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Good afternoon.

The boy Bale is undoubtedly going through what you might call a rebirth. No longer content with being what he obviously believes to be an admittedly lightening fast one trick pony who owns the left wing, his transition into a more central, Ronaldoesque figure is almost complete.

All we are waiting for is for the fine tuning if you like. The balance between him being an as effective team player and a regular goalscorer. The signs after only 7 games in are generally encouraging.

But then there’s the diving.

There are a number of issues here. The first is that he never used to dive. I never had the privilege of watching Didier Drogba prior to his shift at Second Hand Fridge so for the entirety of the time I watched him play in the Premier League he was a rotten, cheating diver.

The next is that cheats don’t prosper. That may make me sound like some Victorian school teacher but hear me out. When footballers hang up their boots and all they are left with is some money in the bank, some memories and their reputation.

Jimmy Greaves: Prolific barely describes his goalscoring. Reputation? Can be a bit prickly. Gary Lineker: Top notch player. Reputation? Housewife’s choice. Sol Campbell: One of the finest centre backs of the last 20 years. Reputation? Lots of people wouldn’t save him if he was drowning.

Gareth Bale needs to seriously sit down with someone he listens to and watch tapes of him simulating and decide …to stop it. And I think I know what Bale might say if you could get him to speak candidly about the subject.

While there are players like Charlie Adam in circulation and you have referees who fail to see every unlawful attack then it’s only right that you [the victim] do what you can to protect yourself from and try to stamp out these unfair and potentially dangerous challenges.

But this is naive. The reality is that until effective technology comes in the referee will miss things. The game is so fast and athletic now that in the thick of it the odd kick or worse will literally be quicker than the human eye.

Diving isn’t the answer. Is it? For every free kick he dubiously wins a small piece of his credibility is chipped away. Or am I missing something?

Luis Suarez this weekend plumbed new depths to the extent that he actually made a laughing stock of himself. The ‘cry wolf routine’ is so exhausted with Suarez now that an opponent could whip out a baseball bat,  thump him over the head with it and most referees would jog past the concussed Uruguayan, waving ‘get up’.

Bale must stop diving.

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  • Happy hamster says:

    Bale Bale
    Rock and roll

    • Liamyid says:

      Bale isn’t a diver or a cheat, he’s a bottler, a tart, plain and simple. He hates getting kicked, he doesn’t do pain well, and jumps out of the way of nasty looking ‘impending’ tackles. He rolls around when he does get taken out, but I don’t think he’s ever after a free kick or a pen, he just doesn’t want to get hurt. He needs to man up, cos know one likes a bottler or a cheat, so either is no good. I still love him though.

      • Gibbo says:

        Who does like pain? It’s not the 1st thing I think about when I wake ‘GIVE ME PAIN NOW’ end of the day he’s the finest footballer to play for spurs in a long time lets enjoy it. I think the boss will have a little word with him

        • jerkinmahjurgen says:

          When you’ve been on the end of a tackle or two, as he has, it’s difficult to be manly about it. Like being thumped, you’d flinch if you thought you were gonna get another. The evidence can all be youtubed – some horrendous tackles on Bale [who’s a wee sweet lad], some of his not doing pain well is also evident. There’s not much evidence of him cheating, making tackles look worse than they are, trying to get players sent off or play-acting. In the clip above he merely anticipated a tackle and shirked it. He didn’t add anything to that and there was no pressure on the ref from the Villa players. Bale certainly hasn’t it in him to get kicked, but neither has he in him to cheat. Having said that, may I contradict myself a little and suggest he nudged that defender into the boards? In game banter got out of hand? Maybe he is growing some?

      • essexian76 says:

        It’s pretty well documented that at an early age in Bale’s career, it looked finished before it had began. He suffered a back injury and it caused him to doubt his ability because of the constant fear of it returning and finishing him off altogether.
        I get that, truly, but football’s an impact game and he’s always going to be a target, more so because of his style of play and value to the team. But whether you’re a Sunday player or Professional, you’ll know expecting an injury and allowing it play on your mind will sooner or later cause the damned thing to happen anyway.

  • Gus says:

    It was against the keeper well outside his area FFS. The only time I ever recall an outfield player getting totally pole-axed by a keeper was that dirty cheating German keeper who broke that frog’s leg in the 1982 World Cup finals… (name anyone?)

    • Gus says:

      Toni Schumacher, did not break Battiston’s leg but crocked his jaw and a few teeth (out for 5 months). This is the exception not the rule, Bale has to stop diving without contact

    • klinsmannfan says:

      It may have been Schumacher (or possibly Steelekar?)

      HH – Jurgen should talk to him about diving! (well, as you can see I am a fan of that particular German)

      Great to see the team continuing to progress.

    • Beadle says:

      Don’t remember Bosnich on Klinsmann then?

      But yeah, that dive from Bale was ridonkulous. It must stop.

    • Gary B says:

      Can’t remember his name, but I still remember Mark Bosnich pole-axing Jurgen Klinnsmann after the ball had gone.

      • K says:

        Rustu Recber fly kicked Joe Cole in the head a few years back and ‘the best referee in the world’ gave him a yellow.

  • Gary B says:

    I’ve got some sympathy with Bale on this one. The keeper comes out and pretends he’s going to fly-hack him into tomorrow and Bale takes the dummy and tries to ride it.

