Date: 21st April 2011 at 3:07am
Written by:
Nani somersault

Sometimes he take his diving to a ridiculous level

The issue of diving in football has again reared it’s ugly head following the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United, with managers of both teams either accusing their opponents or defending their own players.

In the spotlight are 3 players – Nani, a gifted player known for sometimes going down to easily, Hernandez, who looks like and honest and hard working professional, and finally Peter Lovenkrands, who fell after a challenge from Anderson on the edge of the box, but was given neither a penalty nor a booking, the latter of which Hernandez DID receive in injury time.

Looking at the 3 incidents separately you would have thought that out of the 3 it would be Nani who received a yellow card after falling in the area when there was obviously no contact. A talking to by match official Lee Probert sufficed, and the match continued. In the 58th minute Lovenkrands fell after what I saw a SLIGHT touch from Anderson, but the manner in which Lovenkrands fell, the full repertoire of twisting the body, screaming, sprawling on the floor and finally shouting at the ref was no help to the player.

Finally, with time running out and United looking for a winner, Hernandez fell in the box after an even slighter touch from Danny Simpson. Again, the fall did Hernandez no favours, as he landed on both feet, and the fell to the floor. This time though the player didn’t call for a penalty, he was in the process of shielding the ball and getting back to his feet when the referee blew up and booked Hernandez for “simulation”. And this is where the problem lies.

With the game becoming faster paced with every season it is getting harder for the officials for judge the play. Hernandez didn’t deserve a booking, even if he did hit the ground, as he tried to play on. But if Chico is booked, then why wasn’t Nani or Lovenkrands? Nani was looking for a penalty, and if Lovenkrands wasn’t fouled, and Anderson didn’t get the ball, surely by the same logic Lovenkrands should also have been booked?

For those that have played competitive football they will know it is actually possible to “anticipate” a foul, maybe not to the level that Rafa Benitez claimed David Ngog “anticipated” a challenge from Lee Carsley at Anfield, by leaping a full foot over at Carsley’s leg and then somehow landing as if his legs had been viciously taken from under him, but to the level whereas fast feet and a crowded penalty box can result in a penalty.

What the league needs is for incidents to be looked at the next day by a panel, and bans/fines given in retrospect. I know this would mean a possible ban for Nani under these rules, but it would also mean Hernandez being cleared of any wrong doing. Any diving then would soon stop for fear of bans, and managers, in their post match interviews, could concentrate more on their teams performance and short comings instead of one incident.

This could now run and run, with Ferguson and Pardew having completely opposite opinions on the 2 main penalty area incidents, both defending their players, but bizarrely both managers praising the referee. And who says there is no respect for the officials!



10 responses to “Chicharito, Nani And The Issue Of Diving”

  1. Scott says:

    I will never understand why players like Nani belittle themselves by diving. They have plenty of talent as it is, but they would be more respected if they would just stay on their feet after they anticipate a challenge coming.

    As a fan I find it quiet embarrassing when I see the players performing these “spectacular” dives.

    I agree with the opinion that if some kind of post match tribunal was introduced where players would be banned for any incidents like this, and if a goal was scored have it retracted, that it would stop these incidents. Repeat offenders banned forever?

  2. Chariie says:

    I am toon supporter lets get that out of the way as I see the same bias in my views as you do in yours. I think a big problem was the Refs inconsistency but I think he saw Chicas foul it as a cynical ploy to win a last second penalty which is why he was booked and others were not.

    Nanis was a clear dive ad he should have been booked. But it was that early on and the game had been that good, a talking too sufficed.

    I think your bias is showing regarding Mclovens incident. He was clearly fouled in the box but did not twist and shout he just went down. The Ref was right there and had a great view and he instantly waved it away and it was this that made Mcloven shout out as he felt aggrieved and rightly so. He did not call for it but he did expect it to be given. I think it was not given because it was a light touch, he was on the very edge of the box and he was heading slightly away from the goal.

    Chica is a skillful player and I think he has every right to protect his ankles. I was 50/50 for a penalty as there was some contact but again he was heading away from goal and went down as though he had been poleaxed.

    One thing that did grate me was at least Pardew had a viewpoint on the issues whereas Alex gave the old “I didn’t see it” routine when asked about Lovenkrands. To me that speaks volumes.

