Vital Football

Latest Watford FC News

Talking Points: Should Players Dive?

Talking Points: Should Players Dive?
It is the final minute of the playoff final at Wembley in the 2012-13 season. Watford are drawing 1-1 against Cardiff City and a player dives to win a last minute penalty to gain our side promotion! Happy?

This week at Vital Watford I am going to examine the difficult topic of gamesmanship, diving and how and when players cross the line between cuteness and cheating.

It is a difficult question to debate as a fan about what the line should be between being clever and breaking the rules. After all, if our team wins a game because a player has dived for a penalty do the majority of fans care? I would like to think that they would and that they would be strong enough to look past how their team has benefited from such play and condemn that act itself.

We have seen many examples to illustrate the fine line between gamesmanship and cheating in recent weeks. Danny Welbeck has been guilty twice in recent times of going over easily; once against Ukraine whilst playing for England and again for Manchester United in a match against Wigan.

We have also seen Luis Suarez, a player with a reputation for simulation denied penalties in two consecutive weeks, perhaps for nothing else other than his over theatrical falls. We also saw a poor display of diving from various Chelsea players during the weekend`s game against Stoke.

So, given that I would hope all fans would put aside club loyalties when looking at this situation, it is interesting to see where anyone would draw the line. Is it ok for a player to 'leave his leg` hanging after taking the ball past a defender and wait for contact before going down? On one hand the player has conned the defender into touching him by making an unnatural action, however on the other hand, a player can behave how he wants within the laws of the game and if a players leaves his foot it is up to the defender to get out of the way.

Another interesting scenario is one similar to the situation at Old Trafford when Welbeck went over Ali Al-Habsi. If a player is coming towards an opponent at speed in the box does there need to be contact for a penalty to be given? The rules of the game state that a foul can be awarded if a player makes intent to foul an opponent. If a player sees an opponent coming towards him at speed should there need to be contact, at risk of injuring the player, for there to be a penalty?

I think there is one case though, that all fans can agree goes beyond gamesmanship and is clear simulation and that is what we saw from Chelsea against Stoke on Saturday. Particularly in Branislav Ivanovic`s case, where clearly no contact was made, nor was he avoiding injury by hurdling a challenge, but just throwing himself down theatrically to try and trick the referee into awarding a penalty. This is clearly beyond the bounds of gamesmanship.

Beyond the obvious examples of diving, the question is really open ended for each individual fan as to what is acceptable to win a penalty and what isn`t. It is all about interpretation.

I would add some final thoughts though, in saying that along the lines of an argument used on many occasion by Sam Allardyce, players often have to go down if officials are likely to spot any contact. Penalty areas are so congested often that little trips go unnoticed unless a player makes a big deal out of it. Often players cannot win penalties when they are tripped in the box if they shrug it off and continue playing. However this begs a final question, which will be left for you to discuss. Is any contact in the box a penalty, or if a player can stay on his feet after a challenge, then the tackle clearly not strong enough to prevent him from continuing, should they despite probably not getting the decision of a spot kick?

Remember to tell us what you think by commenting below!

Writer:chrisgwfc
Date:Wednesday September 26 2012
Time: 2:49PM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Staged or Real?

Comments

0
I got fed up with Garner falling all over the place! But a last minute penalty against Manky, oh yes please..
ANDY710
26/09/2012 20:32:00
0
I'm quite ashamed to say I'd have no issue with one of our players diving to win a penalty/win a game. We get cheated quite often enough and unfortunately it is now part & parcel of the game so it's time we joined as, as we have been quite honest in recent years.
wfc123
26/09/2012 21:11:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Watford Articles

Mazzarri Eyes New Keeper

Gomes the man with the gloves at Vicarage Road but Watford boss Mazzarri is apparently looking to bring in another player to challenge the former Tottenham keeper.

Watford And West Brom Handed FA Charge

Watford have been charged by the Football Association following the events on Saturday, which saw both sets of players clash in our defeat at West Brom.

Vital View - Premier League, 3rd-5th December 2016

Chelsea's win against Manchester City keeps them at the top ahead of Arsenal now. Swansea, Hull and Sunderland are the sides that remain in the bottom three.

FA Cup Third Round - Full Draw (5/12/16)

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup took place earlier this evening.

Archived Vital Watford Articles

Vital Watford articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Watford
Write For Vital Watford
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

West Brom MotM
Suggested By:
Gomes1%
Holebas12%
Kabasele0%
Prodl0%
Zuniga0%
Amrabat75%
Guedioura0%
Capoue0%
Pereyra0%
Okaka0%
Deeney12%
Sub - Ighalo0%
Sub - Sinclair0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 14 11 1 2 34 21
2 Arsenal 14 9 4 1 31 19
3 Liverpool 14 9 3 2 30 17
4 Man City 14 9 3 2 30 15
5 Spurs 14 7 6 1 27 14
6 Man Utd 14 5 6 3 21 3
7 WBA 14 5 5 4 20 3
8 Everton 14 5 5 4 20 1
9 Stoke 14 5 4 5 19 -3
10 AFC Bournemouth 14 5 3 6 18 -3
11 Watford 14 5 3 6 18 -6
12 Southampton 14 4 5 5 17 -2
13 Middlesbrough 14 3 6 5 15 -2
14 Crystal Palace 14 4 2 8 14 -2
15 Burnley 14 4 2 8 14 -11
16 Leicester City 14 3 4 7 13 -7
17 West Ham 14 3 3 8 12 -14
18 Sunderland 14 3 2 9 11 -10
19 Hull City 14 3 2 9 11 -18
20 Swansea 14 2 3 9 9 -15
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Watford Results (view all)

Watford Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 12:30PM : Everton (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 14 2016 8:00PM : Manchester City (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 17 2016 3:00PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 26 2016 12:30PM : Crystal Palace (H)
Barclays Premier League
Jan 1 2017 1:30PM : Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Barclays Premier League
Jan 3 2017 8:00PM : Stoke City (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Gary Pine1
Vital Football Comment