BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
« Previous | Main | Next »

All divers should be punished

Post categories:

Robbo Robson | 10:00 UK time, Friday, 4 September 2009

Ey-up. The head honchos are on the warpath. Eduardo's two-game ban for diving is a welcome one. Not as drastic a punishment as has been proposed on this blog before, but welcome nevertheless.

I've had it up to here with Gooners bleating that it's not fair that their lad got picked on when everybody's at it. Then they recommend the same axe fall on the head of 'honest' Wayne Rooney for his less flamboyant effort on Saturday.

I don't want to keep picking over the slo-mos but while Rooney may well have been turf-bound before Almunia completed the job, Eduardo had a more blatant plunge than Katy Price's neckline.

I kind of worry about Wazza calling himself 'honest' - not cos he's a Dean Richards of a fibber but because 'honest' is football-speak for 'hard-working but ultimately not all that'. It's a word we use for, I dunno, Phil Neville, or Dirk Kuyt, or Titus Bramble.

(Another such phrase is 'good engine' which means that the bloke can keep running for 90 minutes but it's probably best if he doesn't come into contact with the ball during that time). But as far as I can tell, Rooney does try and play the game in the right way, always allowing for the odd two-minute barrage of Sopranos dialogue that heads the way of the refs.
Eduardi and Celtic's Scott Brown Scott Brown challenges Eduardo over his 'dive'
Thing is, Eduardo's ban has to apply across the board from now on. (Actually I wouldn't mind imposing a couple of retrospective fines now this particular kettle of fish has been opened. The least we could do is punish Rivaldo for that skin-crawling Balamory-standard performance by the corner-flag some years back. I wouldn't fine him, just make him wear a big arrow on his head that says 'UTTER JESSIE').

But there's no point in coming down hard if they dodge a bigger decision over the Real Thing in Madrid, or Mr Messi, who's been known to roll like a craps dice when the need arises.

I know Wenger is pathologically averse to having a pop at his own players but he's been wriggling like a worm on a hook over the Croatian. Boruc 'touched' him, apparently. Yeah? How hard? So blinking hard it wouldn't even have shown up on cricket's Hot Spot.

I hope Eduardo stayed indoors on Thursday 'cos it was a mite windy. The poor lad would've barely made it to the end of his front path before getting swept up into the air like Dorothy in her Kansas home. (I know what you're thinking, gents. Is there anyone who doesn't like Wizard of Oz? There is?! Put 'em up, put 'em up)!

We fans hate to see even a Rooneyesque opportunistic drop if we're on the wrong end of it. If it benefits us there's always the 'there was contact' argument. Or worse still the 'it's part of the game' argument. The game's unwritten golden rule these days is 'see a leg, fall over it'

Even the quintessential 'honest' footballer, Everton's Tony Hibbert, can't resist obeying it. Can't say Moyes or Kenwright have had too much to say about the lad's actions either.

So while it's good that the serial simulators might in future be hung out to dry, it's not good enough for us to coo and crow when our centre-forward cheats his way to a winning goal. If we don't want it to be part of the game then we have to make sure the players who wear our shirts know it. Otherwise it's just a load of hypocritical hogwash.

Besides which there are seven-year-old miniature Ronaldos (complete with Stupido gel on their bonces in most cases - why Dads are letting their lads run about looking like little tussocks of grass is beyond me) and they're all inhaling the loam and clay of this great land of ours every weekend as they slither across the turf in search of shameless advantage. And their Dads are probably beaming from the touchlines, the planks!

I mean, I ask the same question when I hear that some 18-year-old know-nowt has just passed her A-levels in Humanities, Film and Media, and Salad Dressing - what the hell are we teaching our children these days?

Fifa has stepped in with the heavy boot 'n' all with the transfer ban on Chelsea. Well we've been begging for someone to neuter the Abramovic chequebook and Fifa has obliged. Sniggering aside - and the mirth has only just died down in this little corner of Championshipland - it does seem incredibly harsh to stop them buying anybody for 15 months.

The lad Kakuta - who I've seen on Youtube and is going to be frightening if they ever let him start a game (Daniel Sturridge what were you thinking?) - was 'induced' apparently. I have to say it's difficult to know what tapping up actually means.

Agents talk to chief executives who talk to managers who happen to bump into players and the whole merry-go-round seems as murky as Loch Ness. I suppose when it comes to a kid at a minor club suddenly getting into chats with the richest club in Europe it could be clearer-cut.

Thing is, they have to lay down the same law to everyone otherwise it just reeks of vindictiveness. Apart from anything, if the Blues can't buy a bit of cover for the African Cup of Nations, my 50 quid on Chelsea is down the pan and Fifa could well be down the Bell trying to explain themselves. Pronto.


  • 1. At 10:43am on 04 Sep 2009, Starburst_995 wrote:

    Fifty quid?!? *puts eyes back in their sockets*

    The Beeb must be paying you well (to the annoyance of the usual suspects) to write for them Robbo.

    An interesting week indeed from the Fifia big bigs.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 10:50am on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    Ugh - Back to the dark ages of "Robbo" blogs with this effort after a ray of hope last week.

    Seriously - now not only do we have your repititive fictional character spewing out rehashed colloquialisms and cliches every week but it seems "Robbo" cant come up with anything better than to re-ignite the old diving debate on an almost daily basis.

    As for "what the hell are we teaching our children these days?" - Lets just hope they arent reading this blog on a regular basis.

    Come on Niall, lets have some variety.

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 10:53am on 04 Sep 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    RETROSPECTIVE punishment is only good if it REVERSES THE GAIN. IT's WORTH IT to cheat because of the enormous gains. A RETROSPECTIVE two game ban does not change the result of the game and changes nothing for the victims. SOLUTION: REF awards a penalty - Tony Mowbray makes "Video Appeal" (the first of TWO allowed per game) 10 seconds later REF makes correct decision. Retrospective punishments are feeble pathetic and useless unless they reverse the gain.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 11:03am on 04 Sep 2009, Starburst_995 wrote:

    Re. my earlier comment, speak of the devil ... JDR's turned up already.


    I disagree. Simulation needs to be stamped out of the game and an example has to be made of those who are willing to do it at some point to get things going. Unfortunately the decision to finally start doing something about this fell on Eduardo's watch.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 11:04am on 04 Sep 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    French clubs can't sign a player on professional terms until he is 16 because it's illegal and unethical. So how can a PRE-CONTRACT be signed when he is only 14 ? It is illegal and unethical to ask a 14 year old to sign any kind of contract. An academy is for developing players it is not a PLAYER BREEDING FARM to make huge profits from.

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 11:07am on 04 Sep 2009, Tess Sgs wrote:

    "Mr Messi, who's been known to roll like a craps dice when the need arises."

    I think you need to watch Barca a bit more, Robbo. We've been watching Messi for years, and he's one of the most honest players at the top level of the game that you are ever likely to see. He tries to stay on his feet even when lesser quality players, and there are more than a few of those, are trying to kick lumps out of him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 11:14am on 04 Sep 2009, Andreisgiant wrote:

    After last times promising improvements, this is undoubtably one of the worst ones so far Niall. Same old recycled jokes, poor humour and no real substance.


    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 11:15am on 04 Sep 2009, Adie wrote:

    Unless we see a myriad of similar punishments (for both simulation and 'tapping up) handed out in the coming weeks / months, I don't think UEFA / FIFA are truly showing a commitment to stamping anything out. I just can't see that happening, then again I could be wrong. In which case let's prepare ourselves for a bonkers season of bans and appeals!

    I think they have chosen two of Europe's high profile clubs, to "make examples of", in the hope that it will deter this kind of thing in the future. Purely conicidence that they're both English clubs? Who knows.

    But to truly stamp these things out, these punishements HAVE to be dished out on a prolonged and consistent basis, otherwise it's pointless.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 11:19am on 04 Sep 2009, Manos_de_Piedra wrote:


    I generally find your blogs passable and often enjoy reading the debates they cause (as well as JDRs rants) but in this instance JDR is right. This blog is very similar to the one "Diving me Crazy" very recently - even the same picture used.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 11:19am on 04 Sep 2009, Adie wrote:

    to #6

    I agree with your assertion that Messi does try and stay on his feet for the most part. He must be one of the most fouled players in Europe, and if he did go down everytime he was kicked, he would spend half the his game on the deck!

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 11:24am on 04 Sep 2009, UlsterDave wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 12. At 11:27am on 04 Sep 2009, EarlThePearl wrote:

    I will not have the honest name of an honest footballer marred!!

    You will notice that there was a particularly large gust of wind just before little Hibbo hit the deck that day. He felt mighty bad about it. You will also notice that he bends King Louis' ear just before the penalty and asks him to drag it wide, then do his best Willem Dafoe Platoon impersonation, just to make ammends. That bloody Eduardo though my word . . .

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 11:31am on 04 Sep 2009, juicesmusic wrote:

    Rooney should get a two game ban aswell. its unfair on eduardo to take the full force of a diving ban and watching rooney escape with nothing just because rooney is a better diver. Rooney was already heading to ground before contact with Almunia which clearly indicates he was always looking to con the ref into giving a penalty. Its just a case of rooney being able to pull of a dive better than eduardo because he's had more practice at it!!

    Ban rooney too!

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 11:32am on 04 Sep 2009, ZEUSFC wrote:

    JDR: why do you bother?

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 11:34am on 04 Sep 2009, MisterDavid wrote:

    Diving. They learned it from the best. Hugh Laurie.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 11:37am on 04 Sep 2009, blue_921 wrote:

    I'll have you know Hibbert suffers from a condition where blood stops flowing to his brain after passing the half way line - this can be seen with a lot of his crossing from deeper areas, and when he got into the box he infact fainted rather than dived...

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 11:44am on 04 Sep 2009, boomshakalak wrote:

    I think Eduardo did dive but i'm not convinced he absolutely definitely did it and there was no contact and he wasn't trying to evade the keeper....

    whilst i applaud getting rid of diving from the game i think the FA/Uefa/Fifa need to be sure that there is a definite a case of it!... this is not the most obvious case i have ever seen and quite frankly they could have used a better "example".. eg Eboue's... Wenger is right - if Eduardos is the standard then they need to now have about 50 cases per week across Europe... they won't follow through with it - and it is another case of Uefa meaning well and then getting it wrong...

    the 2 game punishment is not enough .... imagine the situation "i've just woin my side the fa cup/ champions league/ world cup by conning the ref into a penalty ... the club has now made £30m because of it... but boo-hoo i have to miss 2 games against european minnows/etc... oh dear!

    what they should do is take a BLATANT case where there can be no contest ... eg Eboue last week and then ban the player for a year... admittedly a super harsh penalty... but see how many people then dive the following week.... even a dive in an fa cup final becomes a huge "cost"

    uefa have tried to do the right thing - but probably picked on the wrong case and got the punishment wrong

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 11:47am on 04 Sep 2009, fabGunnerdownunder wrote:

    It sounds like FIFA actually have evidence of Chelsea's 'inducing', if that is true then that was really stupid of Arnesen/Kenyon to document anything that would implicate them. If that evidence exists then Chelsea well get punished. I am sure FIFA wil be consistent IF they get similar complaints, which is what is required for an investigation can occur.

    More difficult to prove 'intent' on deceiving a referee unless UEFA has recruited mind readers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 11:54am on 04 Sep 2009, Rob wrote:

    Didier Drogba might as well retire :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 11:56am on 04 Sep 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Lets face we all know most clubs at one time or other have attempted a little shady business.

    What I want to know is where does UEFA/FIFA get its newly acquired back bone from?

    They even look like they have teeth. Maybe Platini's vehement hatred of the English is driving them towards some sensible decisions

    On Eduardo, Goodison December two years ago, most blatantly deliberate handball to score a goal. Only a matter of time, a cheat and no mistake

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 11:56am on 04 Sep 2009, danspeaks wrote:

    The difference between Rooney and Eduardo is that the premier league are not allowed to hand bans for diving where Uefa can. therefore Rooney nor any player in the PL will get a ban for diving.

    I think in theory the idea of banning players is sound, however, they should have issued a warning to all players at the beginning of the season stating their intent to do this.

    I think they have opened a can of worms, as after every CL round there will be managers pointing their fingers at someone else diving. Can anyone honestly see Uefa handing out 3-4 bans per CL round or is it more likely that the whole affair will be forgotten in three or four months (except for Poor Eduardo who has been made an example for an idea which will never be followed through??)

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 11:58am on 04 Sep 2009, agile&fragile wrote:


    I a fan of your blog but this time I feel you are not so clear about what Arsene Wenger (AW) fights for.

    Anyone with common sense will say Eduardo should not have been a penalty and AW did said that right after the game.

    What AW objects is the manner in which UEFA reassess the ref's decision and single out a player. And to prove the intent of the player in an improvised action taking place in a slit second is a farce. If Martin Taylor of Birmingham was proven to have intent in breaking Eduardo's leg, he would have been in jail, right?

    Amazingly, the ref still doesnt feel that he was allegedly deceived at all. That's not the fair and right way in which football should be run.

    You can always stand there saying all kinds of cheating should be punished. what's the ref doing there? Study on video after the the games should only be used as lesson fro ref.

