What do Drogba, Gerrard + Ronaldo all have in common? They all get away with diving – Eduardo Biased Controversy Reaction

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First things first. Eduardo Da Silva did dive against Celtic at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, and then converted the penalty to give the Gunners the lead. Whether he dove to win a penalty, or get out of the tackle, or fall because he expected a tackle, I don’t know. He didn’t make an appeal to the referee or anything of that sort, but all in all, it was a yellow card offence. And now, the Brazilian faces a two-match ban for an offence that is committed every weekend in every league in the world, and has been happening for years on end.

Eduardo is not who one would call a dishonest player. Prior to the game against Celtic, never has one seen any instance of him cheating or misbehaving on the pitch, and this isn’t just out of sympathy to the man who had his leg broken less than two years ago thanks to a career-threatening tackle. But, he did seem to dive, although it’s evident that he hasn’t mastered the art as well as some of his more glamorous friends in the football world, who have gotten away with it many a time.

Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney, Emmanuel Adebayor, Deco, Nicolas Anelka, Ryan Babel, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and the best of them all, Cristiano Ronaldo. The list is endless. Would you say Eduardo is at par with the others in that list, when it comes to trying to con the referee? No. But, interestingly, he’s not half as glamorous or famous as the others, and to make things worse, isn’t English either.

Arsene Wenger has come out in defence of Eduardo, calling UEFA’s charge against his striker a “witch-hunt”, and I can understand where he comes from. Arsenal have suffered considerably in recent years because of simulation, never more so when Wayne “The ultimate professional” Rooney took the plunge at Old Trafford’s hallowed turf in 2004, which ended the Invincibles’ unbeaten run. Ryan Babel fell to the floor all too easily at Anfield in a Champions League quarter final in 2008, which gave Liverpool the win on the night. Also, in recent times, Didier Drogba, one of the strongest men in the Premier League, collapsed to the ground due to what can only be construed as a gentle breeze at the Emirates, winning the free kick that gave Chelsea the lead.

First of all, I don’t understand how Uefa has chosen this particular incident to be worth the retrospective punishment, as the penalty wasn’t even the deciding factor in the tie. Celtic had two shots on target throughout the 180 minutes of football they played against Arsenal, and the Gunners won the tie 5-1 on aggregate. Celtic players and their fans, obviously disappointed with the result and their performance, turned emotionally to the penalty incident, in an attempt to hide from their own flaws and lack of quality. As Wenger pointed out, a number of Scottish officials do work at UEFA, and I needn’t say more. Can every Celtic player put his hand up and say that he has never dived in his entire career? I’m sure even a Celtic fan knows the answer to this one.

Would UEFA have levelled a similar charge if the player in question was Wayne Rooney? Or Steven Gerrard? Hell no! Arsenal players are always a soft target for the officials, because of their less-glamorous image and low-key persona. Also, there’s something of an Arsenal obsession within the media, for whatever they do, whether it’s a young player who makes an entry into the squad (Wilshere, Walcott), their transfer policies, or if it’s a string of bad results. The media loves to talk about Arsenal, and there’s no reason they will stop now.

James Lawton of “The Independent” has written an article on this incident, and when he claims Robert Pires’ dive against Pompey a few years back to be the “ultimate example of shameless diving”, it’s for everyone to see how Arsenal are vilified oh-so-easily by the British media. Pires has since been branded a diver, and Eduardo might be too, for this one incident. When Owen wins a controversial penalty, it’s termed “clever”, when Rooney or Gerrard go down, they are called professionals, who want to win at all costs, but God forbid, if it’s an Arsenal player, he has committed an offence which will be described as the death of football.

Diving should be eradicated from the sport, and I’m all for it. If Eduardo becomes the fall guy, then Arsenal fans must accept it, but UEFA, be mindful of the fact that all Arsenal fans will observe your reaction to every dive in the Champions League very carefully from now on, and would like to see each and every player, whether it’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, treated the same way.

Till then, I’m on the lookout for any clips which involve a Celtic player taking the plunge.

  • Smash

    Media obsession with Arsenal? Take the bag off your head mate, no one gives a crap. The reason Eduado is getting stick is because he dived from nothing. Sure maybe other players you mentioned dive, but at least they actually make some sort of contact with the defender or whoever they are faced with. Another reason is Arsenal incredible luck against Celtic. The first 2 goals at Celtic were a fluke and then the dive. It was unessecary and its just plain cheating against a lesser club.

    • zigzag

      it’s you who is blinded mate. have a look at dives on youtube if you think they all made some contact, most of them far more obvious than Eduardo’s. Arsenal was lucky with three goals against Celtic, true. They were still a much better side and would still win regardless. Sour grapes matey?

  • jayLFC

    CHEAT! if the tie was already over then why did he cheat?
    i hate all players when they dive. FULL STOP.
    however….. i fully agree with Wenger, how the powers that be wont introduce video technology into our game… but are to charge Eduardo even though the ref said it was a penalty (even after he saw the replay)… MAD!!!!

    (five times!!!)

  • Mzimba

    Smash, you need lessons in watching football. To say Gerrard makes some sort of contact with defenders is laughable, as evidence suggests otherwise. The players in the above list have done amazing antics as far as diving is concerned and on a consistent basis. Therein lies the problem. Gerrard diving against Andorra (no offence), Atletico M., Sheffield United, Aston Villa, etc. The last time a player was retrospectively punished for diving was 2007. According to UEFA, there has been no case of diving since, really? And to worsen matters, Ashley Young diving to win a penalty for Aston Villa against Rapid Vienna (did you hear anything about it, or will you ever? Resounding NO!). Why, you may ask. Rules should apply across the board, without looking at the passport or team of the player. Simple and too much to ask or is it, Smash?

