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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Walcott Owns Up To A Dive That Wasn't

Theo Walcott has rather bizarrely claimed that he took a tumble in Leeds United penalty area in an attempt to spare Arsenal's blushes in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.

Late in the game Theo Walcott was felled in the area by United's Alex Bruce after Theo shifted the ball away. Phil Dowd blew up for the spot kick before reversing his decision after the lino flagged for the weirdest offside decision you'll see this weekend.

Walcott decided to 'man-up' and apologise for his infringement.

"I thought Dowd did give the penalty to be honest. I just want to apologise to the managers, I actually dived trying to win the penalty. I said to one of their players would you have done it if it was the last few minutes and he said he I probably would have done it.

"I`m not the sort of player to do it, I own up to that and I apologise for that. It`s one of those things that I don`t like to see in my game. I`ve heard some people say if you feel just a slight touch you should go down so it can work both ways.'

"I`m not happy with myself for doing that but I`m happy that we got the draw in the end. [Alex Bruce] was fine about it. Whether he knew if it was a penalty I don`t know but I said sorry I`m trying to win the game. I had a little bit of a laugh and a joke with the referee afterwards saying that`s the first dive I`ve ever done can you tell?"

Now I'm all for a footballer being honest, but for me Theo is owning up to a dive that wasn't. He moved the ball, Bruce kicked him, penalty.

I've always been a believer that if the contact isn't enough to take a player down then it's not a foul, but the rules seem to have manifested themselves whereby if there is contact and the player doesn't touch the ball, then it's a foul, so whether or not Theo went down easily, by today's standards, it was a penalty.

If Walcott wanted to clear his conscience, then his apologies to Grayson and his players should have been enough, Theo will now come under closer scrutiny from referees, and will probably have miss out on a few stick on pens following today's admission.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 8 2011