    Let common sense condemn the diving acts, the ref make the unique final decisions with technology or men's support. If you overturn the ref's decision all the time then, football becomes absolutely jokes. Should you cancel the results and replay the game if there are controversial decisions?

    Anyone who dives loses thier reputation in the eyes of fans. That's the heaviest punishment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 12:00pm on 04 Sep 2009, switchblade wrote:

    Glad to hear FIFA and UEFA are trying make the sport fairer. So why aren't they doing something about the unfair advantage Spain offers to Spanish clubs with their "significant" tax breaks for professional footballers?

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 12:00pm on 04 Sep 2009, jenksta wrote:

    Chelsea have had this problem before, John Obi Mikel, that time they paid Manchester United and the Norweigen team (Lyn Olso IIRC) a heafty sum to drop the complaint to FIFA. It appears that on this occasion Lens couldn't be paid off in this way.

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 12:07pm on 04 Sep 2009, EarlThePearl wrote:


    I remember that game and have thought ill of Eduardo ever since. And Fabregas clearly play acted to get his 'mate' Arteta sent off. Conclusios? None, just wanted to jump on the gooner baiting bandwagon a little, slow in work today . . .

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 12:11pm on 04 Sep 2009, Wiener Student wrote:

    Ey, Robbo, could you do mcu, much more coverage on the Championship and lower profile PL clubs? I love the way you write, but last year, there was the bonus that your topics were a bit different than most of the other news/blogs (well, it was mostly about your local boys, but still...). Yours was the blog I´d read first not just because of the form, but because of the different content.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 12:11pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    As for "what the hell are we teaching our children these days?" - Lets just hope they arent reading this blog on a regular basis.

    Not enough serious subjects. I have 2 kids at secondary school and the standard of education they get is pretty good as they go to the local RC school but thei rmates at the local comps don't get the same level of academic rigour. But even at the RC school they aren't taught history well enough, they don't get the variety of sports I would like and we have ageneration of people who don't understand the key rule of football: -

    If someone in a red shirt falls over anywhere on the pitch it is a penalty to Man Utd.

    This is closely follwed by the other key guideline to refs of if Utd are trailing then added time must be multiplied by 1.5. If they are winning then reduce by same factor

    Rule 3. Sir Alex is always right.

    If everyone followed these rules then life would be so much easier, Mr Benitez wouldn't need his fact sheet, Mr Wenger would not need to enjoy the company of Utd fan for causing GBH to an innocent water bottle and Mr Ancelotti won't mind that he can't sign anyone cos it won't matter.

    BTW Robbo plaese don't suggest new subjects for GCSE like Salad Dressing in case our target obsessed government actually introduces it.

    JDR - Come on now I told you last week - criticism in private - footie views only on the blog or people will think you are Professor Snape from Harry Potter in disguise (no sorry Snape's funny you're more like Professor Binns the boring History of Magic teacher who is a ghost)

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 12:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    #23 So why aren't they doing something about the unfair advantage Spain offers to Spanish clubs with their "significant" tax breaks for professional footballers?

    Spaid don't offer tax breaks theuy charge at a non-residents rate. It is just that the Spanish government are intelligent enough to realise that if you tax high earners too much they will work abroad and take their money with them.

    Tax is not something controllable by FIFA rather it is a tool that our greedy and self-serving government use to enrich themselves and do their houses up with while they employ their mates in useless quango's that do nothing (rather like FIFA and UEFA actually)

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 12:17pm on 04 Sep 2009, bilbo wrote:

    i cannot believe people are so blinkered by their support for their team that they are claiming eduardo was pushed over. it was clearly a dive, clearly a penalty, eduardo fell like he had been shot. the ban should be more than 2 matches. a lot more. i cannot stand any of this pulling/pushing/diving/surrounding the ref etc. something has to be done, and banning players for extended periods, seems fair enough to me.

    also: robbo haters - why do you come here every time there is a blog post if you hate it so much? there are several other footy blogs here on the beeb, and many all over the net. shurely you can find one you actually like, or is it that you consider yourself so superior to all the footy bloggers that all you can do is criticise?

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 12:18pm on 04 Sep 2009, thegoodmanchester wrote:


    Get off your high horse. If this blog annoys you so much why come on and read it every week? Just to make a pedantic comment? If that's the case it's very sad.

    Why don't you and let other people enjoy the blog. No-one cares about your opinion just like you don't care about anyone else's

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 12:20pm on 04 Sep 2009, agile&fragile wrote:

    To say that all divers should be punished is easy but pointless, I'm afraid. Because that is what people have been wishing for.

    There are two questions.

    Firstly, who is to have the right to make judgement and by what means? Or if you like someone you will twist your tongue and say he's not a diver, he's honest.

    Secondly, football is a sport where education out of entertainment should be the ultimate aim. And in education, ruthless punishment is the wrong thing to choose.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 12:21pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Guys lets just ignore JDR etc and concentrate on addressing the 3 key rules of football: -

    Riule #1

    If someone in a red shirt falls over anywhere on the pitch it is a penalty to Man Utd.

    Rule #2

    A key guideline to refs of if Utd are trailing then added time must be multiplied by 1.5. If they are winning then reduce by same factor

    Rule #3.

    Sir Alex is always right.

    If everyone followed these rules then life would be so much easier, Mr Benitez wouldn't need his fact sheet, Mr Wenger would not need to enjoy the company of Utd fan for causing GBH to an innocent water bottle and Mr Ancelotti won't mind that he can't sign anyone cos it won't matter.

    BTW Robbo plaese don't suggest new subjects for GCSE like Salad Dressing in case our target obsessed government actually introduces it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 12:23pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chris wrote:

    Great Blog Robbo. Enjoy reading your words every week.

    Messi should have been sent off in last weeks European Super Cup for headbutting the Defender but it was missed by the Ref. Why wont FIFA look at that and suspend him.

    Simple answer... He is the darling of World Football and he plays for Barcalona. I bet if Messi had been hit he would have tumbed and still be rolling around to this day.

    Chelsea have been flirting with this action for sometime now. Look at what they did with Jon Obi Mikel. surely the punishment they got for that must have been a warning for next time, but alas I think they feel that money will overcome and they will get away with it.

    They will appeal and probably get it reduced to a suspended ban and a rap on the knuckles and spend the usual millions on players in January to cover the African Cup. There is no way they did not know this is coming straight after the transfer window and worried about it or they would have signed up as many as they could before it happened.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 12:23pm on 04 Sep 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 35. At 12:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, mittor wrote:

    Eduardo was charged with deceiving the referee - given this if a 'goal' is scored like Palace against Bristol City could we see 6, 7, 8 players charged and suspended because they don't admit it crossed the line?

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 12:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, SugarDunkerton wrote:

    " I don't think anyone has yet to look at the whole Eduardo incident from another angle- that perhaps Celtic's love affair with Uefa helped the hype/ban? "

    I dont really understand this point?? Is this because Celtic fans received awards a few years ago for their good behaviour?? If so this has nothing to do with on the pitch.. If you had echoed Wengers point about a couple of influential Scotsmen in higher echelons of Uefa I might have agreed..

    Punt in the dark but a Rangers fan maybe??

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 12:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, DavidBeckhamsBeard wrote:

    A good article Robbo.

    I seem to be one of the few people that doesn't see this as some huge conspiracy against the English, the the diving ban, uefa have already retrospectively banned someone for diving. A lithuanian player against scotland and for chelsea fifa have already banned two clubs prior to the Chelsea incident. AS roma for signing Philippe Mexes from Auxerre in 06, and FC Sion earlier this year for signing and Egyptian goalie.

    The problem is with the retrospective punishing for diving is that you have to prove intent. I don't believe Eduardo "dived" he saw the goalie about to clatter into him and took evasive action. Boruc stopped in time and Eduardo now looks a bit of a plum. Rooney did exactly the same thing, except Almunia didn't stop and hit Rooney, regardless of whether Rooney was on his way to the floor or not, it was a late challenge in the box... penalty!

    I consider diving to be what eboue did on saturday to try and get Evra sent off, or when players run past a player and leave a boot in to make sure theres contact. Pires, Ronaldo, Gerrard, Owen have all done it in the past.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 12:28pm on 04 Sep 2009, davidgilmourthe3rd wrote:

    I often read your Bloggs as i find them quite amusing and in most cases very impartial.

    I refrained from commenting until now.

    yes I think most welcome the punishment of cheats,divers and also those who are not able to control thier passion and charge after the officials when a decision does not go thier way.

    Unfortunately the powers that be i england have no backbone to deal with problems seriously. Someone has said the FA do not have the power to ban divers, Why the hell NOT! we should all be asking, taking matters further those who exhibit agressive and abusive behaviour on the pitch should also be dealt with, look at the pic of brutec squaring up to Eduardo is that not close to whats known as Head Butt? and his mouth is that wide open that he could filter about 10 tons of krill through the orifice and filter the rubbish through his ears. but hang on, its apparently an expression of " passion " try doing that to someone in the street? you would indeed be subject to arrest.

    Diving...hmmmmmmmm how many times will players of all clubs be accused of this? and how many times will be making suggestions on how best to deal with it? every season its the same, players cheating to gain an advantage.

    As a Gooner should it be the case one of our player dilibertly cheats then i am not gonna defend him, but there is no evidence video or otherwise to prove it was dive, even if it was then we must surely be asking as to how the ref was so easily fooled? as many are, particulary at OT !!!! perhaps the ref was rubbish and needs retraining, perhaps the linesmen should have been actually following the game and brought to the refs attention eduardos, play acting or dive.

    Celtic were out of the competition after the 1st leg, in short they are no where near the standard to warrent inclusion to the EPL niether are Rangers, both flatter to decieve big time and if they were to face top class competition week in week out they would be found wanting.
    celtic were not robbed they were soundly beaten and are not in the CL.

    Arsenal are in the CL and with or without eduardo we will do well.

    AW and Arsenal are right to defend the player and his integrity indeed its a shame that Arsenal have not been more stringent in gagging those who seek to bring shame on such a fine club ( brown and co ) and a few sports writers to boot and pundits alike many have over stepped the mark when penning things about the Club in general.

    Up the Gunners.

    Shine on You Crazy Gooners.

    and GO GET EM Arsene Wenger.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 12:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, UlsterDave wrote:

    Just realised that GazUtd won't be here this week because of his holiday with the missus.....therefore JDR is likely to use that as an excuse to spew his bile.
    Adampsb- let's try something as one to rid ourselves of him... *EXPELIAMUS*.sorry. Just felt I shoudln't let an easy, horrible joke pass by...
    Wonder if Sir Alex will get a ban for his badgering of officials, complete disregard for the rules, and his belief that being the most succesful manager gives him a right to be a pompous ass- case in point his ignorant treatment of the BBC, refusing interviews. Boo-hoo. He may be the most sucessful manager, but were others graves will say: "well-loved, respected in his position, and throughout the footballing world for his attitude"- e.g. O'Neill or Moyes- Fergies will simply list his achievements, alongisde a 72 foot tall pile of Gum.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 12:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    They're still soldiering on with this blog, then.


    Come back Mihir, all is forgiven.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 12:37pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    I think something needs to be done about that Hansen bloke criticising defenders about letting goals in. If I was Portsmouth's manager I would have something to say about how he said nasty things about all those poor players in Blue who didn't tackle, cl;ose down attackers or do anything to defend properly.

    Although if I was an Arsenal fan I would have been really displeased with Lineker, Hansen, Shearer, Lawro and Dixon for daring to suggest that football i sabout anything put pretty passing patterns. Don't they understand that if you score goals then you are giving teh ball to the opposition.

    Did Diaby's header last week not demonstrate why the ball should be kept away from the goal areas at all costs. the only reason Eduardo went over was he lost his balance as he couldn't find someone to pass to and didn't wish to soil a nice passing pattern by sticking the ball in the net

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 12:38pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Come back Mihir, all is forgiven.

    We are not that desperate. Considering Mihir was the worst blog writer in the history of this website his return is less welcome than that of Lord Voldemort

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 12:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, welshbluenose wrote:


    'Seriously - now not only do we have your repititive fictional character spewing out rehashed colloquialisms and cliches every week...'

    I was just wondering if you were also referring to yourself in that? Your put downs are almost as commonplace as the blog itself, and are met by no more than a wry smile and a sad shake of the head.

    Putting that aside, would you care to expand on your comments re Lionel Messi Robbo? I think that is quite an unkind assesement for a phenomenally gifted player, who is deliberately targeted for his skill, and does his best more often than not to stay upright.


    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 12:40pm on 04 Sep 2009, BerkshireTerrier wrote:

    I think that I've finally got it - I quickly cottoned on to the fact that 'Robbo' is a parody of the opinionated man in the pub (who often has a good point or joke to make) and couldn't understand why JoeDavisRoach couldn't understand that.

    However it has just dawned that prehaps he is trying to do his own parody - the incensed licence fee-payer 'Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells'

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 12:41pm on 04 Sep 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    So I've been referred to the mods for the first time ever.....all in the name of Robbo. As A first timer I don't know what the offence is. Maybe I questions Eduardo's values too firmly?

