Defence Warned About Diving as Arsenal Need to Get Their Heads Back

“Let’s not predict too far ahead. Let’s see how we go into the next game.”

Wise words, Arsène, because in the next game is Tottenham at Wembley. Be ready to see that free-kick over and over. Tone’s header may surface but 1988’s 4 – 0 drubbing? I doubt it; that’s before football was invented. So was Gazza’s free-kick but national treasure and all that.

The euphoria of Saturday’s first-half swirls in the air which is all well and good. Why not enjoy a scintillating spell of football, especially in a season where drudgery has been the byword. Don’t get carried away; no corners are yet turned. The suggestion they are is mostly made with tongues inserted in cheeks with the same firmness Piers Morgan planted his head up Trump’s rectum.

Arsène faces a tough week. Wembley is an unforgiving place to lose, even more so when the swamp-dwellers are hosts. Their draw at Anfield came in the divey-est of circumstances.

Is that how you spell divey-est? I tried diviest – to make it seem like a proper word – but pronounced that more as an old-school playground taunt; Oi, Moss, you div! Don’t guess for penalties! From a Liverpool perspective, the defending was the diviest seen for some time so…

The Arsenal backline has been forewarned. Kane will go down at the slightest hint of a breeze while kicking an opponent may be gratifying but when they collapse in a heap, it’s a penalty. Yes, Lamela went looking for it but that was a brave thing to do given Kane’s previous penalty, a spot-kick Petr Cech wouldn’t have saved though.

We bemoan how easily other players collapse under a tackle but turn a blind eye to our own failings. Being a football supporter is a wonderful example of human hypocrisy and we don’t care.

Concrete and Clay

Wembley hosting a league match is a curious situation. Does it diminish the aura of the national stadium? For me, that dimmed when the twin towers disappeared; the modern arch is all very, well, modern but not awe-inspiring. Don’t get me wrong, the new stadium itself is light years better than the old ground but there’s no real history there. No sense of attachment.

The Emirates has the same problem and maybe a few trophies will change that but I don’t think so. New stadia are designed to make the supporter experience so much better while ensuring airflow makes the pitch a carpet.

Well, old grounds didn’t care about that; they wanted as many supporters in as possible and close to the pitch as space was at a premium. It’s better for the atmosphere but that’s where the disconnect is: the whole package. We’re more comfortable now but soulless. That may come with time and trophies but I don’t think so; it’s not part of the modern game.

Anyway, Wembley for a league game inflicts the same damage through familiarity as the semi-finals being staged there. I didn’t agree with them being played at old Wembley either before you ask. It diminishes the cup final experience. I don’t think as fans you ever become complacent on Cup Final Saturday but shifting kick-offs and what-have-you’s dulls the event. Maybe that’s me and romanticising my youth; I’m willing to accept that as a genuine thought.

But a league match at Wembley? It worked for Tottenham and the FA – financially – but for the stadium? Some of the awe disappears. I’m sure Newport County will love their cup replay but it’s not the final, is it? Our Champions League games at old Wembley didn’t sit any more comfortably with me before you ask.

Good Bloke, Bad Idea

Despite this being their home ground, it doesn’t give any advantage to Tottenham this weekend. We’ve played there almost as many times as they have in the past few years. It’s almost a home game for us.

Thank god David Dein was over-ruled on that one.

Arsène spoke about his bafflement over our away performances being so poor. The pitch is the same size he said and the surroundings don’t matter. However, I think it must do; we surely practice a little differently in the build-up to the game? We rarely if ever, come flying out of the blocks like we did on Saturday when we’re away from the Emirates so while it’s correct to suggest it’s in the players’ heads, it’s also in the manager’s noggin as well.

And that may be the biggest issue to overcome. Good weekend to solve that problem, I think.

’til Tomorrow.

69 thoughts on “Defence Warned About Diving as Arsenal Need to Get Their Heads Back

  1. Boom…

    No idea how its spelled ( divi- dive- ). What is sure is that is a particular Liverpudlian – Merseysjde colloquialism,
    Referring to the intelligence of a person.

    Mustafi must learn to stay on his feet otherwise he’s going to be a liability at Wembley. Midfield and defence are the 2 areas where Arsenal are going to have to have a plan against Spurs.

