Got a bit carried away there in my sweeping statements and forgot to talk about the actual match that was played. Eboue was really rather good, he got a nice goal as did sub Arshavin but these only came after Eduardo's penalty effectively killed the tie in the first half. This was the talking point, as he won said penalty with an outrageous dive. Too much has been said about it, in a way, because it should be pretty cut-and-dried- the guy cheated to win a penalty, we see it quite a lot and unfortunately it's part of football now. The supposition that it's a foreign blight on the pure English game is a myth- Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard have been two of the prime purveyors of swan dives in the Premiership. The foreigners may have been the innovators, but English players have not been above using these dark arts to their own advantage- if ya can't beat 'em... And yet this is continually glossed over by the xenophobic English press.
Sky Sports' coverage continues to push diplomacy to sickening levels. I had the misfortune to watch Andy Gray, Ruud Gullit and Sven Goren Eriksson fail to condemn the incident- not once, as far as I heard, did they even use the word "dive". Andy Gray trotted out the oft-heard bollocks about how there doesn't necessarily need to be contact for it to be a foul- there is the notion of intent. Fair enough Andy but when the keeper clearly withdraws his arms in an attempt to avoid contact with the player I think it's fair to say his intent was TO GET OUT OF THE FUKING WAY!!! can't these guys ever just call a spade a spade? Who are these guys scared of offending? Because their constant and deliberate inoffensiveness is starting to offend me!
As per usual, the voice of reason spoke in grumpy, gruff tones over on RTE, as the great man Johnny Giles said all that needed saying. Ban divers retrospectively for three games, then it will stop. Gilesy for president.
That said, as long as the grey areas of football's rules invite a bit of cheating, I'm quite happy for Arsenal players to gain an advantage. We need to be a bit more cuntish, I'm tired of this likeable loser stuff. Systematic cuntishness has been a part of the success of Manchester United, and chelsea since Mourinho. If ya can't beat 'em...