    Surely it wasn't that I think UEFA/FIFA have got some backbone?

    Anyhow any player should get a ban for this type of behaviour. Mr Wenger contact does not equal foul just as not contact doesn't always equal no foul. Intent on both sides should be judged whether you get the ball or not.

    Eduardo, never a pen. Rooney, always going to be a pen regardless of his actions, doesn't mean he shouldn't get banned

    Tony Hibbet, a pen anytime because no team should ever let him in the box! Tony, we do all love you!

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 12:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, Macca wrote:

    Just saw on the BBC Gossip column that Man Utd are up next for the transfer ban. Don't know if that's true or not but no Chelsea/Man Utd spending in the next two'd be interesting for sure.

    The Dive - Eduardo should be punished if he deceived the ref as should anyone else. Two game ban? Well, if applied evenly then that's the price people will have to pay. However, we'll see if this is made standard punishment...

    The Tap Ups - I say ban the person/people involved in the deal from the game fo x months/years. If it's proven that the deal was done with the knowledge and support of the manager, the chairman etc...then those are the people that have done wrong and should be punished. Preventing the club buying players potentially damages the club, not guranteed, and ultimately the fans. Essentially though it's like getting a slapped wrist.

    Harsh punishment? Maybe but I'm sure many of you work in an office and if you're busted for doing something illegal or very much against the rules you'd be out on your ear and if your manager had been supporting you then he'd be booted out too.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 12:46pm on 04 Sep 2009, jamiekoster wrote:

    I'm all for booking divers, but why hasn't drogba and Ronaldo spent most of their careers on the sidelines with bans. why make such a big deal of this incident.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 12:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, Goal! wrote:

    I don't think Uefa or the appropriate country's FA can go giving bucket loads of Red Cards after every matchday because let's face it, 'simulation' is becoming 'reality'.
    Here's a simple solution:
    After each game, the opposing team is allowed to formally protest an alleged dive if the referee fails to punish it and then the FA or Uefa - depending on what match it was, reviews the complaints and gives the player a yellow card.
    If the dive led to a penalty, or a direct freekick which scores, a red card is given else a yellow card is given.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 12:48pm on 04 Sep 2009, Feel The Magic wrote:

    Don't think for one minute that FIFA's punishment of Chelsea will stem the tide of these child prodigies being snatched away by the most affluent clubs. The few clubs that are caught are either too arrogant to care, or just plain careless in their attempts to snap up any young lad who shows early promise. Whatever their failing is, the only certainty is that they'll be better at it next time around.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 12:49pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    #46 Yes but in an office headhunting is common, legal and while disliked if you're the one losing the staff member you can't ban the person from working or the company concerned for hiring new staff even though they are inducing them to breach contracts.

    Tapping up is common (and smart) as it is a good idea to find out if a player actually wants to move to your club before signing him but transfer compensation needs to be fair and Chelsea didn't pay any and that is why they are being stung very badly

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 12:52pm on 04 Sep 2009, Feel The Magic wrote:

    JDR's comments are number 2. Nuff said.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 12:56pm on 04 Sep 2009, ezcctv wrote:

    I havent heard one comment mentioning the fact that UEFA maybe tried to make an example out of Eduardo because he grinned directly at the camera after he 'dived'. If you have to cheat, at least make it subtle, then maybe you stand a chance of getting away with it.
    Almunia fouled Rooney, whether Rooney made the most of it or not is beside the point. A foul in the box means a penalty.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 1:00pm on 04 Sep 2009, Ireland Brew wrote:

    351. At 02:25am on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:
    Irn Bru

    It's one of those words that goes both ways, a lot like you!

    No it doesn't actually. If you were dil(l)igent enough to look it up in a proper dictionary rather than posted on something called "baltiblog" perhaps you would realise that.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 1:03pm on 04 Sep 2009, redforever wrote:

    About time that FIFA/UEFA took action to deal with the least attractive parts of the game.
    I am an Englishman living in Canada, and while the rest of the world probably doesnt give a monkeys what North Americans think about soccer, I have to defend the indefensible far too often, in an effort to get friends to forgive "soccer" it worst faults.
    If anybody wants to know why football hasnt really caught on in the US, the answer is one word- diving. North American sports may have many faults, but simulation, diving, dissent etc. are reserved for WWE Wrestling, and all such actions are dealt with severely by the governing bodies of the major sports here.
    If FIFA can stamp it out in football, then I believe the game will be 100% better for it.
    Now if I can just persuade US sports not to let there players from injecting themselves with steroids.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 1:04pm on 04 Sep 2009, Scottishscouser wrote:

    Moving young kids under the age of 16 around Europe isn't good. It's not far off trafficking IMO. What's wrong with waiting until they are 18 and can legally make their own decisions. At Liverpool's Academy, UK kids can only travel a certain distance at a particular age, e.g. at 14 they must live within an hours drive. So why should they be allowed to bring in a 16 year old from Spain?

    Platini has my backing on his proposal to ban the movement of under 18s between countries.

    And, the gelled tumbler thing is a wee bit worn out now Robbo. And, why is it harsh to ban signings for 15 months? They will appeal and get it lowered to one window like Roma did.

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 1:12pm on 04 Sep 2009, Herman14 wrote:

    I am utterly amazed that all the comments on the eduardo 'dive',which incidently I have looked at again and again and certainly not say with any degree of certainty that he did not lose his balance as he endeavoured to take the ball past the goalkeeper.
    Had the referee not awarded the penalty we would have not heard anything further about the matter.
    My amazement concerns the fact that again and again we see many reports/commentary regarding video evidence being used to argue against referee decisions/players behaviour and no continuing argument for its use during the game as in other sport. How silly and for how long will this ridiculous situation be allowed to continue.
    I am of an age to remember when the FA refused to allow the use of floodlights installed at a premier division club (called 1st division at the time) to be used for any game involving professional players and the first match was between Boxers and Jockeys.


    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 1:13pm on 04 Sep 2009, Gunishment wrote:

    FIrstly, as a Gooner, I don't like the idea of any of our players diving. However, it all seems like FIFA executed the new rules badly despite it's good intentions.

    1. This rule should have been introduced right at the beginning to avoid any confusion. It would also have avoided the accusations of bias. The changing of rules during the competition doesn't show strength in leadership, but the opposite. It seems that their decisions are swayed easily by the media mob and not by careful consideration.

    2. There are worse cases of diving which have gone unpunished and at more crucial periods of play. Although I suppose it has to start somewhere. But eyes will be watching over every possible suspicion of diving from now on. And if consistency is not followed, FIFA will be seen to be biased and politically motivated.

    3. Teams will decide whether diving is a sacrifice worth taking when playing a crucial game. Is a 2 match ban worth accepting for the chance to lift the cup?

    4. What are the definitions of diving? This is an interesting one. It isn't as clear cut as it seems on video. There will be situations where a foul would be committed were it not for the player skipping out of the way and falling. Balance is a delicate thing when combined with speed.

    So, I am in agreement with Wenger about using videos to remove as much error from refereeing as possible. If videos are used for post-penalties, it makes no sense to not use them during a game. Adding more officials just hides the problem that human judgement at a particular moment in time will always be fallible and subject to interpretation. Perhaps this still allows FIFA to sway games as and when they feel like it.

    The 2 match ban is also quite heavy in comparison to someone who would willingly try and end someone's career with a professional foul. Perhaps FIFA should rethink all the rules across the board rather than this knee-jerk decision.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 1:13pm on 04 Sep 2009, 'If they play football in heaven, this is how it would be done' wrote:

    WOW - finally a BBC journo who admits Ronney DIVED, yes DIVED.

    Strange this blog hasnt been moderated though, any comment on 606 about and English person diving is instantly pulled.

    I salute you Robbo.


    Your point about an Engine- Darren Fletcher personified.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 1:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, Tony wrote:

    "I think you need to watch Barca a bit more, Robbo. We've been watching Messi for years, and he's one of the most honest players at the top level of the game that you are ever likely to see. He tries to stay on his feet even when lesser quality players, and there are more than a few of those, are trying to kick lumps out of him."

    Except when he is headbutting players like the other night or when he dived, then saw the ref watching and rolled over some more to get Del Horno sent off in a Barca/Chelsea match!

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 1:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, robbyking wrote:

    Quite right, Chelsea and Eduardo deserved it, but it needs to all across the board.

    I can't imagine this diving rule ever getting to Italy though.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 1:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, goldstone79 wrote:

    #54 "About time that FIFA/UEFA took action to deal with the least attractive parts of the game."

    Carlos Tevez? You're just anti-Manchester aren't you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 1:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, Macca wrote:


    Yes, headhunting is legal and annoying...but Chelsea haven't been accused of this instance.

    If what they are doing is not against the rules then there would be no punishment. However, it seems that what they've done is actually break a rule or bunch of rules in pursuing a youth player.

    My point is that if rules/laws were broken then punish those that broke them and supported the act rather than give a smack on the wrist to the club in general and allow the people involved to continue regardless.

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 1:27pm on 04 Sep 2009, JohnBarnesfreekick wrote:

    Always amazes me the way these people hammer you every week about this blog Robbo. They seem to turn into morons when they're behind a computer screen.

    Anyway, good blog as usual. I don't think they realise the spirit in which it is written

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 1:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, roryfranc wrote:

    I find it amusing when us Gooners and Arsenal are targeted at whingers and complainers when a decision goes against us.

    The game at Old Trafford was not just a indication of the hypocracy that surrounds the game, but proof that certain teams are looked on more favourably than others.

    Eduardo probably does deserve this punishment, but I think it should not be ruled out that after the horror tackle at Birmingham, part of him was probably looking for the dive while another part was trying to avoid being taken down by the keeper. Anyway, its not as if the resulting penalty had a major effect on the result....unlike at Old Trafford.

    I believe it is more a problem for UEFA and FIFA now as they MUST have an unbiased and consistent view across the board now they have punished Eduardo, however like most occasions, Arsenal will be punished while the rest of the footballing world will go unnoticed.

    Perhaps I am myself being biased, but there is no escaping that teams like Manchester United and players like Wayne Rooney do get the rub of the green on many occassions, perhaps to many occassions to be simply luck and fate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 1:32pm on 04 Sep 2009, patto1960 wrote:

    Oh yeah, very macho and all that, 'I got principles I have.' A lazy column that is simply a cut and paste of a lot of other comments.

    A simple bit of advice. Go and have a look at a replay of the incident with Eduardo and watch it from the angle of Eduardo running straight towards the camera. If you can say that there is definitely no contact between the leg of Boruc and the ankle of Eduardo then it is as well you are not a referee.

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 1:34pm on 04 Sep 2009, collie21 wrote:

    I can gaurantee than in every premiership training ground, before a player has ever played for the first team, the coaches have taught him how to dive and feign injury or fouling. There is just too much financially at stake to have it otherwise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 1:36pm on 04 Sep 2009, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:

    im tired of one in two comments being made by some idiot complaining about the blog. If you dont like it JUST DONT READ IT HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU NEED TO BE TOLD?! Obviously dont have anything more exciting in your life than complaining about the percieved lack of comedy in this blog. Take your self-important nonsense to youtube or somewhere and leave the rest of us to enjoy the blog like we (almost hehe) always do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 1:40pm on 04 Sep 2009, Muesli_used_for_cheese wrote:

    Messi? I'm sure he hand-balled the ball into the net for a goal not so long ago. Clearly an upstanding honest player who would never cheat for the benefit of his team. Take off the blinkers people. Every team in all the world has a player or players that will cheat to gain an advantage.

    As for the Chelsea punishment. Well I applaud it, but I somehow fear my joy will be short-lived when a similar ban is handed out to my club. But if we want consistency throughout the game then we have to accept that our own clubs, at some point, will have to accept a similar penalty. No doubt the next thing will be clubs with massive debts being thrown out of Europe? Well that's Liverpool and United fecked then.

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 1:42pm on 04 Sep 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    I dont understand the difference between a contract or a pre-contract agreement. Surely the pre-contract agreement is a contract or there was no contract broken. Am I alone?

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 1:42pm on 04 Sep 2009, Gunnig4theTitle wrote:

    This blog lacks depth and analysis of the issues faced by Arsenal, Chelsea, UEFA and FIFA. Same old comments rehashed for new events lacking factual accuracy and reasoned opinion.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 1:44pm on 04 Sep 2009, savvvvvvvvvvy wrote:

    Sorry Robbo, but a dive is a dive. There's no way you can implement a law if it's only used for certain instances. I agree wholeheartedly that divers should be punished, but you can't just single out Eduardo. And you say Rooney shouldn't be punished? If he dived, and got the same outcome as Eduardo i.e. a penalty, surely the punishment should be the same- unless an olympic diving committee is to be employed in order to establish how elaborate the dive was and punish accordingly. If anything, the circumstances under which the dive was committed should be assessed- Arsenal were comfortably in the lead when Eduardo got his penalty- there was no particular gain. Man Utd on the other hand were 1-0 down at the time. It could be argued that in the latter scenario, the whole game was influenced by Rooney's dive. Surely that should be a more heinous crime than racking up an extra goal to add to Celtic's humiliation. I'm not condoning what Eduardo did, but Wenger has a point.

