Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Watching United Fall

Whilst watching Manchester United's 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich last night, one thing really caught my attention.

It wasn't the fact that Man Utd were outplayed for the majority of the game, nor was it the manner of Bayern's win; with them scoring in the 92nd minute, reminiscent of the 1999 Champions league final. It wasn't even Wayne Rooney hobbling off the pitch in (ironically) injury time.

It was the fact that on numerous occasions throughout the game, I saw the likes of Rooney and Neville, diving to the floor after minimal contact.

I have never bought into the belief that it is only foreign players that dive and trick the referee. But there still seems to be a denial that English players dive.

Not once during the game did one of the commentators pick up on Rooney falling to the floor when someone of his strength and physique could clearly have stayed on his feet.

This is not an attack on just English players or Man Utd; as Bayern were also guilty as diving, but English fans and media just need to accept that our 'home grown gems' are as guilty as everyone else when it comes to the art of diving.

I can hardly imagine Sir Alex Ferguson being impressed with it. Especially as the referee was rarely fooled last night, meaning that when a player did dive, it ended up in losing possession. Which is just what United needed to control the game after taking an early lead, forcing Bayern to attack.

Obviously I would like to see the game of football without diving and played honestly. But until that happens (if it ever does), I hope that the stereotype of foreigners diving can be scrapped and just accept that all players, from every nation and club, are capable of diving.