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So it's OK to dive sometimes?

Football is stuffed full of hypocrisy at times. Players are rightly and routinely criticised for diving but at the same time criticised for not going down when it might convince the referee to award a penalty. The latter seems to be the opinion of post match pundits following the game against West Ham last night.

Arteta didn't do Sagna any favours as he played a ball across the penalty area and Jarvis was quick to try to intercept. The Hammers winger got his toe to it first taking it away from the Arsenal full back. His path took him through Sagna's leg but whatever contact there was had been initiated by Jarvis as much as it was by Sagna. Remembering that for it to be a foul it would have to be deemed careless, reckless or using excessive force did Sagna foul Jarvis or Jarvis foul Sagna? Are such things decided only on who got to the ball first or is some contact inevitable in such situations?

It all took place in the full and clear sight of the referee and while I've seen 'em given and all that I doubt it would necessarily have been called as a foul anywhere else on the pitch. But I can accept that it is entirely subjective and sometimes the decision will go for or against you on either side.

However, there wasn't enough contact to bring anyone down so the only way Jarvis could have gone to ground was to have thrown himself there - to have exaggerated any contact - or in other words taken a dive. Quite frankly it is difficult to see how, had Jarvis done so, it would have looked like anything other than a dive. Yet that is what pundits such as Neville and Merson and others were insisting he should have done - to have simulated the extent of any contact with the intention of deceiving the referee into thinking there was more than would have brought a player down.

I fully accept that I'm seeing the foul itself through the jaundiced eyes of a partisan supporter but the point is that the hypocrisy of football pundits can be staggering at times. In future, when any involved criticise a player for diving, they should be booked for simulating pious indignation.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 16 2014

