By Calvin Palmer
For a great many footballers their brains, like their skill, are to be found in their feet. The latest player to give credence to this assertion is Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale.
In today’s edition of The Guardian he answers his critics who accuse him of deliberately diving, a notion that he rejects. Well he would, wouldn’t he?
If people want to say I’m diving then they can, but I’m trying to get out of the way and save myself, save my career if you like,” he said.
It’s a bit annoying [when people say I dive] but you’ve got people flying in at you, you’re trying to get out of the way of the challenge. If you stand there, you’re going to get a whack.
You can see why people say you’re diving but I’d rather get out of the way than get hurt, that’s what it is. It’s football, a contact sport, things do happen and you’ve got to try to be clever with it. I’m more likely to try to get out of the way and not get hurt, rather than get hurt. I tend not to dive.
In a sport that is televised like it has never been televised before, with cameras following the action from every conceivable angle, you would have to be an idiot to come out with what Bale has stated.
In a recent game at Anfield, the video replay showed quite clearly that no contact was made on Bale by Liverpool defender Daniel Agger and yet the Spurs man went down as if he had been shot by a sniper. Agger was right to remonstrate with Bale who was clearly trying to get the Liverpool player booked if not sent off. And the reaction by Bale, who was taken to task verbally by Agger, suggests a nerve was touched. Bale reacted with a push and was rightly booked.
I can quite understand a talented player not wanting to stand around and get “whacked” as Bale says, but surely jumping rather than going to ground would be a better ploy.
Isn’t the whack, real or imaginary, the thing that caused Bale to go to ground in the first place?
Bale goes on:
People want to take you down and get you out of the game and I suppose you can take it as a compliment. It’s not nice but I think it’s to be expected now. In a way they think that’s the only way they can stop you. You get up and get on with it like the best players do and go at them again.
You get used to it. I’ve got a few people sent off by doing that this year. You get up and get on with it, it’s a part of the game.
He seems quite pleased to have brought about the dismissal of fellow professionals, doesn’t he?
Don’t get me wrong, there is no place for thuggery in football and any player who adopts that approach deserves to be sent off. But when Bale’s antics are motivated by trying to get a player sent off for a challenge, they are equally despicable.
Watch this clip Gareth.
Care to reconsider what you have stated today? I very much doubt it. Your £70,000-a-week wages clearly make you believe that you are right and everyone else is wrong. The arrogance of wealth is matched only by your ignorance. You will make a great Tory MP when your playing days are over.