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 1:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, Muesli_used_for_cheese wrote:


    There is not any contact with Eduardo's ankle. He dived and is being punished and that is correct.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 1:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, stevie_bhoy wrote:

    Thoroughly enjoyable blog, but must respond to one of the subsequent posts.

    #38 - no David, Celtic were not out of the competition at the time, quite factually. The 3rd goal of any game is crucial. Of course I agree that Arsenal are miles ahead of Celtic, but that's not the point. Indeed, that makes diving even worse and even more unnecessary, and upsets do happen.

    Your assertion that Celtic are not good enough for the PL is strange, given how unlucky we were to lose the first 3 goals in our 2 leg tie with Arsenal, and how Arsenal have beaten Everton 6-1 and Portsmouth 4-1 so far this year. Presumably they're not good enough either? And they really should have beaten the league champs in their own back yard, were it not for a fairly fortunate penalty and an own goal. So losing 5-1 on aggregate with 3 unlucky first goals, which totally changed the outlook of the tie, certainly does not prove that. That is all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 1:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, danyengland10 wrote:

    very boring , Robson!
    what a waste of time and money...

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 1:46pm on 04 Sep 2009, davidgilmourthe3rd wrote:

    Speaking of Hollier than thou Rooney.

    cast minds back to the evening when Arsenal lost the unbeaten record at OT! I am sure there would be video evidence on UTUBE to support the fact that he dived in the box, in front of the ref, who he then winked at, when he saw the penalty given, then got up and ran shaking his fist's at the joy of being awarded the penalty which was taken by Nistleroy who should have not been on the pitch after his dilberate Stamp! right in front of the Linesman as well! who did not even book him.

    I know thats kinda history now, but some things are never forgotten are they.

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 1:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, Topper_Harley wrote:

    Rooney is an Honest player !!!

    I remember Mr Potato head diving in the Man Utd - Arsenal 2-0 game a about 5 years ago when MU stopped Arsenal’s Unbeaten run

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 1:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, Rovers Return - HKR AWAY DAYS wrote:

    JoeDavisRoach, you are doing my nut in - go away you moron!

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 1:49pm on 04 Sep 2009, Boydilicious wrote:

    Completely agree... If a pre-CONTRACT is signed then this, by name, is a contract?

    On the diving issue.. I believe, as most other people will say, its got to be one way or another. If Eduardo has been fined for this then all other players who take a dive (whether they know contact is coming or not) should surely be treated in an equal manner. This, however, would mean there would be 20 players playing in the premiership each week. The goalkeepers!
    It is "part of the game" now and everyone just has to accept it. Robbo is right in saying nobody complains when its their player who takes a dive for the winning penalty.
    If the referee is fooled then, in my opinion, fair play to the player.
    Diving should be dealt with on the pitch and it should end there. If a player is caught by the officials he is given a yellow card.

    Its a sad fact, but it is the only viable solution.

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 1:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, carlthevillan82 wrote:

    Alreet, Robbo?

    Whilst I think it's a good thing to punish diving, I think the punishment meted out to Eduardo this week was over the top. If the referee had spotted the dive in the game, he would have been given a yellow card, so why does spotting it after fact turn the offence into one worthy of a two-game ban?

    Eduardo should have been given a retrospective yellow card, which he would then have had to carry through the tournament.

    This does set a dangerous precedent, as well. Do we now trawl through the videos of every game, and give retrospective two-match bans for every yellow-card offence missed by the referee? This means every unpunished trip, handball, or other foul wotrh a booking are going to lead to two games on the sideline for the culprit.

    Play me some footage of any corner taken in the Premier League this year, and I'll show you at least 10 separate shirt-pulls somewhere in the box. The only team left with any defenders not serving a two-match ban for this would be Rafa's lot at Anfield, as the zonal marking system means they never seem to get near enough to any strikers to put them off their headers anyway.

    Don't get me wrong, I hate "simulation", but I think that you've got to treat players equally and - retrospective or not - the punishment should fit the crime.


    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 1:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, Cozmo012 wrote:

    27 - adampsb ... great stuff

    Complain about this comment

  • 81. At 1:56pm on 04 Sep 2009, BigidyBigidyBong wrote:

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 1:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, BigidyBigidyBong wrote:

    Your comments on Messi going down are wide of the mark, I've him have lumps kicked out of him by Madrid players and not once did he go down. As for Rooney, honest, never dives etc, what a load of bull.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 1:59pm on 04 Sep 2009, switchblade wrote:

    adampsb (comment #28)

    Here's a quote you might find interesting:

    "Sources from the Spanish Treasury Department emphasised that ... the new tax rules were principally brought in to help footballers ... "

    FIFA rules accept no government interference in the running of football clubs. This looks suspiciously like government interference to me.

    Although I do agree with you that British taxes are too high (as is national insurance). If it helps, it's even higher where I live.

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 2:00pm on 04 Sep 2009, gandalf4thereds wrote:

    Do you open kettles of fish Robbo?

    Isn't that more cans of worms?

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 2:07pm on 04 Sep 2009, Gunishment wrote:

    Apparently, it doesn't happen very often in Scotland says Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith.

    "There is not a lot of it in Scotland, though."

    I beg to differ.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 2:07pm on 04 Sep 2009, westcoastmarra wrote:

    You open a can of worms to catch a kettle of fish........I think

    Complain about this comment

  • 87. At 2:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, healingchild1 wrote:

    I have friends here in the US that will never watch soccer cos they are pissed how players fall down as if they have been shot with a gun. Something really has to be done to this trend.
    I'm a MAN U fan, but I think Rooney did exact same thing in our match against Arsenal, this is taking a lot away from soccer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 88. At 2:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chopperz_Revenge wrote:

    Hey Robbo,

    Good article as always mate, I especially liked the line, "Eduardo had a more blatant plunge than Katy Price's neckline." As for all of you whiter-than-white-collar, nit-picking, blog-grading, 'life-is-serious, Mihir is better', useless wastes of private school funds; go read some flippin' Shakespeare if Robbo's writing methods aren't up to your Stephen Fry standards.

    Now, to the football.

    I have no sympathy for Eduardo or Monsieur Wenger; you dive, you cheat. You get caught cheating, you serve your time...and 2 games is a fairly light punishment for essentially distinguishing any hopes Celtic had of a comeback...unlikely I know, but still.

    No bias here either (honest United puns thanks) in regards to Rooney. It looked like he was pulling out of the challenge once he poked the ball, and if Almunia had done the same as Boruc, then I would by all means say, "Rooney deserves the same punishment," although I realise that UEFA can't rule on Prem games. If Rooney goes down too easy and Almunia doesn't make contact....2 game ban. Almunia caught him...end of.

    There is such a fine line between a player diving, a player looking for a pen, a player avoiding an injury, and a player that is genuinely hacked down, that I think it's impossible for a set of officials to rule accurately, at that speed, 100% of the time. The only way to get it right more often that not, and to therefore dish out consistent and appropriate punishments, is via TV replays, either during the game, or more likely, after the game. And this seems to be the sticking point.

    Now that a footballing body (UEFA) have flexed their muscles a bit, they HAVE to stay consistent, and keep banning anyone else caught diving during European competitions, otherwise Eduardo's ban essentially means nothing. And I would love to see the FA take a similar stance on the Premiership divers - as great a player as Ronaldo was for United, I cringed every time he went down like a house of cards, and the likes of Drogba, Eboue, Robinho, Gerrard (you KNOW he does my Scouser friends) and others might just change their tune if they are paraded in the media as cheaters for a few weeks in the same way Eduardo has been.

    As for the Chelsea transfer ban, same story. You get caught, you do the time. I have a sneaky feeling that all of the big clubs in Europe will be perusing over old transfers hoping to cover their tracks, including my Red Devils, and if any other are caught, basically stealing a smaller clubs' talent, then I'm all for the transfer ban....United included. Again though, there has to be consistency in the punishments, otherwise these cases just get lost once the next big story comes along - usually the following day.

    YNWA = You'll Never Win Again

    Complain about this comment

  • 89. At 2:18pm on 04 Sep 2009, gandalf4thereds wrote:

    Some folk take kettles of fish very seriously:

    English Today (2007), 23:34-39 Cambridge University Press
    Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

    Original Article

    Kettles of fish: or, does unilateral idiomaticity exist?

    Complain about this comment

  • 90. At 2:18pm on 04 Sep 2009, Bunburyist wrote:

    To imagine that Eduardo's ban will set a precedent is extremely naive. That is, unless you think nobody has dived since the last time Uefa enforced a similar retroactive ban for a dive at Hampden in 2007. It didn't set a precedent then, and it won't now. The complaint of Gooners and other fans and writers alike is that Uefa seems to respond only to British media frenzy (read the headlines after the Celtic tie) and, more importantly, to pressure from the SFA. If this is what's required in order to enforce a rule, then Uefa deserves our contempt, not our praise in its ruling against Eduardo. It makes hypocrites of everybody involved. Indeed, the discrepancy between the way the media treats foreign divers and British divers already makes hypocrites of us. Do you think Uefa would face the same pressure from Britain for a British diver? Double standards for everyone involved.

    Complain about this comment

  • 91. At 2:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, U2165263 wrote:

    why is this still an issue or debate? is there some new information on the matter? eduardo dived, so did rooney, though the latter is harder to prove unless player admits it. hiskness were already bending.

    one gets called a dive, the other doesnt. we all want cheating out of our game, but knowfull well that the only players tht get banned for diving are those tht come up against scottish teams. you can not blame the state of your club and national game on eduardo, or that lithunian striker. further more, case of pot and kettle and clour black, if anyone watched the hibs v celtic game.

    finally, ifwe wnat complete justice, perhaps we should begin by treating foreign players and english players the same. so lawrensen, hansen, redknapp, gray et al, when a english layer does it, its not stimulation its still a dive, and your golden boys of gerrard, rooney, lampard are amongst the worst.

    Complain about this comment

  • 92. At 2:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Lovely Blog Robbo, the debate rages on. I especially like the Oz connection and it's not been lost on me that those boots Ronaldo wears are really Dorothy's red slippers. It brought to mind the introduction to the theme song...

    When all the box is a hopeless jumble
    And the gelled one tumbled all around

    FIFA opens a can o' worms

    Someone falling from a cloud
    An appeal from half the crowd
    Just a whistle from a spot kick

    Somewhere towards the far post
    Blue shirts fly
    Red ones scream out in protest
    Why then oh why can't I

    If everybody keeps going on about it surely they'll do more but will we ever be satisfied? I still yearn for the days when Bestie was hacked down by Chopper Harris, both legs leaving the turf and his body. He re-attached them himself, in mid-air, before landing in stride and slotting the ball home past a despairing keeper. Those were the days.

    Complain about this comment

  • 93. At 2:26pm on 04 Sep 2009, Imagine Reason wrote:

    Chelsea had been fined 300 grand for tapping up Ashley Cole. They wouldn't learn. It's not vindictiveness.

    Complain about this comment

  • 94. At 2:28pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    91. At 2:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, BBR_vavavoom-Le dieu du foot c'est Zizou wrote:
    why is this still an issue or debate?

    I agree with you. The issue has been covered ad nauseum.

    Unfortunately "Robbo" is the master of flogging a dead horse and is basically recycling a past edition rather than trying to create some new material as is Nialls trademark on these blogs. Fast Food journalism at its worst.

    Complain about this comment

  • 95. At 2:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chopperz_Revenge wrote:

    JDR wrote, "Fast Food journalism at its worst."

    Shall I fetch you a bib sire?

    Complain about this comment

  • 96. At 2:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, U2165263 wrote:

    this is not tapping up though is it? they convinced a kid to break a contract and leave for free to sign for them, how on earth did they think this was legal?!!? the arrogance is ridiculous. im so happy they got banned from transfers.

    he had been trained since 9 yrs old, and chelsea just thought we'll have that! not only its illegal but these kids, most of them, are ruining their careers by moving so quickly. the lure of EPL is strong. but you need an education.

    compare zidane, djorkaeff, platini and all our greatest players, to le tallec, sinama, faubert, aliadiere etc.

    Complain about this comment

  • 97. At 2:33pm on 04 Sep 2009, U2165263 wrote:

    Fast Food journalism at its worst


    so true, and not just here. someone obviously taught them that as long as you get many replies and cause a stir you have your job. this is not PR, its journalism. Its meant to be an ethical, moral and unbiased reporting of facts. the debate should be on the subject not on the writers opinions.

    Complain about this comment

  • 98. At 2:33pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    I especially liked the line, "Eduardo had a more blatant plunge than Katy Price's neckline.

    I think most people would enjoy plunging in Katy Price's neckline.

    I think most people really get upset by diving when it is so obvious you want to hold up a 9.5 card or look around for some water as it is so embarrassing. There are a lot of cases where speed vs minimal contact will knock someone off balance or they trail a leg looking for it and refs should be smart enough to spot those and deny the penalty.

    Rather than videos which will hold up play as unlike American Football and other sports play doesn't stop at the incident if a penalty is denied and the ball is in play and you stop the play to look at the video and decide it isn't a penalty then the defending team is unfairly penalised.