    Nice article though as I think you really nicely pointed out the inconsistancies in the decision making process of the ref. I am sure it does not hurt as much now that the Arse have dropped some more points too

  3. Cyprus-Toon says:

    I might have guessed that a Manc USa blog would defend their players, so here’s a Toon fans insight into the 3 incidents:

    Nani – Clear dive, should have been booked!

    Loverboy – His trailing leg was stopped from following thru by Anderson foot, thus making him unable to carry on his run, which btw was going out of the box & away from goal, so it was a clear cut foul, hence penalty!

    Chico – Simo’s foot was in on a tackle but pulled back as Chico decided to laugh himself over it, not sure if he was looking for a penalty or just to get out the way but landing on his hands & knee’s covering the ball, which btw he touched with his hands, gave the ref no choice but to blow, as for being carded, probably not but with some 30 secs left to play, you can see why the ref did card him for a supposed dive!!!!

    Now I await the shyte from your fans on my opinion of what happened!!!

  4. me says:

    I was at the game but watching through black and white eyes. I must say you’re harsh on Lovenkrands and lenient on Nani.

    A “red” friend of mine said Nani should have been booked for the poor quality of his dive!

    It could be that Nani’s behaviour puts doubt into the referee’s mind if anyone in a red shirt goes down and hence the booking for Hernandez? Reluctantly agreeing with your manager the referee had to do something, so giving the card instead of the penalty offered his explanation of what was going to be the main talking point because it was so late or because it was Man United. If the incident hadn’t happened do you think the Lovenkrands penalty claim or Man Utd’s failure to break down the Newcastle Utd defence would be the main talking point in the media -alongside your number 7’s twitter chat?

  5. Mick G says:

    How can you mention Lovernkrands ,twisting and screaming after a slight touch ,and all you say about Nanii is that he deserved a yellow card.nani is an embaressment to Man United and to the world of football.

    • 31 says:

      nani is our most creative midfielder, has the most assist and u obviously haven’t realize he dosen’t ‘dive’ as much anymore. i hate divers, i use to hate it when ronaldo use to do it, but ask urself this Mick, would u have celebrated if nani did win the penalty and united won the game that would secure the league for us?

  6. 31 says:

    the FA has been a joke when it comes to dealing with Utd. it is so frustrating to see the ‘special’ treatment we are getting. if i was a kid i’d be pointing my finger and screaming “THATS NOT FAIR”.
    my friends say utd deserves wht we’re getting from the fa after what SAF did, but i personally am proud of him.someone’s got to stand up to those bullies.

  7. Davies says:

    Honestly, I think it balanced out. As a toon fan, I am naturally disposed to the opinion that Lovenkrands was tripped in the area and the penalty should have been given, but as a realist, I know he was heading away from goal and it was a light touch.

    Neither of the incidents involving Nani and Hernandez were worth a penalty, but we were lucky the ref never noticed Tiote handling. If he had, I’m pretty sure we’d be arguing ball to hand rather than hand to ball right now, and not discussing diving.

    In all, we fought hard to earn a point from an in form team are still looking like they’ll win the league. It’ll be tight, but I think you’ll do it. Fairplay. Good luck.

    P.S. Graham Poll is also saying Hernandez have been booked, but I really wouldn’t put too much faith in his understanding of the use yellow cards.

  8. Whumpie says:

    Good article, although I have to agree with the bias thing – your description of Lovenkrands’ reaction is very inaccurate, but as yet another Toon fan I know where that comes from! For what it’s worth, I thought the yellow on Hernandez was harsh and inconsistent.

    More to the point – I agree with your conclusion entirely. Refs should not be asked to punish cheating; it should be entirely retrospective so the ref can get on with his job on the day and control the match.

    Unfortunately, the football world seems to have no genuine interest in fair play and consider two rough tackles worthy of far more punishment than trying to change the outcome of a match by cheating.

    It would take all of a month to get rid of almost all cheating just by handing out suitable punishment based on video evidence in the cold light of day after the event. If Nani knew he’d get a 2-match ban for diving outside the area and a 4-match one for inside, I think he’d soon stop.

    And Sir Alex would probably cut back on the dive training sessions…

    (And yes, I’d love to put a smiley there suggesting it’s a joke, but it’s not.)

  9. 31 says:

    my biggest fear is if the fa’s double standards would affect our chances for our 19th… does anybody know if thats a possibility ?