11 Sept 2009

Arsene Wenger is absolutely right about this kind of hypocrisy

If Wayne Rooney dived in the world cup final and was awarded a penalty that led directly to England winning the world, would he be targeted and denigrated by the press and fans the next day, just like Eduardo was after the Celtic game? Arsene Wenger doesn’t think so, and I think he’s right.

In a recent interview, Wenger said:

“England are in the World Cup and if Rooney does that [Dives] in the last minute of the game and England win the World Cup, do you really think Rooney will be slaughtered the next day?

No, he wouldn’t be. In fact, the whole issue would be glossed over/rationalised in some way and Rooney would, in all probability, be lionised as a hero.

The evidence for this is how the press has treated British divers and cheats in the past, and indeed after the Eduardo incident. There have been countless examples of players like Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole diving in the past but the Xenophobic press has never made a big deal out it.

Contrast that with the recent demonisation of Eduardo and the treatment of other players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba, and you will see a definite disparity in fairness, which almost definitely comes from nationalistic bias.

Gerrard and Rooney have even been booked for diving (!) yet the press still keeps quiet about it and/or tries to rationalise/justify it.

And it’s not only the press; fans are complicit in this too, with an increasing number of ‘fans’ happy to accept cheating if it gains their team an advantage.

I wouldn’t put it past top players to dive in a world cup final with cynical intention of winning a penalty. In the 1990 final, Rudi Voller arguably dived to win the penalty that won Germany the World Cup.

In the same game, Jurgen Klinnsman’s disgraceful dive and play-acting were responsible for Pedro Monzon being sent off.

But England players would never do such things, would they?

Of course not - according to John Terry they’re far too honest!


  1. It's been around a long time but it does'nt have to win a penalty. Manchester United made falling an art form outside the box when they could utilise both Beckham and Ronaldo to take the free kicks.

  2. A journalistn who is prepared to talk the truth and say what he/she thinks without any bias towars any player, in this case Steve G...I salute you for having the courage and conviction

  3. The reason the press can make Rooney look good and Drogba and Ronaldo look bad for the same dive is because Rooney does not moan like he has been hit with a cricket bat when he falls down. Look at Drogba and Ronaldo holding their legs after falling down, all childish; too much play acting. Have you ever seen Rooney falling down and clutching his leg...I cant remember but at least it would not have happened too often...

  4. Maybe you have a point about the play-acting side of things but it doesn't change the fact that when players like Rooney and Gerrard dive (and are booked for diving!), the press brushes it under the carpet.

    And Rooney DOES play-act when he goes down.  Check out this dive against Chelsea.  Watch the moments after the dive; he's on the floor for about 10 seconds, then decides to writhe around a bit (moving his legs) as if he's really injured.  That is play-acting and a cynical attempt to make the incident appear worse that it is.  Footage is here (watch from 0.09 onwards).



  6. nice article nice to see liverpool fans backing arsenal. i very dissappointed with the england fans who booed eduardo when rooney dived just a few day earlier. i just understand why england fans love rooney so much when he is the reason y england where knocked out the world cup in germany by getting send of i believe that england would do better without him and have gerrard plating behind defoe like the does for liverpool

  7. most if not all players will dive at one time or another but when its in a possition were a pen or a dangerous free kick is given it magnifies the incident, and when its a high profile player/game it gets even more attention, rooney is a lot worse than gerrard but drogbar is the worse in the way he dives he is not even a bit convincing but the refs give him a walk over he should get booked and he will pack it in for sure

  8. Well said.
    If I could give another example...

    What is Maradona best known for in England?  The goal he punched in against England. 
    Who did more or less exactly the same in the same tournament (ie punch in a goal)?  Gary Lineker.  Ever see that mentioned?

  9. Good point - I don't think I've ever head anyone mention that in the press.  I'll bet the majority of fans don't even remember it (I didn't!)

  10. Any link to a video? I couldn find Lineker's handball on youtube. I really regard him as one of the most honest players in history (you know: no yellow/red, Fifa fair play award)

  11. Replace the name Rooney with diver-in-chief Gerrard and you'd all be up in arms about Wenger's comments.   Now that's hypocrisy.

  12. Yeah, the media are hypocrites.
    The keep quiet when there is something to with the English players and make a huge fuss about others. I think the same kind treatment is dished out to managers as well. Example, anything that Rafa does is always criticised and this good human being, never gets the respect he deserves.

    Except for Wenger, who's more english than french now, most of the foreign managers receive a lot of stick. Most unwarranted, whereby, if an English manager does the same thing, it is all swept under the carpet.

    Double standards? Well if you name is Alex Ferguson, then that is whole different story!

  13. <span style="">Double standards? Well if you name is Alex Ferguson, then that is whole different story!</span>

    Ah The Wizard - he's a prince among men.