    WHat is needed is ref's and linesman to keep up with play and position themselves correctly

    Complain about this comment

  • 99. At 2:36pm on 04 Sep 2009, paulalancroft wrote:

    There is an obvious problem with this debate; no court could, or should, possibly convict someone on an inspired guess about intention. At the speed Eduardo was running the smallest contact or deviation from his course could cause him, and many others in the same situation, to lose balance. This is not to say it WASN'T intentional just to point out that is unreasonable 1/ To claim as a matter of fact that it was and 2/ To impose a sanction many, many times greater than the one available to the referee if he had formed that opinion at the time. This is why the lesson from this should be for referees to be more vigilant and perhaps also observant of other players' reactions. That of the Celtic players certainly indicated their certainty that no foul had been committed; I would have thought [admittedly with hindsight] the best solution would have been simply not to award a penalty.
    Again, with hindsight, the respective positions of the balls in the case of Eduardo and Rooney suggest to me that Eduardo had no need to go over - the ball was at his feet - but that Rooney, having kicked the ball over the goal-line actually chose to go down seeing that Almunia was committed to his rash challenge. The point is, surely, that nothing is provable in either case.
    If video evidence is to have any credibilty at all it needs to be used to clarify FACTS - e.g. did a ball cross the line? - not to operate as some pseudo mind reader.

    Complain about this comment

  • 100. At 2:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, U2165263 wrote:


    Absolutely correct reagrding vidoe evidence, and also about the diving on both cases.

    the other point of course if that if ref still stands by decision, is UEFA now openly admitting we do not back refs, and we have different views on different incidents. surely that cant be good for the game?

    Complain about this comment

  • 101. At 2:40pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    this is not PR, its journalism.

    "Robbo"/Niall might argue that it is comedy - but he would wrong in that aswell. Essentially one is treated to the predictable outlook of a fictional working class northerner designed to ruffle a few feathers. The blog is devoid of both style and substance regardless if one is looking for comedy or journalism.

    Complain about this comment

  • 102. At 2:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, bennettste wrote:

    'Diving' is one side of a coin and is always subjective, how often do defenders resort to elbows, shirt pulling, tripping and other underhand ways of stopping forwards, for every time someone has dived, there were at least ten times he was stopped by a sly (and often not so sly) foul and the offender got away with it. You cant say the one side of the coin is wrong and the other isn't its just as wrong, as unmanly and a bigger cheat to resort to violence to stop someone whos better than you. When you start treating the cloggers, the pullers, the pushers, the bargers, the shirt pullers, the sly kickers, the toe stampers, the obstructers and others from stopping the flair players physically because they cant take the ball from them, then you can criticise the so called divers. if I'm constantly fouled by a defender and he gets away with I'm damned sure im going to take the next opportunity to make sure the the ref sees its a foul or make his next tackle look like a foul and anyone who says they wouldnt is not telling the truth. Eduardo may have been looking for it and so may Rooney, but in both cases the keeper tried to take them out and deserved what they got.

    Complain about this comment

  • 103. At 2:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, couch_potato_peeler wrote:

    Good blog as ever Robbo,

    I agree that it's time something is done about diving, but it's always going to be difficult for referees to judge what is and isn't a dive in real time. In my view we don't want to have football governing bodies constantly using video evidence to charge players retrospectively, otherwise football will become like F1, a sport played out in the appeals court.

    As for tapping up, that's always going to happen when so much money is floating around and a player's contract appears to mean no more than a few promises made on a piece of paper which can be broken as long as there's enough cash on offer. Bit harsh on Chelsea, and Lens are really going to have to be 'whiter than white' from now on (or is that plus blanc que blanc)?

    Incidentally Robbo, I think you open a can of worms don't you? A kettle of fish, that's a different thing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 104. At 2:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, Starburst_995 wrote:

    Oh dear ... looks like JDR's spitting out his dummy once more. *Yawn*

    There's talk of Man U getting hammered the same was as Chelsea for doing pretty much the same thing.

    At this rate, Man City's going to have a clear run on the title.

    Complain about this comment

  • 105. At 2:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, U2165263 wrote:

    There's talk of Man U getting hammered the same was as Chelsea for doing pretty much the same thing.


    i heard that too, just waiting for the inevitable paranoia of english fans saying that platini and blattter hate us! and why are real madrid not getting banned. we underwent some illegal tactics but if we get fined its because we're the EPL. well la liga doesnt tend to knick youngsters from our league.

    but its is a poor article. it is not saying anything new, just running out of ideas. why dont you do a piece on those iranian players banned due to their armbands, or about the national amateur world cup in regent park this weekend, or about the barcelona youth team. there is life outside the EPL.

    Complain about this comment

  • 106. At 2:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chopperz_Revenge wrote:

    BBR_vavavoom-Le dieu du foot c'est Zizou wrote:

    "so true, and not just here. someone obviously taught them that as long as you get many replies and cause a stir you have your job. this is not PR, its journalism. Its meant to be an ethical, moral and unbiased reporting of facts. the debate should be on the subject not on the writers opinions."

    Je suis désolé mais je dois être en désaccord avec vous.
    I agree with your concept of fact-reporting when it comes to a standard piece of journalism. But let's face it, this blog is designed to step away from a piece you would normally find on the BBC. Look at the text written within Robbo's 'About this Blog' section and it clearly states,
    "My job is to say it as I see it - whether it's in the bar of the Blue Bell or on this blog. You won't find me calling a spade a soil-redistribution implement." His opinion; his thoughts; his take on events....specifically pointing to the fact that he isn't here as a roving reporter with the latest fine print.

    I couldn't agree more with what bennettste wrote. Defenders get away with blue murder in today's game, and it reflects on the simulation / diving techniques employed by some of the best attacking players. I would be quite happy to see 12 yellow cards dished out each game, bans handed out willy nilly and refs with technology, if 10 FAIR games were played out every week in the Premiership. Just imagine...scorelines like Arsenal's 6-1 over Everton would become commonplace.

    Complain about this comment

  • 107. At 2:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, I like cats wrote:

    I suggest everybody read comment 35 and have a good think about it.

    Punishing diving, fine, great, all for it, let's do it. How far back do we go? They punished Eduardo retrospectively, so can we go back to any game starting from NOW and punish divers as long as we have 'evidence'?

    But I thought the FA and FIFA told us that referees decisions cannot be overturned after a game? Why stop here? Why not make Arsenal and Celtic replay their game? The penalty changed the game, first goal and all, so is a two match ban for Eduardo a fair and reasonable 'penalty' for the millions lost by Celtic in potential CL revenue?

    FIFA/UEFA just did the most stupid thing in the world and Wenger has every right to contest everything that goes against his team from now on, and if I were him I'd do so with a team of solicitors and ruin FIFA for loss of earnings should they lose a game and due to an errant refereeing decision.

    Otherwise, what's the next step? Are FIFA going to pretend that this never happened? Well surely every dive, foul and red card will be subject to appeal via video evidence, which surely means that FIFA will have to find 25,000 new jobs to form a new Department of Corrections to deal with the backlog of 'evidence' that they'll attract every week from now on.

    For God's sake, let's get video referees involved 'during' the game so that the right decision can be made at the right time. The whole World saw it was a dive as soon as they saw the 2nd replay. Before Eduardo had even picked himself off the ground there were millions of people who saw him cheat. Someone could be sat a million miles away and send a message to the referee's earpiece, it's so easy that it's untrue. So why isn't it being done? Maybe FIFA don't want us to hear what's being said between the referees and the players, or maybe there are some teams out there who FIFA would prefer were not punished because they generate a lot of money for FIFA? Give me one good reason to not use in-play video evidence for Premiership and Champions League games?

    Complain about this comment

  • 108. At 2:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, used2beprofi wrote:

    anyone else see the ronaldinho dive in the ac/inter milan game? worst of the year so far! eufa should have a rule that is specific to all european leagues so that one who is punished for something in europa or champions league must get the same scrutiny in league play regardless whether you play prem, la liga, bundesliga or serie a...

    Complain about this comment

  • 109. At 2:56pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 110. At 2:56pm on 04 Sep 2009, boblinc wrote:

    One point that seems to be missing amongst all the jubilant anti gunners is that Eduardo has been red carded for a yellow card offence. I do not pretend that Arsenal should have had a penalty and nor do I deny that it looked like a dive. But if a two match ban is appropriate then diving has to become a red card offence.

    IF Almunia had done the impossible and snatched his arms away Rooney would still have gone down. Does anyone really think that Mike Dean would have booked him. Rooney was clever. Did a dive but made sure he got a piece of Almunia. That, according to Jamie Redknap on Sky is OK and fair as part of the game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 111. At 2:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, cliveeta wrote:

    How are you going to tell the difference between a blatant dive and a really unfortunate slip? You can't! So this arguement is redundant. It's the referees decision on the night and you have to stick with it. No after the fact discussions please.

    Complain about this comment

  • 112. At 2:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, U2165263 wrote:

    chopperz revenge, thank you for making me feel as if im in a cafe in Paris!

    yes perhaps i missed the point of the reason behind the contents of this artcile, but i see it too often and not just with robbos blog.

    good point about the defenders, they also cheat buy pulling shirts, etc

    a case of all cheating is wrong, but some cheating is more wrong than others...

    Complain about this comment

  • 113. At 3:01pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    And where's Gaz_Utd?

    One of the scant few pleasures I get from this blog these days is turning on the PC in the morning to see just how late Gaz has stayed up till in order to badmouth people.

    Honestly, you'd think he had no job/life/prospects (delete as appopriate).

    Complain about this comment

  • 114. At 3:03pm on 04 Sep 2009, ChuckleBrother2 wrote:

    or Mr Messi, who's been known to roll like a craps dice when the need arises.


    My god, you actually have no clue what you're talking about do you. In future please restrain yourself to only offering views on English football. They might be cliched and stereotyped but at least they're not horrifically inaccurate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 115. At 3:03pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "How are you going to tell the difference between a blatant dive and a really unfortunate slip? You can't!"

    Actually, the Willem Defoe-esque 'Platoon' arms in the air fall tends to be a bit of a giveaway.

    Complain about this comment

  • 116. At 3:04pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    No-one has missed the point that it is a yellow card rather than a red card offence and the sanction of a yellow card should have been imposed. It is just that we're happy gloating about it.

    What was even funnier that the week after this happens Celtic have one of their players (McGeady) sent off for diving after they had taken the moral high ground.

    That was pure irony and not a word from Celtic Park

    Complain about this comment

  • 117. At 3:07pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "why Dads are letting their lads run about looking like little tussocks of grass is beyond me"

    We all know what happens to them in Boro, don't we.

    Complain about this comment

  • 118. At 3:10pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    114. At 3:03pm on 04 Sep 2009, ChuckleBrother2 wrote:

    I think you need to take issue with a blog as a whole rather than just one or two comments. The inaccuracies on a "Robbo" blog are in every poorly written paragraph.

    This latest blog highlights exactly the key problem with "Robbo". The blogs are churned out at record pace so that Niall is more concerned with producing something (barely) readable in time for the next deadline as opposed to providing something that could qualify as comedy, journalism or dare i say it - both.

    Niall wrote a blog just last week (under the guise of "Robbo" of course) whereby diving was at the centre of his hastily thrown together offering.
    I can only assume time constraints, lack of effort or lack of ideas is behind another blog of such similarities - (as someone else pointed out even the pictures on the two blogs are the same). Another blog, another poor job and yet again I have to ask why this is necessary? Niall if you must write 2/3 blogs a week why not deviate from "Robbo's" worn out viewpoint. Limit this fictional irratant to one blog a week and try and showcase your talents with something alternative. Must you continue to flog the dead horse to the extreme?

    Complain about this comment

  • 119. At 3:11pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chopperz_Revenge wrote:


    Point taken.

    In my opinion, if you've read Robbo's blog, (or any blog for that matter) say 7 or 8 times, and you think it's 'shite' as you put it, then surely you wouldn't bother come back to it twice a week just to complain? I know it's slightly different because of the whole BBC being publically-funded etc, but most regulars here who enjoy Robbo's slightly different take on things would rather discuss issues about the article, rather than bicker with posters who are just here to slam the content outright (me included believe it or not).

    It's by no means my favourite writer (sorry Robbo, sure you're shattered!) but I just can't get my head around the concept of just coming to an article to complain. For instance, I don't particularly rate some other BBC pundits / writers, but rather than clog up message-boards with negative comments, I just move on to ones I do like.

    Let's face it, football is, money, money....and a few bans here and there aren't going to change much. Pity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 120. At 3:18pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    or Mr Messi, who's been known to roll like a craps dice when the need arises.


    My god, you actually have no clue what you're talking about do you. In future please restrain yourself to only offering views on English football. They might be cliched and stereotyped but at least they're not horrifically inaccurate.


    You are either blind, watching the wrong Messi or are Barca's manager in disguise as Messi hits the deck more times than the "Gelled Tumbler" or The Real Thing as he's known (how long before "the special one" joins the real thing). He is gamesmanship personified and (like Tevez) rubbish as soon as he puts the Argentina shirt on at the moment.