    Liverpool bossed the 1st half. Klopp went with a 5 in defence the 2 nd half this in turn allowed Spurs to dominate the midfield and pen Liverpool in their own half.

    Harry Kane is allowed to get away with murder by the English press. The gfen boy.

  2. Any fans going to the game make sure you have your wits about you. Nasty bunch that lot on and off the pitch.

    Have bad memories of Gazza’s free kick, having just taken my seat at Wembley to see it fly into the top corner. And yes it was a superb goal. Still thought we could have beaten them that day.

    Better memories of Big Tone’s header in ’93. Lots of fisticuffs before the game, but a lovely result if quite industrial to watch.

  3. Pete the Thirst,

    Gazza’s FK? I was directly behind the goal a few rows up and it looked like Seaman has lead in his boots. Should have been saved, felt that we were suckered that day.

    As for the diving I can’t stand it, even get embarrassed when one of ours does it too. And I despise ex-players who claim that “he was entitled to go down” or “he earned it” and other such garbage. Any player who even exaggerates a fall should be banned. If the issue is that referees will not give a pen for tackles unless the player hits the turf like he’s been shot then deal with the problem with referees. Making football a non-contact sport is another step down the road to where it ceases to be a sport and becomes another branch of the entertainment industry together with reality TV and the Christmas panto.

  4. andy1886,

    Kane even says after the game that he felt contact, so he went down. Not that he was taken down. Openly admitting that he dived when he felt contact. I agree, I don’t like our players doing it either. I still hate seeing that clip of Pires deliberately sticking his leg out to collect the penalty.

    I am confused by the offside though. The ref appears to have given the penalty decision, as he thinks Lovern touched the ball on to Kane. I really need to see the incident again.

  5. We have conceded 4 penalties in the League this season and that follows on from 10 last season. Before that we only really conceded the odd stupid penalty each season. The Spuds are going to be dropping like flies and will be looking to put pressure on our back line. In those circumstances we invariably panic and concede a spot kick. Just make sure Holding is nowhere near the pitch for this one.

  6. Wavey,

    I think it’s a get out for the referee. What they are saying is that Lovren touched it before Kane collected the ball so it’s not at that point offside. What they conveniently ignore is that when the ball was played, before Lovren made contact, Kane was still offside. Now if the pass wasn’t aimed at Kane then fair enough, but it was a pass to Kane who was offside and should have been flagged as such before Lovren got involved.

    If their ‘interpretation’ is correct then what’s to stop a striker standing behind the defence and having his team mates try to play the ball off an opponent and set him in one on one with the keeper? It wouldn’t be that hard to do especially in a congested space just outside the box.

  7. Good stuff Yogi

    I said it yesterday but I do find it funny how much Spuds get away with not only the amount of fouls they get away with but also the diving that they do quite regularly stacks up with anybody.

  8. Andy

    It doesn’t matter that “when the ball was played, before Lovren made contact, Kane was still offside” because Kane’s position is irrelevant until he gets the ball or makes a decisive movement toward it. As soon as Lovren made contact, the scenario changed as he made a deliberate attempt to kick the ball and played to the opposition. It became a new passage of play.

    The only change in the rule has been to remove a deflection off a defender’s shin which now cannot play a forward onside. Had the ball deflected into the path of Kane, it’s offside but Lovren made a deliberate attempt to play the ball.

  9. YW,

    Fair enough, but seems like a stupid rule to me, however you look at it Kane had already gained an advantage. The idea that you can only gain an advantage if you move towards the ball is a false one in my opinion. Contrast that advantage with the one that Lacazette was flagged for earlier in the season when his big toe was deemed offside.

  10. I must have been sitting right behind you. It wasn’t Seaman’s best game for Arsenal, but he was in general very reliable.

    Pete the Thirst,

    Gazza’s FK? I was directly behind the goal a few rows up and it looked like Seaman has lead in his boots. Should have been saved, felt that we were suckered that day.

  11. Just saw the video of Espanyol fans singing racist chants at Umtiti and Sergio Garcia on the pitch was shouting racist comments at Umtiti during the match to the point that Pique had to hold Umtiti back as he was trying to go get him.

  12. YW/Andy,

    I was about to salute Andy for his view on when an off-side occurred, and the moment it was originally kicked froze the positions of the players, and a player being offside was crystallised at that point.

