Harry has come it defense of star Gareth Bale, saying he doesn’t dive but gets kicked from “pillar to post.” Eyes have been on Bale since he won a penalty for Spurs in their game against Arsenal last weekend.
Arsenal fans, Graham Taylor and a host of others have claim Bale dived. It may seem unimportant considering the end result, but this has not dampened Arsenal fans anger, or scrutiny on Bale and his horizontally prone ways.
But the Sun reports Harry standing by his player. The Spurs Boss told the press “I don’t think he dives. I haven’t spoken to him about it and there is no need to. He gets kicked from pillar to post most Saturdays.”
Harry went on to compare Bale’s treatment to that of other ‘greats’ such as Messi.
“I watch Spanish football every week and Messi gets chopped down and kicked but he gets up and gets on with it. He never misses a game.”
“Gareth is a great young player with a fantastic future and he has to accept that.”
Basically, Redkanpp is saying there that the opposition simply knock Bale on his arse when unsure what else to do with him. Admirable for Harry to stand by his player, and he deflected heat from Bale, but surely even he knows Bale is, to put it politely, prone to exaggerating tackles.
Bale has been booked in the past for diving. Even if he didn’t dive against Arsenal, he certainly went down very easily. Whether he dived or not perception is that he did, and that he does. In short everyone thinks Bale is a diver, and referees will remember this in future.
But does it matter? I know we English like to think ourselves too proud to resort to such tactics, so common on the continent. We’ll have none of those Jonny Foreigner tactics here. But do we have to continue to be a last bastion of morality, when diving is becoming more and more common in the game. Good thing or bad thing, I’m not sure I really care any more.
Diving has been so everyday over the last decade I find it impossible to be anger, shocked or any other emotion over it, aside from mild dislike. It’s clearly not a good thing, but after several rule changes to tackle the issue, it seems it won’t go away.
There has been defense of Bale, and arguments that he isn’t a diver. He certain does receive a tough tackle or two, and has suffered injuries as a result. His speed does led to being tripped by slower defenders, and his not the most solid or stocky player and his frame will inevitably led to him falling from time to time.
But really some of the greatest names in the game have been divers. This will likely not trouble Spurs fans too much in their love for Bale, after all it never troubled us with Klinsmann.
Bale is not yet at the level of these OSCAR level divers and tumblers.
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