    Let's face it he goes down more often than Linda Lovelace (whether in the box or out)

    Complain about this comment

  • 121. At 3:21pm on 04 Sep 2009, awonga wrote:

    This blog is awful. More cliches and cringeworthy metaphors than something you'd find on yahoo. I wish they'd stop advertising it on the sport home page.

    Complain about this comment

  • 122. At 3:26pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:


    If you don't like rObbo (and yes you know who you are JDR, awonga etc then GO AWAY. We like it and have fun commenting on it so there.

    As Gaz is away in France it seems that his ongoing duel with ira_bru will be on hold for a couple of weeks

    Complain about this comment

  • 123. At 3:29pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "I just can't get my head around the concept of just coming to an article to complain."

    I'd guess for the same reasons people used to go onto Mihir Bose's blog to complain.

    That seemed to do the trick, after all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 124. At 3:34pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    I must say I find it slighlty bemusing that certain people (yes you know who you are) cant seem to accept the fact that this comments page is precisely for that - comments and opinions. Just because you like "Robbos" blog doesnt mean that those who dont are not entitled to comment.

    I for one one have no problem with the like of Gaz Utd, TrotterUSA et all having their personal daily chats on this blog (I cant see how this is anymore relevant to the content of the blog then those offering negative opinions). So rather than try drowm people out with "go away" and "dont read it" comments I suggest you follow your own advice and ignore those comments that are made.

    Complain about this comment

  • 125. At 3:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, Chopperz_Revenge wrote:

    "I'd guess for the same reasons people used to go onto Mihir Bose's blog to complain.

    That seemed to do the trick, after all."

    So send Mihir another bunch of flowers BeyondThePale, maybe he'll come back to bed.

    Seems some people just come here to complain in general, as a quick look in your comments log will show. A few valid comments wouldn't go astray from time to time.

    It's beyond the pale....FACT.

    Complain about this comment

  • 126. At 3:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Are you really Phil Brown?

    Complain about this comment

  • 127. At 3:41pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    JDR - it's not that anyone per se has a problem with you not liking it - it's just that you never say anything else. At least Gaz, Trotter etc engage in some banter but you never do. If you did I thionk you would find thi sblog a lot more engaging.

    Abd #123 - Mihir Bose was pretending to be a serious sports journalist but didn't ask serious questions, rambled and generally bootlicked the people he was interviewing and that is why had to go.

    Why he went was that while all his staff had to move to Salford he wasn't perpared to.

    Complain about this comment

  • 128. At 3:43pm on 04 Sep 2009, Andreisgiant wrote:


    I fail to see the problem with people posting their opinions, whether or not they've been stated before, on a public blog.

    If you don't like what you read, then don't read it is what you constantly state...why don't you take your own advice?

    At times this blog can be decent but this post by Niall, for example, is dreadfully poor. I wish him to know that, so next time perhaps, he can try harder.

    Complain about this comment

  • 129. At 3:44pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    I think you miss my point as regards Mihir, to be honest.

    What I was referring to was the similar shite quality of his blogs to this one and the hope of complainants that this blogger, too, would end up with the big 'E'.

    And adampsb, you can believe that if you wish to.

    Complain about this comment

  • 130. At 3:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    127. At 3:41pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Whats banter to some is annoying to other - I have read plenty of comments from people complaining of GazUtds daily 100+ posts clogging up the pages. However it doesnt bother me even though I know he doesnt agree with my opinions. I suspect people like him use these pages as more of a socialising means as opposed to a vested interest in the repetitive "Robbo" outlook on sport.

    You clearly enjoy "Robbos" blog - naturally I cant understand why - an d as such obviously disagree with me. My reasons for posting are in an attempt to either improve what I see is a waste of time blog or at least get the author Niall to try something new. He is after all supposed to be some kind of a comedian. I would be horrified if his "talents" didnt go beyond "Robbo". Even you as a "Robbo" fan must admit that this blog is a barely disguised reworking of a previous effort. The "jokes" may not be identicle but the theme is very similar and in my view reeks of a weak effort to reignite a fading debate in the abscence of having some genuine new material.

    Complain about this comment

  • 131. At 3:51pm on 04 Sep 2009, ChuckleBrother2 wrote:

    You are either blind, watching the wrong Messi or are Barca's manager in disguise as Messi hits the deck more times than the "Gelled Tumbler" or The Real Thing as he's known (how long before "the special one" joins the real thing). He is gamesmanship personified and (like Tevez) rubbish as soon as he puts the Argentina shirt on at the moment.

    Let's face it he goes down more often than Linda Lovelace (whether in the box or out)


    I'd say I watch barcelona more than anyone who's posted on this blog, including Niall himself, and no Messi is not a "diver" in the sense that someone like Didier Drogba is. Messi gets fouled consistently throughout every game, obviously he dives on occasion, every football player probably has, it's a professional game after all so people bend the rules, but to hold Messi up as one of the worst examples of diving in football is just so pathetically Anglo-centric it sickens me.

    And leave the weak jokes to Niall. It's not that he's good at it but at least someone's paying him to do it so he has an excuse.

    Complain about this comment

  • 132. At 3:52pm on 04 Sep 2009, leon boylan wrote:

    So Eduardo saw the keeper coming out with no chance of getting near the ball and fell over. WOW, what was he thinking?? Two game ban, why not just send him to prison for a few years?! Poor guy has had worse press than Josif Fritzil.....
    What next i ask, every time a centre half puts his arm in the air appealing for an off side should he shown a straight red?! Or if a player holds the ball near the flag to run the clock down should he banned????
    As for chelsea being banned from signing players, for what exactly??! tapping up a player, well they are clearly the only club in world football who have ever done this.....
    Platini and Blatter are doing such a good job, never mind the fact that black english players cant play on mainland europe without disgusting racing chants and noises, never mind the fact that the former national manager of spain openly made a racist remark about Henry to Cesc Fabregas and forget about Italian police officers being murdered by rioting hooligans........
    No concentrate on the real issues, english clubs signing 16 year olds and winnings penalties when they are 4-0 up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Am i the only one seeing this madness???

    Complain about this comment

  • 133. At 3:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, Macca wrote:

    Who the heck is Niall? JDR, how do you know how this character is and what's your beef?

    You're here all the time commenting that you don't like this guy and that he is really called Niall.

    Robbo or Niall or Derek or whoever you are, keep it up son.

    Complain about this comment

  • 134. At 3:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    133. At 3:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, strcprstskrzkrk wrote:

    Im assuming (and hoping) you understand "Robbo" is not a real person and is just a fictional character created by the author who writes this blog in order to present a stereotyped view on sport and to differentiate his own opinion from that of his fictional creation.

    The authors name happens to be Niall.

    Hope that clears that up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 135. At 3:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Chucklebrother 2
    And leave the weak jokes to Niall. It's not that he's good at it but at least someone's paying him to do it so he has an excuse.


    I don't see your name on the Comedy Awards list either. If you think Messi doesn't dive then you probbaly think that Tom Daley plays Tennis

    Complain about this comment

  • 136. At 3:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, BobTBuilder15 wrote:

    Hello Robbo (Steve?), I am just writing in to say how much I love this Blog.

    I look forward to using many big words Robbo (Peter?) so that you and everyone else, know how clever I am.

    I shall then be using terrible metaphors and allegories (I seem to have started already using big words) to illustrate my points, which really have no bearing on your Blog, Robbo (David?), but as I am so opinionated and have no sense of humour I need to try and ruin everyone else's fun.

    Robbo (Ben?) glad to see you mentioned the Blue Bell. I wanted to point out that you missed it last week, but someone beat me to it.

    Phew. I'm sorry, I had to do it Robbo (Robbo?)

    I am a Chelsea fan who, while not being very happy with what has happened in the last 24 hours, is quite philosophical about the whole thing. We'll appeal and hopefully it will be brought down to just missing the January window.

    It does however raise the wider issue which Mr UEFA, Platini himself is trying to push legislation through, regarding minors and contracts.

    Man Utd seem to be next in the firing line. I'm waiting for it to be metered out in Spain and Italy before I start saying conspiracy.

    As for diving... Perhaps we should all take a good look at how the Spanish and Italians play football, as it is rife there too - again, we'll have to wait for the Champions League to see if retroactive punishments will be applied across the board.

    If not, then maybe the conspiracy theorists will have been proven right? This one is set to run and run.

    Cheers Robbo!

    Complain about this comment

  • 137. At 3:58pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    He's also about as funny as being linked sexually with Katie Price.

    Complain about this comment

  • 138. At 3:59pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    You wish you were linked sexually with Katie Price as let's face it everyone else has been or has had.

    Complain about this comment

  • 139. At 4:00pm on 04 Sep 2009, davidgilmourthe3rd wrote:

    " I've had it up to here with Gooners bleating that it's not fair that their lad got picked on "

    Most Gooners are anything but " bleating " most of us are in fact very much agreeable with...

    " Thing is, Eduardo's ban has to apply across the board from now on. "

    we are however questioning wether the above will be the case? also we questioning the manner in which the powers that be are flexing thier might and it has to be said that had they came out before the Season started with a messsage of clear intent to punish the cheats we would all be very happy about that no matter which team we happen to subscribe to. The Eduardo incident has been cleverly hyjacked to alledge " cheating " as opposed to gamesmanship, fooling the ref which as we know is ruining the game and goes on unabated.

    i would have thought that before making accusations about cheating one would need very clear and precise evidence to prove it to be the case, however a " dive " only requires endless replays to prove.

    The reason why AW and Arsenal and Surporters are defending our guy is quite simple..

    It has not been proved or shown he is/was a cheat!

    and on the subject of fairness etc cast your minds back to when Arsenal offered a replay to a side they had just knocked out the cup due to the non return of the ball following a foul! if thats not sportsmanship of the highest order i dont know what is! AW immediatly offered a replay seeing the obvious upset of the opposition who were duly dumped out the cup for a second time.

    regardless of this set back and more negativity Arsenal will indeed go on to lift the CL this year and thump the mighty RM in the FINAL! with or without Eduardo!

    Complain about this comment

  • 140. At 4:00pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Which actually I wouldn't have a problem with

    Complain about this comment

  • 141. At 4:01pm on 04 Sep 2009, mustoe4ever wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 142. At 4:02pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 143. At 4:04pm on 04 Sep 2009, WimblepiesDJ wrote:

    "I kind of worry about Wazza calling himself 'honest' - not cos he's a Dean Richards of a fibber but because 'honest' is football-speak for 'hard-working but ultimately not all that'." - what?!

    I kind of worry about Wazza calling himself 'honest' because of his numerous dives in the not to distant past...honestly selective memory or what?!

    Complain about this comment

  • 144. At 4:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, Macca wrote:

    JDR, I understand, just not sure how you worked out who is behind it...was there a "behind the scenes" or something?

    I actually remember when Robbo was done in the style of questions and answers, was a slightly better format that these blogs.

    Still, can't fully work out why you're so darned persistant. No offence but you remind me of Dick Dasterdly in catch the pidgeon. "Get rrrid that "Rrrrobbo"! Muttley! Do Something!!"

    Yeah, I know it's not Great Expectations but I'm not expecting it to be. Let it lay son.

    Complain about this comment

  • 145. At 4:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, ChuckleBrother2 wrote:

    I don't see your name on the Comedy Awards list either. If you think Messi doesn't dive then you probbaly think that Tom Daley plays Tennis


    Hopefully we're arguing two different points here. I'm not saying that messi never dives, I'm saying he rarely goes out of his way to dive or systematically dives throughout the game. Obviously these two are widely different, otherwise virtually every professional footballer would be a considered a diver and the distinction would be totally irrelevant. If you actually believe Messi is a diver then seriously go and watch a barcelona game. I'm not going to bother arguing this with you anymore as unless you're a season ticket holder at barcelona I've seen messi play more often than you. Seriously, they're a pretty good team to watch anyways, might as well try finding something out for yourself instead of watching barcelona play a champions league game twice a year and then getting all self-righteous when messi dives once and some brainless English commentator comes out with a "bloody foreigners always cheating our boys".

    Complain about this comment

  • 146. At 4:07pm on 04 Sep 2009, davidgilmourthe3rd wrote:

    we actually did offer Celtic a replay but on the video evidence they declined stateing ...

    " we are most gratefull for the generous offer however we must decline as another two games against a side like Arsenal and the obvious outcome would damage our reputation as a top side and furthermore would not enhance our cause for inclusion into a superior league "

    as the saying goes up north " we sent them home agin to think agin " just like we always do regardless of the sport.

    Complain about this comment

  • 147. At 4:17pm on 04 Sep 2009, Macca wrote:

    Sir Alex's point of view on this. He supports the ban for Eduardo but also appears to support Arsene too...

    "I agree with Arsene, I would ask the same question 'is it going to happen to everyone?'

    "You become insular and protective of your own player and own team, we're all selfish that way.

    "I would have been saying 'what about all the rest of the players?'.

    "But I wouldn't have been pleased if my player had done that.

    "I wouldn't say it publicly though, because when you do that you're in danger of losing the morale of the dressing room.

    "Privately, as I've done many times, you have a different view, but I wouldn't do it publicly."

