An Even Worse Case of Simulation by English Players


In the days of an international break leading up to the match, we are always treated to meaningless babble from England players deemed important enough to splash all over the back pages of the newspapers. Of course, it’s all usually innocuous, but this week is different. Is it me, or does it seem like the English FA has hired a PR man that has told the players to use this week’s interviews to campaign for their “honesty” on the pitch. It’s funny enough on the surface due its utter ridiculousness, but the underlying current is not nearly as funny.

First, we had Wayne Rooney on Thursday saying:

I have never intentionally tried to dive, there have been times when I have tried to stay on my feet and tried to get the shot off rather than going down. I have never intentionally dived.I think everyone who watches me play knows I am an honest player who tries to be as honest as they can.

Yes, but there were also times when he has much too easily gone to ground and tried to win the penalty. Last Saturday was a case in point, while the dive against us in 2004 is as clear an example as is possible. It is clear on the video from Saturday that he was already falling before there was any contact with Almunia. How does Rooney see the incident, you ask…

The ball got played through I got on the end of it, got contact with the ball and then I got contact which knocked me off balance and the referee saw it as a penalty.

That is an absolute lie, just like him saying he “tries to be as honest” as possible. He booted the ball out of play and began going to ground before there was any contact with Almunia. He certainly wasn’t trying to be honest on Saturday. Rooney should be sending Almunia expensive gifts and romantic thank-you notes because if Almunia had been able to get his hands out of the way, it would’ve looked exactly the same as Eduardo’s incident.

But, of course, Rooney doesn’t have to do that because he is protected by the British media, in print and on radio by idiots like Alan Green who shushed and yelled over any caller to 606 Saturday evening that tried to question the penalty. Even if Almunia had gotten his hands out of the way, like Boruc, the press would’ve found a way to spin it in Rooney’s favor, especially right before a crucial international break when a scandal surrounding England’s key player could hurt the national side.

Then, yesterday, we got the following gems from John Terry:

Diving is something the England lads don’t do. Sometimes we’re too honest. Even in the Premier League, we see the English lads get a bit of contact and try to stay on their feet and score from the chance… from our mentality and the way we’ve grown up it’s not something we’ve ever been into.

He can’t be serious. Anyone who actually watches the Premier League sees English players go down just as much as foreigners. Ah, but there’s a reason for that according to Kenny Dalglish, it is because dirty, greasy, dishonest foreigners have taught good, honest, English boys to dive. But I wonder, if the “English lads” really were “too honest,” wouldn’t they have resisted “learning” diving from these foreigners. Of course the next question any good reporter would ask would be, “What about Drogba?” Luckily there was at least one decent journo there and Terry said:

He’s a big strong lad and at times he can get a knock and go down like anybody. Sometimes he stays down a little bit too long but sometimes slight knocks can keep players down.

Nice try, John. But, with Drogba, it’s not about how long he stays on the ground but about how he got there in the first place. However, it apparently is okay because:

He’s a player who wants to win and does anything for that.

Well, that explains it. As a defender, Terry has no reason to dive, but YouTube is full of videos of “English lads” who are “too honest diving better than any foreigner. In fact, notice how Steven Gerrard has tried to stay out of the mix this week about the diving row. That is because he is England’s greatest offender, having even tried to blatantly deceive the referee in a Champions League Final against Milan.

But there’s no reason for him to be shy, the media will protect him as well. He should know that. I mean, he punched a guy in a nightclub with no provocation whatsoever and walks out of the court not only a free man but smelling like roses, according to the English press.

Rooney and Terry show themselves to be liars in these quotes; they are taking advantage of and, in Terry’s case, promoting this type of xenophobic attitude which has done so much harm in English society, in general. The most troubling aspect is that the media is not only letting them get away with but that they are actively perpetuating it by not calling a spade a spade and challenging this ridiculous idea of England being a dive-free zone until the Premier League filled up with dirty, cheating foreigners.

This campaign in the past week has proved to be an even worse case of simulation than any that occurred on the pitch recently, and that is England players simulating honesty.

Note: I usually have a few more pictures with the articles but I couldn’t bring myself to put Rooney’s fat, bald face on the page. Sorry.