    Of course now that you have offered an adverse opinion Yogi, I deny that I was ever going to say any such thing!! ”

    In fairness, I have to say that Law 11 is not clear to me; but that is no defence (ha ha) let’s see what the relevant bits say,

    — A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play
    gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
    rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent
    been deliberately saved by any opponent

    A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball (except ** from a deliberate save by any opponent) is not considered to have gained an advantage.

    ** The exception:
    [A ‘save’ is when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless he is the goalkeeper within the penalty area).]

    Well that is as clear as mud. 🤪

  13. Dojo,

    A player receiving 5 yellow cards in the period from the start of the season until the cut-off, at the end of the year, gets a 1 match suspension. If they subsequently receive a total of 10 and then 15 yellow cards before the end of the season, they will be suspended for further matches.

  14. jw1,

    Eagles fans or should I say Philly fans are a completely different breed of people not just the booing of St Nick but they also had an active jail UNDERNEATH their stadium that was used time they had an event and was often times “overcrowded”. They also use to put out bounties on opposing fans.

    Good for them for winning the Superbowl, but FFS they are an unruly bunch, but the Wenger Out sign did make me laugh.

  15. C,

    Just read your comment re the racist attack’s on Umtiti, and I am appalled.

    Spain does not have a good reputation for that — I follow F1 and some years ago Lewis Hamilton suffered some disgusting racist stuff too.

    The way to get these thuggish ‘fans’ out of the game is to fine the clubs, or make them play behind closed doors.

    Other fans will bring these idiots to heel when they are effected to.

    It is so upsetting to hear this crap is still going on. – and I dread to think what will happen in Russia !!!!

  16. HenryB,

    It is a shame and for a player on the pitch to attack him verbally with racist bullshit is just as if not more disgusting. Have to admit, Pique is a better man than me because I wouldn’t have held him back.

    I am in complete agreement with you regarding fines, suspensions, and playing behind closed doors.

    Russia, well I terrified to see what happens myself but hopefully it won’t be too bad, I hope

  17. In other Arsenal news, it will be interesting to see what happens moving forward with Ramsey and Jack.

    Jack is out of contract in the summer and Ramsey has already rejected a new deal and negotiations regarding one. I would personally prefer Jack and sure Ramsey offers a goal threat BUT we don’t need that all the time honestly if we put Lacazette in the team ahead of Iwobi.

    Huge decisions to be made regarding our midfield.

  18. C,
    Ramsey has proved himself at cup competitions for both club and country. He is creative and carries a goal threat from deep which is weapon and team would love to have.Jack is really yet to prove himself for Club or country.

  19. Ak,

    Ramsey has proven himself in one really good season, one really good summer tournament for country and has shown in the cups. Jack had one really good season for club and has shown this year when played. Both players still have to prove themselves on a consistent basis.

    The question though becomes, which one is more of what we need and will help this team? Swap LAcazette and Iwobi in the XI and you have Lacazette and Aubameyang coupled with Ozil and Mhkitaryan then we won’t need a goal threat from midfield, we will need a solid base in midfield.

  20. It’s not only Kane and Alli who dive at every opportunity, Lamella is just as bad. Diving is cheating, end of! It really does need to be stamped out.

  21. The problem with this diving malarkey is the ex-player pundits who say that laying a hand on the shoulder of another player in the penalty area deserves a penalty award — or however peripheral a touch on a boot in the area blah blah should be a penalty etc etc.

    While prats like that are given ‘air time’ on the radio or TV it makes stamping on diving pretty nigh impossible.

    And here I was thinking football is a ‘contact’ sport — when actually it has become a ‘non-contact’ sport. Pathetic — especially when they turn turtle if those ideas are applied to their old clubs.

  22. Debuchy doesn’t seem to happy with Arsene:

    “I would have liked to have left Arsenal earlier and to have played for a different club.

    “There were moments when I was angry with the manager.

    “There was an approach from Manchester United and he did not want me to leave.”

  23. Just saw this juicy little stat that doesn’t even take into consideration the ones he got away with or were called for and didn’t receive a yellow:

    3 – Dele Alli has been handed three yellow cards for simulation since his debut Premier League season in 2015-16; no player has received more. Hoodwinked.