    Complain about this comment

  • 148. At 4:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    144. At 4:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, strcprstskrzkrk wrote:

    Another poster put in a link about it one time on who the author was. A quick google check confirmed this. His name is Niall Ashdown.

    Complain about this comment

  • 149. At 4:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, OneLeagueTitlePlease wrote:

    Im assuming (and hoping) you understand "Robbo" is not a real person and is just a fictional character created by the author...

    I don't understand your point. The blog is entitled "Robbo" so can't we just assume we're responding to robbo rather than doing background checks to see who actually created the character.

    Complain about this comment

  • 150. At 4:21pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:


    I'm not going to bother arguing this with you anymore as unless you're a season ticket holder at barcelona I've seen messi play more often than you

    How many Barca games have you been to?
    Admittedly I have to watch him on Skysports either live or on La liga highlights show but he does dive (and frequently)

    Complain about this comment

  • 151. At 4:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, littlejklc wrote:

    If you say the ban is fair then there should be the same for every diver in the rest of the tournament. Otherwise, Arsenal will have a case that can go to court if they go extreme.
    I hope C. Ronaldo will be the next to be punished. Say he dived in the 1st leg of semi final and then missed the 2nd leg of semi final and then the final and Real lose the final. Sounds a good scenario.

    Complain about this comment

  • 152. At 4:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    149. At 4:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, OneLeagueTitlePlease wrote:

    Essentially because Im not responding to "Robbo" - my posts are generally directed at Niall and his blog as opposed to "Robbo".

    I understand people like to respond to "Robbo" in the spirit of things in a pantomime kind of way but my posts are intended to be read by Niall when he is "out of character" and as such I think its more appropriate to address Niall.

    Complain about this comment

  • 153. At 4:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, Andreisgiant wrote:


    What? This blog is by Niall Ashdown, a supposed comedian.

    If you want, you can assume Robbo is a real person, just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny....but if youre not a very small child and want to believe this, then youre just an idiot

    Complain about this comment

  • 154. At 4:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, goldstone79 wrote:

    144 - put "Robbo Robson" into Google!

    Complain about this comment

  • 155. At 4:27pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    JDR - as we've said before write to him c/o teh BBC as Niall - and respond to RObbo on the blog. Get in the spirit of it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 156. At 4:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    Just a point

    Everyone knows that Robbo Robson is really Niall Ashdown but as the blog is written in character we respond in character.

    If you can't get into the spirit of this why do you bother. I bet you take the fun out of Christmas by telling your kids that there's no Santa and that they have to wait until the January sales rather than just pretending and letting them enjoy something they suspect isn't really true but is fun to believe in anyway

    Complain about this comment

  • 157. At 4:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, barca4ever wrote:

    I didn't read the blog and i don't intend to. Eduardo dived okay. Eduardo is given a two match ban. Okay. Arsenal must appeal and they have done that to show support for the player in public. Okay. Ferguson said he will publicly defend his player but privately tell him to cut that out of his game which is what Arsenal is doing. This topic is treated and dead but people like you bring it up making me think that a certain Mr Wenger is right about this witch hunting stuff. You are just putting wood on a dying fire and you know what that does.

    Complain about this comment

  • 158. At 4:32pm on 04 Sep 2009, OneLeagueTitlePlease wrote:


    Santa Claus isn't real? Now your pulling my leg!

    Complain about this comment

  • 159. At 4:33pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    well he did actually exist (as St Nicholas - hence santa claus) in medieval Germany but he's getting on a bit to be going down chimneys

    Complain about this comment

  • 160. At 4:34pm on 04 Sep 2009, leon boylan wrote:

    who cares who robbo is does it really matter??! check out 132!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 161. At 4:35pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    #27 is far better

    Complain about this comment

  • 162. At 4:35pm on 04 Sep 2009, cmr-oafc wrote:

    Thats one hell of a bitter blog having a go at anyone and everyone, justified or not (mostly not), god knows what it will be like when you are in league one.

    Complain about this comment

  • 163. At 4:38pm on 04 Sep 2009, cuirmichael wrote:

    Complain about this comment

  • 164. At 4:41pm on 04 Sep 2009, neova2 wrote:

    "We've been watching Messi for years, and he's one of the most honest players at the top level of the game that you are ever likely to see."

    Care to explain why he attempted to head-butt an opponent during the UEFA Super Cup?

    Complain about this comment

  • 165. At 4:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeDavisRoach wrote:

    156. At 4:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    I understand what your saying but the comparison is a bit weak. Playing Santa with young kids is well and good and can be fun but playing "Robbo" with grown men is a bit different.

    Notwithstanding the fact that Santa is a big friendly generous guy and "Robbo" is a highly irratating sarcastic stereotyped northerner with terrible jokes in his sleigh instead of presents.

    If "Robbo" was supposed to come round to my house once a year I think I would break it to the kids quite early that the guy isnt real.

    Complain about this comment

  • 166. At 4:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 167. At 4:45pm on 04 Sep 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    So Ol' Purplenose supports the ban for Eduardo, well tickle my backside and call me Sarah, I never would have imagined that. Crazy.

    I wonder what he'd have said if Cristiano Horizontaldo had been hauled over the coals for just one of his many launches into the stratosphere, I doubt his response that "something had to be done" would have remained.

    Still, hypocrisy and double-standards in football? I never would have imagined that either.

    Complain about this comment

  • 168. At 4:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, JoeyJoeJoe270 wrote:

    i havent read all of these on here but i have seen number 132,i agree every team tried to do whatever they can to win in one way or another,one teams plays long ball and another can pass short,one buys new players one brings in new youth so it can be a bit harsh on some people but as most people will agree its mainly the english league getting hitt by someone who is more biased then alan hansen,this is obviously platini he hates the english league and turns a blind eye to the other leagues.look at what happened to messi in the worldu club cup and he got nothing for his headbutt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 169. At 4:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, neova2 wrote:

    If video replay is good enough for retroactive punishment, it should be good enough DURING the match. All it takes is a couple seconds to look at the dive and give Edurado a yellow card. I mean the amount of time wasted with the protestes and complaining was more than 30-seconds!

    Banning Eduardo did not help Celtic because the game is over. Changing the penality to a yellow card would have given Celtic some hope considering it was only 2-0 down with Edurado having to play the rest of the 63 minutes with a yellow card. One away goal against the run of play would have made for a nail-biting finish.

    If Eduardo has to be made an example of, i have not problem. Just make sure UEFA will be consistent from now on, but I have a feeling they won't be pro-actively reviewing these incidents unless there is a public outcry from the media or from an FA.

    Complain about this comment

  • 170. At 4:48pm on 04 Sep 2009, adampsb wrote:

    is it an issue of style with you English? are you OK with Rooney diving because it's less theatrical, les fey than the typical Brasilian or Italian flop?

    You may well be right to some extent. I don't think anyone really approves of diving it's just when it's so blantant it is all the more deplorable

    Complain about this comment

  • 171. At 4:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, RobinVanTastic wrote:

    Sometimes the English/British myopia is spectacular

    Just noticed that although you mention mention Messi and Rivaldo, Englishmen are conspicuously absent. So I figure you've never seen the Gerrard theatrics.

    You also somehow forget to mention that Celtic fell off their high moral horse when MacGeady contrived to have himself set for what Mowbray called "running very fast and then falling over"

    As for "Rooney does try and play the game in the right way", you might want to have a word with Bosingwa about the United Chelsea game on Jan 10th this year where wazza, on the basis of a conceptual tackle, hit the deck and - to quote you - began to "roll like a craps dice". Then there is the one at Blackburn, where Rooney slammed himself on the turf on spotting Andy Reid's foot. Let's not even mention his embarrassing apology about the Villareal debacle.

    Let us not be this sanctimonious. Soon Gerrard or Rooney will dive. Who knows, that could happen this very weekend.

    Complain about this comment

  • 172. At 4:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    And I tried to post a diplomatic post on the whole 'merits of the blog' debate which seemingly rages with every new article last time however I now have to resort to less eloquent words. JDR et al - do one.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, however when you just seem to be a WUM - striving to be the first to post so you can get your copy and pasted criticisms in, while thinking that calling Niall out 20 times a paragraph like it's the Most Important News Ever - your point of view is worthless.

    For other, regular readers who choose to read because they often enjoy it but find the quality of a particular blog to be lacking, by all means criticise. At least they have value.

    Complain about this comment

  • 173. At 5:05pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    132, 133, 135, 136 etc. etc.
    Completely agree, there's far more important issues to be concerned with. That's why I find Robbo's tongue-in-cheek approach to it all so refreshing. The fact that Robbo can focus on the humourous angle helps put it all back in perspective. We all (and obviously some more than others) tend to take this stuff too seriously. No matter what Bill Shankly said, football isn't more important than life and death. Speaking only for myself and beyond the blog, I find the posts that embrace and perpetuate that humour are a priceless reminder of what's really important. The detractors are completely missing the point and in the grand scheme of things, their point is irrelevant. Unless their egos are fed they seem to churn inside with a need for validation. There's Divers and there's Divas.

    Complain about this comment

  • 174. At 5:12pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    " we sent them home agin to think agin "

    I've always wondered why there isn't a proper end to that chorus, like

    "But they came back again,
    And kicked our arse".

    Complain about this comment

  • 175. At 5:12pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Denis, what could you possibly have said?

    Complain about this comment

  • 176. At 5:20pm on 04 Sep 2009, taeryn wrote:

    Scott Brown is surely the ugliest mug in football, no?

    For all those talking about Rooney needing a retrospective ban because he dived too and all that, well UEFA don't have any jurisdiction over English league games so even were it a blatant dive nothing could be done.

    The Eduardo banning is harsh maybe, but if he didn't go down looking for the penalty, he should have put it wide. Trying to defend him as simply trying to avoid contact or whatever is ludicrous and naive. He dived, simple as.

    The biggest problem I think is that the authority of the referee is being completely undermined by UEFA with rulings like this. Why have a referee at all, just sit a few officials in a room with tv monitors watching the action, and they can mete out yellow cards and free kicks over the PA system or sommut. Then they don't have to deal with all that intimidating of the referee stuff that goes on, and they can make better decisions since they'll have a better view of the action. Ridiculous? Yeah, exactly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 177. At 5:21pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "Let us not be this sanctimonious. Soon Gerrard or Rooney will dive. Who knows, that could happen this very weekend."

    And being brutally honest, if Gerrard dives and we win, I couldn't give a monkey's cuss what a single solitary soul says, as long as we get the points.

    Hypocrisy? Absolutely.

    Anyway, I'd much rather laugh at Chelsea - Eduardo deserves a bit of leniency, whereas that bunch of comedians deserve a 20 point deduction just for comedic value and to see the smug look wiped off that tit Kenyon's Stewie Griffin-esque head.

    I mean, what could be more more hypocritical than John Terry proclaiming that he's not interested in the money then accepting a £40m contract renewal?

    At least Cashley didn't nearly crash his car this time, mind.

    Complain about this comment

  • 178. At 5:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, taeryn wrote:

    97. At 2:33pm on 04 Sep 2009, BBR_vavavoom-Le dieu du foot c'est Zizou wrote:
    Fast Food journalism at its worst


    so true, and not just here. someone obviously taught them that as long as you get many replies and cause a stir you have your job. this is not PR, its journalism. Its meant to be an ethical, moral and unbiased reporting of facts. the debate should be on the subject not on the writers opinions.


    It's absolutely hysterical the harping on of JDR and his cronies about how this is an affront to journalism and blah blah blah. Do you seriously have any idea what a blog is? Get a life, and go away.

    Complain about this comment

  • 179. At 5:34pm on 04 Sep 2009, LondonITFC wrote:

    Doesn't Humanities, although not a subject taught on its own, cover Geography and History, quite valid subjects, do your research mate

    Complain about this comment

  • 180. At 5:37pm on 04 Sep 2009, whatbill wrote:

    Sadly JDR, I doubt Robbo would come to your house. In fact given your obsession with him, hie's proabably more concerned about you coming to his...

    Complain about this comment

  • 181. At 5:46pm on 04 Sep 2009, Roberto_Mexicano wrote:


    Absolutely brilliant & back to your best as unquestionably the best blog on here by a country mile. The only blog I ever read that has me laughing out loud. "UTTER JESSIE", "I hope Eduardo stayed indoors Thursday 'cos it was a mite windy", and "seven-year-old miniature Ronaldos (complete with Stupido gel on their bonces)". Love it.

    After the disaster of your last effort I was thinking maybe you'd lost it mate, but my faith has been restored.

    I actually have a theory that you let Chic Young write the last one so he could try to prove people just picked on him? Admit it, i'm right aren't I?!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 182. At 5:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    As neova said, all the bally hoo after a contentious decision normally lasts a couple of minutes, so in that time the man with the rewind could be looking at the incident and giving his verdict, via the headset, to the ref. Problem solved. Debate over.
    To be honest, I think the whole penalty thing is outdated anyway - the ball hits a player's arm on the extreme edge of the box, maybe a ball that was going nowhere and offering no threat whatsoever - a penalty is awarded and the game won or lost through it. Why should the result of a match hinge on such an unimportant incident? To my mind, the vast majority of fouls in the box should only merit a free kick, not a penalty.
    Anyway, it's only a game of football...

