Following all the Cristiano Ronaldo penalty fuss at the weekend, Wigan boss Paul Jewell has set the tone for the rest of his club’s Premiership campaign by admitting he doesn’t really find diving all that bothersome,
“I may be the only person in the world who believes this, but why don’t we allow it?” he said in an interview on Sky Sports News.
“The pubs open 24 hours a day and everybody was worried people would be drunk on the streets, well there are less drunks on the streets now than when they used to close at three o’clock.
“So we just allow it and stop everyone talking about it. One week you get away with it, the next week you wouldn’t. So stop it in my opinion.
“People say it is cheating, but you ask any supporter and if one of our players goes down in the box and we need a penalty to stay in the league or win a cup. Do you know what they are going to say? It will be the same as Man United fans, Liverpool fans, Chelsea fans and chairman: Go down.
“We are all trying to get an edge. When the ball goes out of play and it is obviously a corner, defenders always say it is their ball. It is a just creating an edge.
“I hate diving, but if it is in the game and if you allow it it will go away on its own and people will stop talking about it.”
Not sure what he’s on about with the drunks and pubs bit, but he’s on point with CaughtOffside’s opinion on diving in that plenty of similar ‘cheating’ offenses go on during the match that don’t get nearly the same attention. Shirt pulling, claiming a corner is yours when you know it’s not, all of those are either deliberately conning the ref or trying to get an unfair advantage against the rules. Yet you don’t hear people moaning about it endlessly at work on Monday.
Jewell does, however, say that we should just “allow” diving – which sounds a lot like crazy talk. It’s one thing to accept it as part of the game and another entirely to encourage it. Supporters may want their players to “earn” a penalty to win a match at all costs, but they still feel dirty afterwards.