8 Mar 2015

'Diving': Angry Lawro blasts £29m LFC star for 'cheating' against Blackburn. Fair?

After two wins in a week at Anfield, Liverpool were expected to win 'comfortably' against Blackburn Rovers today, but the Reds delivered a turgid, ineffective performance, and now face an energy-sapping replay at Ewood Park. Daniel Sturridge had a quiet game overall, but Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson has slated the striker for one particularly unsavoury incident during the game.

Early in the second half, Sturridge went down after tussling with Kilgallon in the box, and according to Lawro, the England striker deliberately tried to deceive the referee. He raged:

"Matthew Kilgallon put his arm out. Whether there is any contact I'm not sure but Daniel Sturridge went over very easily. Diving, it's just cheating, I'm sorry"

Strong words from Lawro, and watching the replays, £29m-rated Sturridge did appear to go down very easily. The question is, did Kilgallon exert enough force on the Liverpool man to precipitate such a dramatic fall to the ground?

I doubt it. It's typical footballer 'gamesmanship': whenever there's the slightest contact in the box, go down in the hope of winning a penalty, and that's what appears to have happened with this incident.

Sturridge was nowhere near the ball, and the chance had gone, so he when he felt the contact from Kilgannon, he fell over hoping to gain an advantage. This is not the first time Sturridge has done this, either.

April 2013: Sturridge received a yellow card against Man City for simulation. At the time, Graham Poll scathed: "Sturridge chose to dive to try and win a penalty. Thankfully [the referee] was not fooled and Sturridge accepted the yellow card with an apologetic hand wave"

March 2014: Sturridge clearly dived to win a penalty against Man United. After the game, Alan Hansen noted: "Daniel Sturridge dived for the penalty but Vidic should never have allowed him to get into that position. In the modern game if you put your leg out the chances are you will get punished"

As such, given his past history, there's a high probability here that Sturridge dived against Blackburn. It's disappointing, and hopefully, Brendan Rodgers will have a word with him after the game.

Who am I kidding? Of course he won't! Rodgers has a history of defending divers (including Sturridge and Suarez), so the whole thing will just be brushed under the carpet. Additionally, enabling fans will make excuses for the incident, and justify it in the most tenuous ways imaginable.

Such is life when it comes to the insular world of football.

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29 comments:

  1. Here's what I don't understand...


    I think any reasonable viewer would agree that there was contact, enough to slightly impede his progress but not nearly enough to bring him to the ground.


    With that being said, it's a dive. Why didn't he receive a card?

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  2. Are you a Liverpool fan? Did you watch the game and see the incident yourself? Kilgallon impeded Sturridge's movement. He made a grab at Sturridge. I suspect from your conclusion to your article you side with Lawrenson and think that players go down all too easy.

    I wonder have you played the game? Have you had a defender budge you when you are running flat out? I would be interested to see your reaction during a game if 8t happened to you.

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  3. Do they do "congratulations on a good dive" cards ?

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  4. I think they should take the electronic sign they use for subs and stoppage and get their moneys worth.


    Think about it, right now with subs and stoppage it can be used a max of 8 times per game.


    Score goes 1 to 10 (1 being the worst, 10 being the best). Any score under a 7 gets a yellow. Anything above a 7 gets a laugh. Anything under a 3 gets a straight red and a shake of the head.

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  5. There was a contact. Not a penalty but not a dive either.

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  6. If jordan ibe had played we would have won easy

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  7. Not with his injury we wouldn't ;-)

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  8. Agreed! Much ado over nothing in this case.

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  9. Lawro searching for something to talk about in a nothing game. He is sure it was a dive but not sure if there was contact? So he didn't watch any replays then? There was contact and like nearly all players Sturridge emphasised it. Hazard And Costa do it numerous times every game, how are Chelsea doing?

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  10. Lawro also said Mario was a an absolute waste of time and that he should't be nowhere near the team..

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  11. You're right but it was still a dive. In an ideal world players would not dive and those that did would get punished but it is not an ideal world and football is no better or no worse than just about every other aspect of life.