Time: 6:36PM

Your Comments

I say fair play to him, a man's integrity should be important to him, whoever else thinks he is wrong.
Little Dutch
But it's like owning up to a robbery you didn't commit. Ok, he may have intended to steal a car, but he didn't. It was a penalty, so Walcott should have just kept quiet.
blimey. I guess black is white aswell is it?
Ultimately, Walcott is the only person on earth who knows his intention. He says he doesn't like to see diving in the game and has therefore apologised for trying to do it. I say fair play to the man. Down with platitudes, let's have more of this type of thing.
Little Dutch
how about we just have less diving? Or maybe it's acceptable to dive because he's shown remorse
If Walcott would have kept quiet, would anyone have even thought he might have took a dive? I don't think, because it WAS a foul. Whether he went down easily or not, it was a penalty. Commendable from Theo, but incredibly naive, as I said in the piece, his apology to Grayson and the players should have been enough to clear his conscience, this public admission serves no purpose.
Breathtaking sophistry from Vital Arsenal - you've surpassed yourselves!
When I was seven I went on a school trip to Longleat wildlife park, during the visit to the gift shop I stole a rubber shaped like a monkey that fits on the end of a pencil. It's been a good few years now but I just couldn't live my life in the knowledge I have wronged the good Marquess of Bath and his trusty team of animal types. Anyone else got any utterly utterly pointless yet guilt wracked admissions?
We are still aspiring for the ultra sophistry that is so regularly witnessed at VMC though. Doubt we will ever match up to the pundits on there.
Breaththtaking hypocrisy from filthycolumn, who took umbrage at vital arsenal members' contributions to a thread on citys' page concerning the Arsenal city game with the words "WTF are you all doing over here? What exactly is your obsession with Manchester City?" well...substitute city for Arsenal and right back at ya fella.
Anyway quick chuckle at Newcastle anyone? Well done Stevenage!
Pointing fingers at cheating and anti-football gets you nowhere - identifying those behaviors in yourself, correcting them and being honest and open about it is the only way Theo Walcott can help take that out of football. And thats what he did. Awesome!
nikolaijns. i dont think Leeds fans will see it as "pointless". Thats incredibly arrogant. Walcott seems like a nice lad but nice lad or not he shouldnt have dived. he's apologised so fair play. but he shouldnt be doing it in the first place. as fans we should be condemning it (as some do) no matter who dived. im not coming on here to have a pop at Arsenal but it needs to stop, all over the prem
The breaking news has been a constant source of amusement today, now we have a chelski fan admitting "I am in need of some enlightenment" yeah real surprise there.
My concern aint Leeds or it's fans, my concern is Arsenal FC and after the media witch hunt over Eduardo it's an admission I'd rather he made to his mum his manager, Bruce and Grayson if he feels so plagued with his guilt but not to the world at large as Arsenal just don't need any more hysterical finger wagging shrieking ta. Which probably won't be forthcoming due to his nationality but some cvnnies never miss the chance to stick the boot in.
I think he's just worded it wrong. Maybe if he'd have said he 'went down easily' or was 'looking for the foul' it would be less emphatic. I guess you could argue these mean the same thing but when we hear the word 'dive' we jump (pardon the pun) to conclusions. Very good of him to admit it, time will tell whether it's done more good than harm.
thats the spirit nikolaijns
It sure is, and tonight that spirit will be brandy ;)
A player i'd have at City like a shot but needs to drop the wide eyed bunny act.
Give Theo a break, honesty worked for Jerry McGuire....
It also worked for Jerry Maguire :) (damn auto correct).
And I do stand by it, it is a pretty pointless admission it serves only to rightfully aggrieve Leeds fans, a futile thing to do at the best of times, Unless the FA throw us out of the cup for bringing the game into disrepute (wonder how all applauding gooners would feel about the matter then!) it will change nothing as someone will dive in a game somewhere in the next lot of fixtures and the next lot after that, nothing will change it's just too ingrained in the game, will it change his team mates attitude then? Yeah right I'm sure Robin will stay on his feet when he feels a tug on his sleeve or Chamakh if he feels his ankle tapped, players play the game, play the ref and every team has at least one. It's endemic to all nationalities It's just the way it is. Look at Drogba - a mountain of a man with the physique of a gladiator, goes down like a 5 quid hooker at happy hour. The world has nuclear weapons now and there will never be a time again when nobody does. Some things are just impossible to reverse unfortunately.
I mistook his admission of diving for the actual penalty, which I though was stonewall. The previous shout was definitely dodgy and I thought he actually fell over the defender's foot. I think Walcott needs to clarify this because there's a bit of confusion around his statement.
Wyn Mills
Well done Walcott! In a world of Ronaldo's, El Hadj Diouf's, Tevez and John Terry. I applaude you young man for actually being honest. Maybe the football world aint gone mad after all.
In other words was he talking about the pen that wasn't given? If that's the case it made no difference to the result.
Wyn Mills
This can either go 2 ways. Referees will now realise that when Walcott does appeal for a penalty in future he really has been fouled. Or young man will have to have his legs broken to get anything ever again.
Wyn Mills
Yeah and if it is the case Wynn which I thought it was the guilt obviously didn't kick in before he turned to the ref shouting with his hands in the air ahem.
I wonder if he'd have been quite so magnanimous if we'd failed to grab the equalizer. I'm all for honesty and would normally applaud it, but he's stirred up a real hornest nest in the context of this game for no reason. The club could yet be punished for his moment of 'enlightenment'.
Wyn Mills
i wouldnt worr ur little head about it wyn. whatever happens theo will still get paid his however many tens of thousands per week whilst we droves supporters continue our lacklustre lives trying to scrape a living whilst supporting these 'heroes' on the terraces.
