

Cut out the theatrics tonight mostly


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