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  12. I hate diving but I also think ref's aren't strong enough when it comes to giving fouls if a player tries to stay on his feet. How many times have you heard pundits say, if he'd gone down there he'd have got a penalty? Same goes for shirt pulling at corners etc.
    The fact that subtle fouls in the box are pretty much always ignored, it encourages players to emphasise the contact, which usually results in some embarrassing dive.

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  13. I'm in the Linneka school of thought. If there is contact you make show of it. A dive is when you are not touched. I'm not saying roll around on the floor but if your impeded on purpose it is a foul, so emphasise it to the ref. It is just one of the many ways teams cheat. I don't know why it is highlighted as the worst.

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  14. Toure was pushed in the back as he went to head the ball. Straight up pushed. He hit the post. It's cheating. Any word from anyone about it? No. Why? Toure made nothing of it. It's shiiiiit but that's life.

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  15. I am far from a Balo fan but lawro is an idiot.

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  16. I think we drew this game because you predicted a comfortable win and that totally jinxed it.
    The rule is that you make a dumb prediction, then we win easily.
    For our next game, I hope you predict your customary 2-2 draw ;)

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  17. Every week we see players who will go down when they feel a touch on their shoulder, it seems clear that it's something they actually train for. How else could they develop that kind of reaction? Does that mean they actually train for it with their current clubs? That would be a hell of a revelation, but if it's true I can't imagine any managers would come forward and admit it.


    There is a long long list of dirty tactics that are employed in almost every game. Focusing on diving is actually a bit of a distraction, it leads to this perception that there are isolated incidents and not in fact an epidemic. Professional sports is ripe with cheating and it happens quite a lot at the top level. In football it's almost constant. Players are kicked, pushed, pulled by their shirts, refs are appealed to in order to give decisions that players know would be wrong. What there actually needs to be is a Kick It Out style campaign to highlight these behaviours and shame the FA into doing something about it. At the moment it really does seem as if cheating is just commonplace and these outbursts from pundits like Lawro mean very little.

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  18. Diving (cheating ) and you get a rewarded a penalty .
    Spitting 6 game automatic ban
    Ashley Barnes nearly brake's a players leg and nothing ??
    Clearly football rules are all up side down but then again commomsense and sport do not go hand in hand
    Diving is CHEATING and should be a straight red card .

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  19. Lawro should be gagged permanently or be put away in an old folks home.

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  20. No his normal Liverpool to loss 2-1 ,then we win

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  21. The old folks have enough problems

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  22. The only player who should be nowhere near the team is G Johnson(30) at all.



    Whenever G Johnson(30) plays in side now our defence looks suspect and whenever Johnson(30), Lovren(25) and Toure(30) are all in defence we look a shambles just lucky we were not playing against premiership opposition yesterday.

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  23. Plus the fact he's cup tied...

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  24. Unfortunately, I fear it's been such common place for so long now that you see kids playing these days and they are diving. When I was growing up, playing football with my mates every night, nobody EVER dived. Would've been a waste of time anyway because you never got a free kick unless an ambulance was required.
    I agree with your points about the widespread cheating in the game but when an institution the size of football, is run by an institution like FIFA which is rife with rampant corruption and shady dealings, what chance has the rest of the game got of cleaning up its act

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  25. Whatever! Lawro, the bastion of decency...not bloody likely, just a short memory

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  26. To me it's one of those subjective incidents. Was he touched at all....yes. Was the 'touch' enough to go down....probably not. Here is where it could get murky though. Was Sturridge off balance, leaning forward, over stretching on his run? Was he about to change angle and if so even a nudge could be enough. Was the touch enough to impede his efforts to get the ball?
    My summation of it is yes he was touched, no he didn't go down 'like he was shot', he felt pressure and went down.
    The way I judge the situation he knew he wasn't going to reach the ball (too close to keeper), he felt the impediment, he went down hoping to gain an advantage. Ref gave no pen and no dive. I think that's the bang on decision.

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  27. I agree! Straight red.



    It's on the same level as a handball on the goal-line or a fouling a striker that's through on goal.

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  28. Good to see Angel di Maria getting a yellow for diving last night

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