Sorry. Its been a long day.
3 game ban on the horizon
Fair play to him, refreshing attitude! Maybe Chamakh could take notice :)
I too think he was talking about the first penalty appeal, rather than the penalty that was actually given.
He needs to clear this up.
And Peter Crutch HY, falls over in 8 out of 10 aerial duels with his ugly Pug mug berating the ref :)
Maybe after he scores his next goal Theos' celebration will be a dive a la Klinsmann the godfather of the dive?
diving is cheating no matter who does it, .... it stinks and it does not matter he has come and said he didnt mean too but..Walcott should get a 3 game ban for CHEATING... but probably won't.
It would cause a real problem for the authorities if they punished Walcott, so they won't. They haven't ever retrospectively punished players for diving before despite the thousands upon thousands dives that have taken place in football history. To then impose a penalty on one of the cheaters who, at the very least, has the decency to admit his wrong doing without being prompted to do so would stir up a lot of ill feeling and ultimately, the F.A. don't have the work ethic to put up with that kind of storm, so they won't. If they were to punish Walcott, they'd have to start on all other divers too, and we know they won't do that.
Little Dutch
Whats your view on time wasting cityman? Just out of interest like, a form of cheating no? say if a keeper wastes time from the 10th minute onwards should that be retrospectively punished?
"I had a little bit of a laugh and a joke with the referee afterwards saying thatís the first dive Iíve ever done can you tell?Ē Probably not Theo, because he would have booked you.
Wyn Mills
UEFA tried to punish Eduardo retrospectively and that blew up in their faces.
Wyn Mills
It's a slightly strange talking point as the incident in the end was a non event. Roson greensleeves may be right with the wide eyed bunny assessment. However well done Theo on being a constant threat from the time he came on.
Fair play to the lad, and that's coming from a yid. He won't be punished, nor should he. The guy's come out and admitted that he's done wrong, and he's apologised, even though my initial thought was penalty, and no-one really intimated that he'd dived. Shows the nature of Walcott, he's a nice boy, and while (if he did dive) the initial behaviour was wrong, atoning for such things should be encouraged by the F.A. If only one or two referees admitted fault every now and then. I have a new found respect for Walnutt after this, as I would for refs if they admitted mistakes.
I believe Theo was speaking about the pen that wasn't given as the other shout was defo a pen. This "clarification" of a nothing event wasn't necessary and Theo just has to grow up. Did he feel Bruce's foot on his ankle? The answer is Yes! If he, therefore, takes a tumble to win a penalty, he is within his rights as far as the rules go. This sanctimonious disposition (I like 'wide eyed bunny') may prove detrimental to our cause and be an unwanted talking point for a while. Like LD I don't think the FA will take any action but the refs won't cut Theo much slack from now.
Why not talk about the game instead of highlighting what one guy said?
Henry Baker Brown
Ridiculously naive from Theo. No one would have thuoght it was a dive had he kept quiet, because for 99% neutral viewers both were stonewall penalties. Now, it is going to hurt Arsenal FC. All the decisions are going to go against us. We didnt get a single penalty for ages after the Eduardo incident. Can see a repeat happening again.
That because Peter Crouch has the physical composition of a Giraffe, he can't help it! Abit like providing no goal threat whatsoever it just comes natural to him. Still id rather him than Bentdner :)
HuddersfieldYiddo,19528,11688_6642567,00.html Disgraceful behaviour. This guy should be banned completely from football. He's broken Mackie's leg and he has the audacity to react and abuse him. This is ridiculous. How can one tolerate such behaviour. At least Shawcross didn't do any such thing to Ramsey. That seems to be in his favour. But Diouf needs to be banned. Completely from football
Can't see the referees being affected. For starters he's English. He's not gonna be singled out
90% agree with you LD but I would not be surprised if the FA launchs and investigation into Theo's admission that he did dive. I would be surprised if he received a ban from a match but nothing nowadays surprises me. There are forces that would demand a fine at the very least, so I wait with baited breath. Disappointed with Arshavin display; is he suffering an injury, or does he want out?
Fair play to the lad. But I wonder if he's aware of how the way he worded his apology would have an impact on how refs look at him and Arsenal in general from now on. Eduardo took a dive and we didn't get any pens for how long last time? Let's also see how the English media treat him and Arsenal now that it's one of their England darlings who owned up to a dive.
I think he may have done himself no favours from admitting what he did. I was at that end and thought it was a penalty, only when watching the highlights do you see he stood on Bruce's foot.
King Billy
Theo has been incredibly naive and should have kept his mouth shut just like everybody else does. There is no point in being self-righteous about it because until FIFA do something about diving (and cheating in general), we must be play the game in this way. I deplore cheating and diving is cheating. There are lots of things that players do that would be considered cheating but the fact is that it goes on throughout the world by every player (ever claimed a throw-in when it wasnít yours?). As far as Iím concerned carry on diving as it wins you games, just ask Berbatov.
Sir Henry
Chicken or the Egg people - at what point to people without power start doing the right thing? Does Theo have to wait for FIFA to take action against cheating before he takes action against it? You all keep saying Theo admitting this wont make a difference and will only hinder us - where are your crystal balls? When has this happened before? Where were the negative outcomes? And people will choose to be ****s whether Theo did this in public or not, that this somehow gives them an excuse or justification to not give penalties or whatever is nonsense - this is a step forward
Iím all for a campaign against cheating but donít let Arsenal be the martyr for the cause.
Sir Henry

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