  • Mark Wellington

    Try this video of Petrov diving. It’s a bit messed up at the start, but the relevant bit is okay.

  • Mark Wellington
  • Mark Wellington

    Right in front of the ref as well!

  • bridgers

    Yet again the Jocks have undue influence. With their ‘little country’ mentality they can’t accept that they came up pitifully short over two legs and try to cover that up by whingeing. The photo I’ve seen clearly shows Boruc’s right hand making contact with Eduardo’s right boot. UEFA should be ashamed of themselves trying to crucify an honest player.

  • Jim

    What are you on about that “Arsenal obsession within the media”…. and Liverpool dont? Every club in the spotlight gets bad media attention (apart from Man U). Some Liverpool examples: Rafa rotation policy, Debt, Zonal marking….. need i say more. Get over it and stop feeling sorry for yourself, rather that than be a mid table club that no one cares to mention…..

  • Rayhan

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed and see how the next diving incident will be treated. Ibrahimovic to a plunge against Shaktar, right in front of Platini. Have we heard anything onm that so far?

  • Jim

    P.S. to label Gerrard as a diver is a joke….
    Shall we put Fabregas in that group as well then as this video evidence shows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu-84rM9wBE ????
    My point being put any players name in youtube with the word “dive” and you will find something. But to call Gerrard a “diver” is laughable…. surely sensible Arsenal fans can agree with that?

    • zigzag

      Gerard is a blatant diver, period.

      • Jim

        yeah zigzag…. your point is so well argued there!!!!

        A guy who uses the name ZigZag said it… so it must be true…. I’m sorry how foolish of me to question it!

        • zigzag

          all you need is to open your eyes and spend 5 min. on youtube, smartass!

          • Jim

            Another winning comment from ZigZag!

      • rich

        proof of gerrard diving (didn’t believe it either):


        • Jim

          Rich, my point is i guarantee you, you will find the same type of video about nearly every player who has had an extensive career. You could do exactly the same with Viera or Henry but would you call them divers? i wouldnt..
          I just personaly dont believe you can put Gerrard in the bracket of Drogba and Ronaldo… im not saying Gerrard doesnt occasionally take a tumble but i dont think you can put him in the class of “diver”

          • rich


            i dont know.
            I’m an arsenal fan, whose dad is a chelsea fan and have always gone for gerrard in the lampard vs gerrard argument. Im sure you could find a lot of dives for a lot of players on youtube, but i never thought gerrard had dived (there are quite a few examples on the vid).
            The reason being, i dont recall watching him dive in any games that ive seen him play in. I think ive seen games where he has dived, but because he is not labelled a ‘diver’, when he does dive most people will give him the benefit of the doubt?!
            with edaurdo, i really don’t recall him diving in an arsenal shirt before this game….he did dive, but only once, and the way he has been vilified is crazy….every season there seems to be a new reason for the media, for other fans to say something bad about arsenal. for example, why aren’t arsenal competing by buying expensve players, Wengers lost it, all arsenal players are foreign (even though chelsea fielded the first completely foreign team), their too short, too young, massive debt, cant defend, ‘Send home Arsenal for their cheating’ -(in the last three seasons, we finished top of the fair play league twice and i think we were third last season) and there is more….And yes i know Benitez was given a lot of s**t last season about united, but it seems to me more directed at him, rather than liverpool or Liverpool’s players….Arsenal fans see all of this, and feel picked on, remember babels (possible) dive in the champs league quarters a couple of years ago?! nothing was investigated by uefa for that! So they draw conclusions like there must be a reason why everyone wants to say something bad about arsenal…i.e our lack of english players?! so they look at Rooney and Gerrard and see that they are english and have dived on occasion, and see that they haven’t taken any flack about it, and go on a rampage about them, instead of rightly concentrating on Ronaldo and Drogba….just my opinions!

            • Jim

              Totally agree, i also think the Eduardo thing is a load of tosh. Players dive in the champions league more than any other competition and it makes me laugh that UEFA talk about “diving ruining the game”… have they watched the Portuguese, French, Spanish league???? its full of diving. I think it hasnt helped Arsenal that the Scottish FA are making such a big deal of it, i mean look at the scoreline! if he hadnt of dived do Celtic really think they would have won??!!! I think with UEFA its an anti-english thing, its so obvious that they hate the fact that English clubs are top in Europe now. Man City/Chelsea spend money and “its bad for the game” according to UEFA, Real Madrid and Barcelona do it and not a word is said (until recently, to save face). With regards to the Media, they are morons most of them. All reporters (even if they say they dont) favour a team and hate others, i would probably write crap about Man U if i was a reporter… and because Arsenal dont spend much they cant write about all these transfer rumours so they write about how your not spending money instead…. its just the way it goes. Must admit though, i thought you would struggle a bit this season but your off to a flyer.

  • pete LFC

    is this the same team who invented diving re pires henry you are and always will be a team of divers PERIOD

    • rich

      i think you mean Klinsman, during the 90s for spurs…im sure there was more before that

  • Scott Curry

    This quote from Smash is total bullshit: “Sure maybe other players you mentioned dive, but at least they actually make some sort of contact with the defender or whoever they are faced with.” You can find many many clips of Ronaldo on You Tube where people aren’t within a foot of him and he is launching himself into the air like a salmon trying to make its way upstream. The difference here is that Eduardo has no history of diving and is an agreeable guy. The likes of Drogba, Ronaldo, and Gerrard not so much.

    As for the assertion that Arsenal were “lucky” to defeat Celtic; that is complete bullshit. One team showed up in both games to create chances to score, the other showed up to make rugby-style tackles and probably should have been shown more yellow cards than they were. EVEN MOWBRAY SAID ARSENAL WELL OUTPLAYED THEM. So, I turn the question around and say to all the haters: What are you on about then????????