Time: 9:38AM

Your Comments

I think it was a clear foul to be honest. It is similar to when the keeper thinks he is going to get to the ball first and the player nicks it past him. "Remembering that for it to be a foul it would have to be deemed careless, reckless or using excessive force". I'm not sure that is correct either.
Not clear enough for the referee to give it but as I said it is subjective. I think you'll find that for it to be a foul it has to be a designated offence under Law 12 committed in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force.
You could perhaps argue in that case, that Ox could of stayed on his feet against Everton in the FA cup. He was fouled and put of balance, but could of stayed up. If he had he probably would of not got the penalty. A lot of grey areas either way. For instance, when players go down before they are going to be fouled to avoid being hurt, is that a dive? Is the answer to stay strong and risk being injured? No wonder it's hard for refs
It's definitely a fine line but I think you'll find that the Everton defender wasn't going for the ball - that was some way away when he tripped Ox - even if he stayed on his feet you might expect that would have been given. There're many grey areas and you needn't even make contact for it to be deemed careless, reckless or using excessive force. You may remember many years ago Bergkamp got sent in an FA Cup game against Liverpool without any risk of making contact with the player. The ref at the time, current ref boss Mike Riley said then "The law doesn't differentiate between whether you make contact or not."
You are right with the Everton one in that the defender was careless, but my point is that had he not gone down their is a possibility it would not be given. By going down he is insuring that he gets the deserved pen as it was a foul. A doubt might of creeped in to the refs mind had he not gone down. Again it is a fine line. I think careless is certainly the most subjective of the 3. Maybe Sagna was careless in trying to hack away an undercooked pass.
We'll never know whether the ref would have given the pen against Everton if Ox has stayed on his feet but the defender was clearly playing the man and not the ball so you'd hope that was what the ref was considering. In the Jarvis case Sagna was clearly attempting to play the ball and I don't think the ref can be blamed for accepting that he wasn't careless in doing so. What the pundits were saying is that Jarvis should have dived to make it appear as though Sagna was either careless, reckless or using excessive force. I don't think that was needed in Ox's case. It's always going to be a subjective judgement though but I think there're some objectives you can apply.
Football's about winning, it was a foul, he should've gone down. Am i bothered he didn't as an Arsenal supporter? Am I bollox. Neville's just giving an insight into what he would've heard Suralex telling his players week in, week out. TBH if Jarvis was a bit quicker of mind he probably would've managed to make it look less like a dive, a seasoned diver like Ronaldo would've had that for breakfast.
Football's about winning so it's ok if you can get away with it. That's fine if Neville or anyone else wants to take that view but let's not have to listen to them condemning players for cheating then as the ends justifies it.
Interestingly Jarvis is quoted claiming even he wasn't sure that it was a foul. "I don't know if it was a foul. I don't know if I had gone down whether it would have been a penalty or whether I'd have been booked. Maybe I should learn from that and be a bit more clever."
After all the abuse Eduardo got, this is hypocritical to the nth degree. With you 100% on this one, Amos. And thanks for pointing out another logical fallacy for the mythical article which I will probably never write: "I've seen them given" is not an answer to the question "Was that a foul according to the rules of the game?"
If he needed to go down, how could it have been a foul SW? Don't buy into the "well there was contact" crap, it's untrue. He stayed on his feet so it clearly wasn't a foul. It was pretty bloody close though.
By that logic all you'd need to do is stay on your feet, not to get fouled? I could get Kung Fu kicked but as long as I don't go down, it's not a foul? What about when Keane took a swing at Shearer, that not a foul?
Keane taking a swing at Shearer wouldn't be a foul it would be misconduct. Contact itself isn't a foul - only if it is considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force.
0-2 to palace! good news from goodison park so far
1-3, game over?
Hypocrisy of the nth degree is about right. I was so peeved listening to the studio pundits even put the subject to debate, with a bias for "maybe, he should have been a bit clever and gone down". Yet, we all preach decency and honesty in the sport. If the end justifies the means, as the inference from the debate thereafter suggests then the criticism of clear cases of diving is unjustified and I am with Rocky on this one. They should be ignored when they express indignation at the act in future.
1-3! Game tense. Nearly kicked every piece of furniture within leg range, tackling, shooting, sliding...;-)
Advantage Arsenal!
Funny game football. Perhaps the results against the smaller teams do matter.
Honest players are a rarity and they should be encouraged and praised!
No 10
Mourinho's doing bloody well at Palace, wouldn't you say?
Allardyce did well at Bolton for a while too. The doctrine of Charles Hughes is alive and well in a few coaches.
Jose done well at Stoke n all . . . .made them extremely hard to beat at home, how he's turned Palace round like this i don't know, when we went there we scraped that win but eff me they were the worst team we've played this season. Fair play to him
It's the easiest coaching strategy to perfect. Make yourself hard to beat and wait for the other side to make a mistake - play the percentages. If you can do that with a squad bought with enough money that they should win something then you can look a top manager. Put Allardyce or Pulis in charge of Porto, Chelsea, Moratti's Inter or Real and they'll win things too. As Jorge Valdano put it some will be quite happy to cheer '**** on a stick'.
"It's the easiest coaching strategy to perfect. Make yourself hard to beat". Maybe we could learn to do that in parts of some matches. Not with Wenger though