    Seeing as he’s already had some nasty injuries when not expecting to be kicked off the ball (mainly by Charlie Adam). I think he’s just learned to protect himself.

    I don’t think he’s in the same league as Hazard, Torres or Ashley Young, and let’s not forget that Chavski and Man U have had 3 penalties each, in the league so far, and we’ve had none. Not very good diving stats.

    • Gus says:

      At least he didn’t writhe around on the ground like he had been fouled, no reaction at all in fact and maybe that’s what saved him from the YC

    • Matthaus says:

      I todaly agree… this time it just looked like he tried to avoid being kicked.. BUT he does dive to much… and I think he should stick to the left wing….

    • Astromesmo says:

      Totally agree on this Gary as I was arguing on a previous string. The guy seriously looked like he was going to do a De Jonge on him and goes to jump. When t**pot keeper pulls out, so does Bale.

      Baler doesn’t roll around, he doesn’t appeal for a free kick, he just lies there thinking ‘How is that legal?’ Like I said in the previous post, what if you walked over to a player with the ball, feigned that you were going to punch them, then when they ducked, took the ball off them? You’d probably be booked for ungentlemanly conduct. In my mind it’s the Villa keeper that should be in hot water for this, not Baler.

      Bale gets battered & when you spend every weekend getting kicked in the air with people like Howard Webb doing nothing, you decide to get out the way first. When you’re running at 100 mph, the only way is down.

      Let’s get off Balers back. He (Literally) seems to be the kicking post for everything at the moment.

      • LLL says:

        It’s a pathetic dive. The Keeper runs for the ball and actually stops when he sees he might catch anything of Bale as he knows that’s a red card whatever. Bale anticipates the contact and hits the deck as he knows it’s a red card whatever. Except the contact didn’t come and he looks like a cheat, which he is, in this instance. Please lets not try and pretend otherwise because he’s one of ours.

        Guess what, all Liverpool fans think Suarez doesn’t dive too!

        • Astromesmo says:

          Are you so determined to paint Bale the same as Suarez?

          OK, have it your way, go and boo him every week. It’ll be a big help.

          Now, who can we turn on next?

        • LLL says:

          I’m not turning on him. I can’t stand Suarez. I want to dislike him openly and without any trace of hypocrisy. Atm anyone can say ‘Bale dives too’, and they’d have a point. He needs to stop doing it, does him no justice. I don’t buy this ‘protection’ notion one bit. If I was trying to protect myself I might jump out of the way. I wouldn’t need to flop onto the floor and make it look like I’ve actually been caught. Which is what he does. Everyone can see this, except a few Spurs fans.

        • Astromesmo says:

          If you read a few of my posts rather than taking your customary contrary point of view, I think you’ll find that I say I’m in the ‘have a quiet word’ camp. That he’s not completely innocent but I’m happy for him to get out of the way rather than spending half the season on the slab.

          I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a cheat though and I just don’t see the point of starting yet another witch hunt against one of our own players – especially not just because some t**t on MoTD has a go.

        • LLL says:

          I’m not taking a contrary view! Either he dives or he doesn’t. Diving is cheating. You seem to believe that he does ‘kind of sort of ‘ dive but that in his case it isn’t ‘really’ cheating. Or something.

          It’s not a witch hunt, it’s like if your friend makes an arse out of himself, you should tell him, not let him keep doing it and shame himself and everyone else. I didn’t watch MOTD, I saw he dived with my own eyes during the match and I didn’t like it.

      • Phil McAvity says:

        The Villa keeper should be in hot water? For what? All he does is go to hoof the ball and changes his mind when he realises that he isn’t quick enough!

        Having watched it again I do feel that Bale tries to jump a tackle that doesn’t happen. No need to jump on the floor though.

  • Habib says:

    Diving in an age where video reviews occur post match and the refs go see a highlights reel of moments of games they ref is pure professional idiocy.

    Having said that, when you run at 60 kmh and avoid a life theeatening tackle ofcourse you’re gonna bloody well fall. I’d keep the jury out on Bale. He has miles to go before he becomes a Suarez or Young and I think its undeserved as he doesnt raise his hand up and ask for a penalty etc.

    • Astromesmo says:

      Well said :daumen:

      The difference between Baler & Sewer-Rat, is that Baler doesn’t go out to cheat the ref as part of his game plan. You can count his ‘dives’ on the fingers of one hand, whereas Suarez seems to have a handful every game.

      • Habib says:

        Suarez is dumb. I mean there is no other explanation. Getting a rep for diving is the worst thing. It can cost your team 10 or more points a season in penalties not given! Since Young dived he seems to have disappeared for Man U!

    • LLL says:

      Suarez is the second worst person in the premier league, so that’s not a competition Bale should be looking at. I would put Bale on an even level with Young though. I like both players, Bale obviously a lot more. Both have been caught with their pants down doing some simulation though and should be criticized for it.

  • essexian76 says:

    In defence of Bale (on this incident), he doesn’t appeal nor feign injury.However,because he’s got history the easy assumption is he’s dived.Perhaps the more ‘clued up’ serial offenders don’t actually appeal leaving the door open for the player to use evasive action as an excuse.
    The FA must bring in the Scottish system of retrospective assessment, and punish offenders with hefty bans also managers need to encourage players to stamp it out.
    Listening to Albert Ferreira on TS, he said at Barcelona diving is not acceptable and not ‘their way’

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