The Art of Diving and Wojciech Szczesny Revels in Derby Victory
When Arsenal took on Celtic in the Champions League playoff phase of the 2009/10 season, the game was marred by a theatric act by Eduardo da Silva. Despite the fact that the penalty was just a goal out the five Arsenal scored in both legs, a witch hunt followed with people holding forks and torches requesting for the Crozilian to be banned. In the North London Derby that took place last Sunday, the world’s best left-footed Chimpanzee Gareth Bale auditioned for a role in Team Great Britain’s Olympic Diving Team and I’m pretty sure he impressed a few with the art of diving.
The FIFA rule book states that a goalie that infringes a player from scoring a clear-cut scoring opportunity deserves an early bath courtesy of a red card but Mike Dean chose to point to the spot without taking any further action. There was even time to consult his “second pair of eyes” in the form of the linesman but he showcased his inconsistency by awarding the penalty despite the fact that it was glaring that he had doubts.
Emmanuel Adebayor stepped up to convert the spot kick but the Gunners ran riot as the game progressed. In the wake of this shameful incident that taints the beautiful game, former top referee Graham Poll has told everyone to stop blaming Mr. Dean but Gareth Bale and his diving crew deserve to be punished by the FA:
“If it was a foul it should have been a red card for the keeper and perhaps Dean had doubts over the accuracy of his decision and left him on the pitch. Replays showed that Bale had not been fouled but I would not blame Dean for being fooled; rather look at the conduct of Bale and plead that the FA introduce retrospective punishment for diving. This would not need a change to laws of the game, nor permission from the IFAB or FIFA as it is up to each governing body to determine their own disciplinary code.”
Someone has to take some serious action on this shameful act as it has been the difference between a win, a draw and some cases, a loss. I can remember when Chelsea took Manchester United in a crunch encounter, it was a game that promised much but when I saw Yuri Zhirkov drop in the box like a player that got shot by a sniper and Frank Lampard’s penalty settled the tie.
However, there’s a Gunner that relished this victory probably more than the fans, his team mates and Arsene Wenger. Wojciech Szczesny rose to prominence last season and it was unfortunate to know that he had never won a North London derby till Sunday. When Theo Walcott scored Arsenal’s 4th goal, Szczesny was seen executing a somersault and he followed this up with a mighty bear hug with a ball boy.
The Big Pole still took out time to talk about one of the best feelings in his career:
“It is comparable to that of beating Barcelona. “It is a great feeling, probably one of the best I have ever had.
“Every single goal felt better than the previous one and I was celebrating quite energetically. But I loved it.
“It is the first time I have beaten Spurs and it is just great.”
It’s not just you Wojciech, we all loved the victory for more reasons than one. We showed the world and probably the English FA how poor Twitchy Ol’ Arry could be tactically as the quick-fire comeback at halftime made him make an erratic substitution that disrupted Tottenham’s shape and worked in our favour. We let the world know that Tottenham is probably were they are because of the mediocrity offered by Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool and on our day, we can gun down any opponent.
We showed the world that Scotty Parker may not just be the right candidate to replace that ex-girlfriend shagger for the England captaincy as he showed his temperament to get a silly red card for a needless foul he didn’t have to commit. We showed the world why Robin van Persie is the best striker in the world as he created a wonder goal out of nothing.
Finally, we showed the world that a cannon is a far superior weapon to a chicken on a basketball.
In other Arsenal related news, the club has declared profits yet again, Andrey Arshavin has spoken about how his move to Zenit would help his Euro 2012 challenge and Aaron Ramsey is set to miss Gary Speed memorial match courtesy of a niggling ankle injury.
I hope the game will be played with a great sense of pride in honor of one of the Premier League’s greatest stalwarts.
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