We've done a little more of that this season paul. Not always great to watch though. But I hope you're right that Wenger, if he stays or whoever replaces him if he doesn't, will look to play football that tries to be entertaining as well as successful.
Me personally, i'm more concerned about the success.
Valdano may have had you in mind! The success is needed to validate the performance that much has to be true. Ideally you'd want both but Abramovich has shown that if you throw enough money at it it doesn't matter too much who is coaching the side. Pelligrini has made City a whole lot more watchable this season but that may not be enough to take the title. Shame if he doesn't because their performances overall have warranted success even if they've also thrown absurd amounts of money around.
I suppose it is fair to say, that up until January/February we had the balance. We played good football at times and looked solid when we needed to be. Since then we have not been hard to break down and have been playing a poor brand of football. Second half against West Ham was encouraging and for me the best we have played in the last 6 weeks. Also for me we have not looked our fluid quick counter attacking best since Fabregas left. I have a small hope that Barcelona force him out (as they have been on his back) and he comes home. I do not care what he may or may not have done, all is forgiven Cesc.... I still love you
Amos mate they don't 'warrant' success! They only warrant the position they end up in. That drives me crazy about Wenger telling his players they deserve success, nobody deserves it.
Behave, Paul! No chance of that BEFORE the transfer embargo
I deserve to see success shewore. I feel I have seen enough cr*p, stress, ruined weekends, anger, frustration etc. I must of aged by 10 years in these last 3 seasons.
We don't though, do we. Although i do consider i've seen more disappointment that the majority of supporters in the country over the last few years, i don't get disappointed as much any more - just bored.
It's the hope that kills me.
You can only feel disappointment if your expectations are that we will win something shewore. If you're right that you've experienced more disappointment than the majority of supporters in the country over the last few years then it must only be because the majority of supporters in the country don't expect to challenge as well as Arsenal do. I think those clubs that go out to entertain, to put on a performance, do warrant success which was kind of Valdano's point. Warranting success is not the same as achieving success though. I'm not sure our performance in the 2005 cup final warranted success nor that our performance in the 2001 final warranted failure.
My disappointment doesn't stem from expectations of winning things, it's the hope that we'll put a good infrastructure in place (of players) to win things, when that doesn't happen, like us not improving the squad in Jan, it disappoints me.
Interesting point about the Barca transfer embargo. If Cesc is in an unprotected period of contract this summer, and I think he might be, then under Fifa rules there's nothing to stop him leaving if he tells the club within 15 days of the season end. Any total embargo would then be in breech of Fifa's own rules.
So you've only seen more disappoint than the majority of supporters in the country because we didn't sign the players you wanted - such as someone in January?????? I reckon that's a more or less permanent state of disappointment for all supporters of all clubs.
Not really, that's just the latest example, don't get me wrong there have been others over the last 8 or so years where i've thought 'what if' if and we've thrown it away, but as i say, that's the latest instance.
Throwing it away being not signing someone else you mean? There's been hardly a transfer window gone by when we haven't signed someone. Disappointment that we haven't signed more players though or disappointment that those we've signed haven't made enough of a difference to win something or disappointment that those who we think might have made a difference weren't available? Still nothing among that lot that should make you stand out among the majority of supporters in the country.
While we're thinking 'what ifs' rather than if we'd sign unavailable players what if:
That's another thing, injuries, they used to be disappointing, now they're just boring & expected.
Frankly, we've got away with it this year because imagine if Giroud had been injured for any significant length of time, we'd have Sanogo as our striker? That Wenger was willing to take that risk borders on negligence.
What about Bentdner... he's Mr Reliable! Never done anything wrong in the past, well worth giving *another* go to
I don't think Wenger got away with anything at all this season. Walcott, Podolski and Sanogo, all of whom have played a central role were all out injured at the same time at one point. It's possible that Giroud and Bendtner might also have been out at the same time but then it's also possible that anyone else we brought in might also have been injured for any length of time. We might have been short on quality options but not on numbers.
Walcott and Podolski can't lead the line. As has been proven on several occasions.
Neither could Henry or RvP. You don't have to play with a centre forward as Liverpool currently demonstrate.
Van Persie certainly could, as was displayed when he played there. Do you think he was as effective as Walcott and Podolski there, then? Weird comment.
It's only a weird comment because you haven't followed it. RvP certainly didn't play the role that Giroud does. He was effective with Walcott in a similar way to that which Henry was effective with Pires (or most were with Bergkamp). The 'leading the line' concept is a bit of a footballing cliché rooted in an old fashioned concept of centre forwards. We haven't been short on numbers of forwards but have been short on effective combinations.
Giroud leads the line, though, it's the way we're set up to play.
I guess you structure the team around players you have and the competences they possess.
Sometimes players can adapt to suit the system you want to play. RvP didn't play as a 'front' striker until he was 26.
Struggling to see what the point is, amos
The issue at point is to what extent Wenger took a risk not signing another forward. Arguably the risk was in the quality more than the numbers.

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