  24. Penalty for Watford as Courtious looks to have made contact and while it wasn’t as bad a dive as Kane’s, there was very little contact.

    Deeney buries it and Chelsea are down 1-0 and if reports are true, this could be it for Conte

  25. Congrats to our U23’s who destroyed Everton 4-0 to take them within a point of PL2 leaders Liverpool.

    Nketiah grabbed a hat-trick and Nelson was brilliant and scored a equally as brilliant goal.

  26. Chelsea are being absolutely bossed. I’m not sure Chelsea have even had a shot on target, the only shot I can remember them having at all was a wild swing by Willian in the first half.

    Giroud is coming on to make his Chelsea debut

  27. Matters just got worst because Pedro went down with a non-contact injury and on-comes the ex-Arsenal man Giroud

  28. Don’t worry about taking over the blog, C, it’s brilliant / I get to read your comments while I work !! 🤣

  29. Doucoure is a brilliant find for Watford.
    How come Watford found him – while we scratch our asses?

    Like Leics found Kanté.

  30. HenryB,

    Doucoure was a brilliany signing as was Lemina(a player I wanted in the summer from Juve).

    Well hopefully Mislintat can find us one like Kramer, who has developed brilliantly.

  31. Evening,

    Does Conte survive the axe after losing 3-0 against Bournemouth and then 4-1 against Watford in less than a week.

    The offside rule has just become a nonsense. Clearly Kane is offside when the original attempt to get the ball to him is made and the touch by Lovern is incidental because it doesn’t stop the ball getting through to an offside player. The rule is fundamentally flawed as it allows such an incident to stand. Unfortunately it is the rule and therefore Kane isn’t regarded as offside. VAR would not have solved the problem, because it seems that two referees have subsequently completely disagreed about the interpretation.
    What is worse though is that both penalties were given for dives and the view of experts now appears to be that players should go down if they feel contact. I preferred it when the contact had to be enough to bring you down, rather than dropping to the ground at the slightest touch. I remember Walcott’s goal against Newcastle when he was clearly floored by the defender, but got up and scored whilst they all expected the ref to blow for a penalty. That’s the way players should react to contact, get up and score. Let the referee decide if its a penalty, don’t make the decision for him.

  32. C,

    It was harsh on Ranieri because he had just managed to achieve something incredible. Many would argue that Leicester were settling back to a more natural position the following season and had already gone through to the knock out stages of the CL when they sacked him. He did just lose 5 PL games in a row though and had lost 14 in the league in total whilst winning only 5. Still it was a pity given what he had achieved.

  33. 6 points separates us and Liverpool in 3rd. If we can sort our away form out and go on one of those runs we could still make top 4. Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea could all drop a few more points.

  34. Wavey,

    Yup, it was a shame because he had taken a Leicester side that barely escaped relegation the season before to taking the PL by storm and winning the league. The reap shame is that while they were struggling a bit (which was to be expected) they were doing actually really well in the CL. Still rubs me the wrong the way how it all went down.

  35. Adam Singh,

    Let’s sort the Spuds out on Saturday before talking about going on a run. Let’s face it, we won’t find a more obliging team than Everton this season.

  36. Orson Kaert,

    Saturday’s going to be very interesting Orse…….we’ve knocked ‘em at ours,and Everton or not,they’d have seen a cracking display from us.Remember the Henry/Kane interview before the last time we played them?….the ‘power shift’ 😂😂😂Fuck ‘em-they’ll be a little more concerned about us now I think.

  37. Considering we’ve become so good at swaps… We should have flipped iwobi over the fence at the London Colney and richarlison the other way… Both of similar age and skill… But the Watford winger seems to be better in the air with more end product…

  38. C

    > Uh oh, I’m doing it again, sorry Yogi, didn’t mean to take over the blog talking to myself

    Those of us that are married are well used to not getting a word in edgewise. You carry on 😂😂

  39. I think the Spurs game is very important.

    It does seem as if we can make top 4, but we still face Man City and United in the final 12 games. It feels like City’s form is stuttering at the moment. We will play City twice in 8 days, first the Carabao cup and then the league match at the Emirates on the 1st of March. Our game against United is on the 28th of April, I am hoping we sort out our defensive issues before meeting Tottenham on Saturday.

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