Hope everyone’s well and are wrapping up now it’s getting colder! Training’s getting harder in this cold weather but still enjoying every moment of the hard graft. Every victory that we achieve as a result makes it worth it!
Victory is even sweeter when it is gained in an honest fashion! Fortunately, diving isn’t something which is common in the women’s game but the topic of cheating in men’s football is a subject that is gracing the back pages of our tabloids all too frequently these days.
I have always been brought up and educated to play by the rules, be fair, appreciate when you have been beaten by the better side, and help out the injured player, rather than capitalise on her/his misfortune. Rather like when Paolo di Canio did when he opted to catch the ball when Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard was on the ground injured, (despite having a gaping open goal in front of him), back in 2001 for West Ham.
Without exception I hate cheating in football and specifically how it has almost become an acceptable part of our national game.
It would seem that some commentators have also bought in to the idea that it is acceptable and often refer to a player going down in the box as “using his experience” when a player simulates a foul. They use the “there was contact” argument as if this is factual evidence that the player was justified in diving. But for me this is not justification. If a player exaggerates or simulates in order to fool the referee then it is cheating, pure and simple and it really grinds my gears!
Fortunately at West Ham we don’t have a serial diver like Luis Suarez or Ashley Young. I can honestly say that if we had a player that rolled around and dived to the extent Suarez does I would be utterly embarrassed and in my opinion he would be ruining the good name of the club.
Clearly diving is the most obvious form of cheating. But what about time wasting, rolling on the ground in death throes, stealing yards on a throw in, putting your arm up for a throw in when it was blatantly not your ball etc. Diving is the embarrassing face of cheating, but is deceiving the ref simply central to football these days?
Some of the most controversial moments in sporting history have been because players cheated.
When Thierry Henry admitted that he had intentionally handled the ball to set up William Gallas’s decisive goal against the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup play-off’s, the Irish were incensed but the French just gave a Gallic shrug.
So the question for me is, how would you feel if the West Ham obtained any form of success through players cheating?