I’ve never been a condoner of diving, even if it sees the team I’m supporting pick up maximum points. A form of cheating, similar to typing in a code on Grand Theft Auto that sees the gamer obtain all weapons with unlimited ammo, to gain an advantage over the opposition. So with Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale performing the act on Friday night against Scotland, I could place my head in my hands and ask ‘why?’
Yes, I am fully aware that Shaun Maloney came out after the encounter and admitted to clipping the wideman during Wales’ 2-1 win over Scotland to win the penalty late on, but I am of the opinion that Bale clipped his own heels to win the spot-kick and I know I am not the only one.
It comes less than a week after his blatant dive during Spurs’ 2-0 victory over Aston Villa, with Bale going down without any contact follow Brad Guzan’s charge out of goal. Many will argue that he was avoiding a clattering from the big American, but it’s a dive nevertheless.
His antics have come at bad time for the Wales international, with the topic of significant focus at present being diving. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has attracted plenty of attention in recent months for his antics, with his effort during his side’s recent 0-0 draw with Stoke City leaving fans of the Merseysiders particularly red faced.
It’s an element that is slowly sneaking into Bale’s game, which is, to be frank, leaving fans rather embarrassed. Combing the social networking sites, it’s plain to see that supporters don’t condone diving, with the Spurs faithful quick to distance themselves from his actions.
Regardless of whether his decision to go down easily wins Spurs a game, it is still leaving fans with their heads in their hands. I was posed a question on Friday night following my decision to criticise Bale, which simply read ‘what if he does that against Chelsea for Spurs to win the game?’
I was gobsmacked. I genuinely had no idea how to answer that question. Cheating is against everything I stand for in football, but to see my team win against the Blues; I couldn’t answer, simply because I didn’t know what to say.
It was a real ‘pull on the heart strings’ predicament. Yes, seeing my team pick up maximum points against our fierce rivals would be perfect, but to do so by cheating? I didn’t know what to say to that.
Of course, Bale showed his best during the 2-1 win over Scotland, firing home the winner in the 88th minute from 25 yards in a game which has been described as his finest in a Wales shirt. But it also showcased his worst quality, in the aforementioned dive.
The Spurs man really doesn’t need to keep up his theatrics on the pitch; he’s better than that and every fans knows this. Worst of all, Bale is now becoming a targeted man in the game, with fans and players beginning to hump on his back as a result of his diving.
It won’t be long before referees take a similar approach, much like they have with Suarez. It’s pivotal he cuts this aspect out of his game and the sooner it’s done; the better. So come on Gareth, let’s leave the diving to Tom Daley and Felix Baumgartner, eh?
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