Robin van Persie’s “dive” raises more questions

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Soccerlens has something of a ‘reputation’ when it comes to Arsenal and diving – my attacks on Henry during the World Cup were roundly criticised (by Arsenal fans, obviously), but the point still remained:

In the current climate of football where diving has now become an accepted way of getting the better of referees and opposition players, are the ‘top’ players also susceptible to this affliction?

Steven Gerrard is another respected player who has been labelled as a diver. Yesterday I also wrote about the Giggs foul and how it looked dodgy.

All these incidents, plus video replays of the van Persie foul, makes me wonder if in the name of ‘fair play’ we are in effect holding footballers to highly idealistic standards that are impossible to maintain.

And then there is the van Persie incident. Credit to Arseblog for calling it a dive but I think this is yet another case where we expect too much from players. See the incident for yourself.

Arsenal vs Hamburg – van Persie wins the penalty

Yes, van Persie looks over at the linesman, and yes, it looks like he took a tumble before the keeper touched him. What was he doing? He was trying to win a penalty.

How many times have we tried to use the ‘rules’ to our advantage in order to gain leverage, be it in work, in relationships or in everyday life? The fact is, we’re not perfect – if you put yourself under the microscope like we put these players you’ll have even more shocking incidents of ‘gamesmanship’ and people trying to bend/break the rules.

Bottom line? The referees – with the help of technology – need to stop making bad decisions. All this diving talk is pointless, because it only keeps highlighting how difficult a job it is to referee football matches.

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