Pires and diving

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
September 15th, 2003 • 3:56 pm

The controversy surrounding Robert Pires’ alleged dive on Saturday in the game against Portsmouth is way overblown.

As reader “Alex” notes in the readers mail on the Football365.com web site,

It seems that the Arsene Wenger strain of conjuntivitis (AWC) is spreading to journalists across the print media. The “selective viewing” epidemic culminated in the back-page piece labelling French international Robert Pires a “diver”.

While Arsenal’s creative wide player did fall like a marionette with his strings slashed against Portsmouth, the back-page piece seems to exhibit the symptoms of the terrible eye disease.

The Sunday paper seemed to forget to pen similar articles last season when Ruud van Nistelrooy set a new record for penalty winning, many of which transpired to be the result of unassisted falling.

I certainly don’t remember any of RvN’s “tumblings” ever causing the same level of controversy, even though they are a clear characteristic of his “game”.

Yes, Robert did fall too easily, and there’s no point in playing around with semantics. It was a dive. Players can’t use the D-word themselves because they know that they are just as likely to be the next guilty party themselves. But the media has no excuse. If they are going to call Robert Pires a “cheat”, then they need to start calling RvN a “supercheat” — even when he doesn’t dive. He typically bullies his way through defenders and then complains when he doesn’t always get the call. Look at the first Manchester United goal on Saturday. The “challenge” that led to the free kick that led to the first goal was a tangle, and RvN was just as guilty as the defender. Yet since it was near the Charlton box and since it was RvN and since it was Manchester United, a free kick was awarded, and Man U got a goal.

The next time RvN dives in the box (and it won’t be long), I want to see a flurry of “Cheat” headlines in the British media. Then we’ll talk about it.

2 Responses to “Pires and diving”

  1. mandeep says:

    I think you are very bias as Van nistelrooy’s dive didnt really lose Charlton the game as they lost 3-0 however Robert Pires dive led to a draw in the game which Arsenal could of lost and if they win the primership by a point the point would of been becuase of cheating. Also what about portmouth they are struggling now any points they get are cruical but becuase of cheating they lost 2 valuable points

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    In this entry, I am not referring to a specific RvN dive. He has a pretty bad track record — and if we are going to argue about points lost or gained, we might as well rewrite history. One view is that these things tend to even themselves out. Another view is that there is a general pro-ManU bias in refereeing, especially at Old Trafford, where penalties are almost never given to the visitors. See the recent controversy about the penalty denied to Shearer last Sunday.

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