Date:Saturday January 8 2011
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.
Date:Saturday January 8 2011
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