    Complain about this comment

  • 183. At 5:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, colourwolfwanderers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 184. At 5:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, seanxxp wrote:

    Mildly amusing blog robbo, don't really appreciate the dig at education though. Humanities is a traditionl academic subject, these subjects are unfortunately on the decline. Media studies is often the first step to a career in journalism for many young people, so . . . stick to football eh?

    Complain about this comment

  • 185. At 5:51pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Actually, mustapha, it's 'YOU'RE 5HIT."

    Complain about this comment

  • 186. At 5:52pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "Media studies is often the first step to a career in journalism for many young people"

    And, judging by the quality on show, the last for the average BBC sports writer.

    Complain about this comment

  • 187. At 5:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, 49 and thats a wrap wrote:

    Eduardo's kept his mouth shut while Rooney's been lying about it. But the Englishman will always be supported by the media while the Croatian will get banned for two games. How is that going to deter anyone not playing for Arsenal?

    Are we going to give 12-game bans to players who refs did not eject from the game? Because diving is a yellow-card offense and Eduardo got the equivalent of two red cards. So a three-game ban should automatically translate into quadrupled.

    Complain about this comment

  • 188. At 6:01pm on 04 Sep 2009, Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong wrote:

    Robbo, come on mate. I bet you wouldn't write this blog if Gerrard was banned. Ask yourself, would you? No!

    Eduardo had every right to get out of the way of the massive keeper flinging himself at him, and after his horrific injury I think it's awful that UEFA have made an example out of him. This is a guy who's never, to my knowledge, taken a dive before. When was the last time you saw Edu dive? Never.

    UEFA should have made an example out of a PERENNIAL diver, such as Ronaldo, Drogba, or Gerrard.

    It is a witch hunt, and you haven't touched on the fact that the only reason it's happened is because of the Scottish members of UEFA making a lot of noise, trying to gain political points for their own selfish interests, and Mr. Platini's dislike for our very own Arsene Wenger.

    Complain about this comment

  • 189. At 6:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, timhuff5 wrote:

    I played professionally in the early 80's, diving was around but, a player took his life in his hands when he did it. In those days, the refs let much more go we could tackle much harder and we policed the game ourselves. Today the ref is far too involved in the game. Wenger is so full of it, saying that no one comes to see free kicks, that fouling slows the game, what the hell does diving trying to do???? Get a free kick, you French hole, your talking about the same uglyness. I say, they review every game, (which is done anyway) and for every dive, fine the player. Each time that player is caught diving you double the fine. Start at 10,000.00, then 20, then 40... hit these flipper boys where it really hurts, the back pocket!

    Complain about this comment

  • 190. At 6:11pm on 04 Sep 2009, Gooner Rob wrote:

    'But as far as I can tell, Rooney does try and play the game in the right way'

    You're having a giraffe aren't you??! 2004 Old Trafford. Most disgraceful dive I have ever seen and it gets overlooked time and time again because he's the darling of English football. Well if a foul mouthed spoilt immature brat is out hero then where the hell are we going?

    Complain about this comment

  • 191. At 6:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    I'm amazed people are even justifying the Rooney nonsense with their comments.

    The bloke is a shocking example to any youngster with an interest in the game.

    Not only that, he's hideously ugly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 192. At 6:17pm on 04 Sep 2009, Alexandre Dimitri Song Billong wrote:

    timhuff5 (2 comments above this)

    I can't help but realise you've used the word 'French' in a derogatory manner in your post. I didn't want to complain because I think it very well illustrates the problem here. Racism! English press always give Arsenal and Wenger a hard time simply because they're (mostly) not English.

    Shame on you! I'm sick of foreign players being chastised by the press, knowing full that if it was Gerrard (diver) or Rooney (violent), a blind eye is turned every time.

    Complain about this comment

  • 193. At 6:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 194. At 6:19pm on 04 Sep 2009, oncearedalways54 wrote:

    Lets face it diving in the penalty area is not new, neither is trying to 'kid the Ref' in one form, or another, all over the pitch -if its against your team its cheating, if its done by your team its gamesmanship.
    For my part I agree with those who say its almost impossible to decide (certainly for Ref's in real time)whether someone is diving, or attempting to dive etc. Also am I the only one who thinks its poor management by FIFA/UEFA etc to use video evidence to convict someone retrospectively, but they won't use it to establish whether a ball has fully crossed a line or not, something which can be determind by video evidence absolutely.
    Ref's are in charge in any match, they make the decisions and we all have to live with them -monitor Referees performances by all means but lets stop bleating about unfairness. The thing which gets me wound up is the constant shirt pulling, blatant obstructions, man-handling etc which goes on in the box everytime a corner or free kick is delivered -now that is something we should do something about!

    Complain about this comment

  • 195. At 6:23pm on 04 Sep 2009, sambaisagod wrote:

    As a rovers supporter I think the FA should ban pedersen for that embarassment of a dive he did last season. I cringed when I saw it on TV and he should be retrospectively punished it was that bad!

    I do agree with eduardo being banned as Arsenal's players always seem to be falling over. Though how Rooney can claim he is honest is beyond me. Maybe compared to the worst culprit of all, Ronaldo, yes...

    Complain about this comment

  • 196. At 6:24pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 197. At 6:27pm on 04 Sep 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    I was watching 'Match of the 70s' the other day and after a very dodgy penalty awarded against West Ham, Billy Bonds shoved the ref not once, not twice, but three times, and he didn't even get spoken to! Ah, a return to the days when refs were men...
    Remember the famous Di Canio 'shove' where the ref took a dive? What should've been his punishment?
    49; fair point about the ban - seems excessive when a dive is a yellow card offence, I mean, he didn't break anyone's leg.

    Complain about this comment

  • 198. At 6:30pm on 04 Sep 2009, Rupert P Matley wrote:

    Even as an Arsenal follower, I'm glad to a degree that Eduardo was punished, but this does now set a dangerous precedent.

    (a) If the penalty had been missed, would Eduardo have still been punished? Possibly, but I wouldn't bet on it.

    (b) If a player dives outside the box (or is deemed to have done so after the match by the relevant authorities) and gets a free kick within goal range, will the same punishment apply if a goal ensues?

    (c) If the referee at the Emirates hadn't fallen for Eduardo's theatrics and issued a yellow card, would that have been deemed sufficient punishment?

    (d) Given the two match ban meted out (which is one more than getting a second yellow, leading to a red), should all players deemed to have dived by the referee be given a straight red in future? This really could open up a can of worms!

    There's no point whining about previous scholars of the Jacques Cousteau School of Diving. What matters now is how this offence is punished in the future. With referees constantly under the cosh for not applying some of the rules consistently, this could lead to intolerable (for them) pressure on them and indeed the FA, UEFA etc. Yes, Eduardo was a clear cut case, but I fear other players might be retrospectively punished undeservedly. In the end, and in an ideal world, it's up to the players and their managers to cut this out altogther, but this ain't an ideal world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 199. At 6:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, Roberto_Mexicano wrote:

    What about "my 5hit" mustapha4holland?

    Thought he was having a great dig at everyone & made himself look daft! lol

    numpty! hahaha

    Complain about this comment

  • 200. At 6:31pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "Remember the famous Di Canio 'shove' where the ref took a dive?"

    The hilariously-named Paul Allcock.

    Complain about this comment

  • 201. At 6:38pm on 04 Sep 2009, Ayoade Oluwasanmi wrote:

    "Besides which there are seven-year-old miniature Ronaldos (complete with Stupido gel on their bonces in most cases - why Dads are letting their lads run about looking like little tussocks of grass is beyond me) and they're all inhaling the loam and clay of this great land of ours every weekend as they slither across the turf in search of shameless advantage. And their Dads are probably beaming from the touchlines, the planks!"

    When the article started I thought it was going to be unfunny and I'm a Gunner but the above just cracked me up!!!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 202. At 6:51pm on 04 Sep 2009, RedAstaire² wrote:

    You guys bickering is much funnier than the blog itself.

    I have to say that Joe Davis Roach seems to be shading it so far..
    Not because he's actually right, but because he seem a little smarter than the rest of the competition

    Post 165 literally made me "laugh out loud"

    Complain about this comment

  • 203. At 6:52pm on 04 Sep 2009, malakyak wrote:

    "Mr Messi, who's been known to roll like a craps dice when the need arises."

    r u kidding ..................

    Complain about this comment

  • 204. At 6:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    I'd like to know what the hell Robbo knows about craps dice, anyway.

    Gambling in the 'boro has only recently moved on from chucking pennies against the wall and closest taking all.

    Complain about this comment

  • 205. At 6:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, malakyak wrote:

    roony dived rooney dived rooney dived.................................................................................................

    shut up u losers

    Complain about this comment

  • 206. At 6:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Yeah, losers.


    Complain about this comment

  • 207. At 7:06pm on 04 Sep 2009, gunner_BP wrote:

    ROONEY HONEST!!!!!!!!! what a joke he divd against arsenal bakc in 2004 and last sat!
    he dived last year in the CL as well even fergi said it was a dive!! Robbo stop being so biased he should be punished as well!
    If we want to stop cheating in football then why was Rob Carroll not punished when he clawed teh ball back from inside the goal against spurs in teh famous mendes lob!!! he knew it was a goal but still clawed it back and made out it did not go over teh line THATS CHEATING!

    Complain about this comment

  • 208. At 7:11pm on 04 Sep 2009, Unbiased soccer fan wrote:

    If it was a Manchester United player getting the ban, would you have been welcoming the ban?? I dont think so. Come on lets be fair in this issue..Eduardo got clipped by that ugly goalie's knee. Either way he was going to fall. Did he overreact YES, Did he shout for a penalty.. NO. Dont just welcome the idea just because its an Arsenal player..Rooney dove on Sat , we all know that. Are you guys saying anything about it. NO. Is it because he is a Man Utd player..I highly think so. Rooney was halfway to the ground before Almunia actually touched.
    By the way i'm a Man Utd fan, only sick and tired of anti-Arsenal reports.
    Anyway only sore losers are going to complain about diving....Its been part of the game and will always be. UEFA is digging a grave here, every Tom and Jack is going to complain now...

    Complain about this comment

  • 209. At 7:17pm on 04 Sep 2009, beatlened wrote:

    Diving is only a yellow card offence. Give every diver a yellow card after the fact and they soon build up. Why don't the players who have been booked for diving get 2 match bans? Is Eduardo being punished because the ref didn't see it? Because if he did, all he gets is a yellow card.

    Complain about this comment

  • 210. At 7:18pm on 04 Sep 2009, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    You know, back in the day, refs did not give pens for nothing. You had to be run over by a tank, stopping you from putting it into an empty net before the refs got involved. Nowadays pundits spend days, even weeks, debating whether 'contact was made'. No wonder players pass on opportunities to tap the ball into an net in preference of anticipating 'some contact' before going down. In fact, the force with which they often hit the ground could easily be 1000 times that of the 'contact'!
    In my opinion, there is no need for dishing out yellow and red cards or 2 match bans for 'simulation', as a ref - just ignore the dive and say 'in my opinion, that contact was not strong enough to send you in a trajectory to the ground'. Sooner or later the players will realise that if they stayed on their feet they might just have scored.
    I must say that 'some contact' is made in 99% of penalty claims. UEFAs plan to ban players will just never work. We all know that there are some 'untouchable' players in every league eg Raul, Messi, Rooney, Gerrard etc. They do go down easily but I can see Drogba, for example, being banned every now and again when we get 'fed up with divers', instead of Gerrard..

    Complain about this comment

  • 211. At 7:26pm on 04 Sep 2009, Starburst_995 wrote:

    I've found something for JDR and co to salivate over.

    You can stalk Robbo via Facebook if you really have time on your hands, as you're somewhat obsessed with this man of mystery. ;)

    Some 'interesting' posts on here today.

    Complain about this comment

  • 212. At 7:35pm on 04 Sep 2009, Mackarz wrote:

    The standard of writing in rhis blog is shocking, this is not the Sun!

    Complain about this comment

  • 213. At 7:42pm on 04 Sep 2009, RedAstaire² wrote:


    Sorry but...

    The article itself isn't very funny. I've read quite a lot of Robbo Robson's blogs. It is a bit embarassing to read "Great Blog Robbo.. etc" every week, when they clearly wern't. It's a bit like reading the DailyStar.

    Not a stalker, haven't posted here for ages.

    Complain about this comment

  • 214. At 7:44pm on 04 Sep 2009, Broxik wrote:

    @169 neova2
    "If video replay is good enough for retroactive punishment, it should be good enough DURING the match. All it takes is a couple seconds to look at the dive and give Edurado a yellow card. I mean the amount of time wasted with the protestes and complaining was more than 30-seconds!"
    100% agree, it would take less or the same ammount of time to review a video reply.
    More is that Uefa/FIFA have opened pandoras box now........let's see all of the incidents that fall out now. CONSISTENCY - can they do it ?
    As Celtic complaining and then justifying McGeady's shocking fall........Double Standards.

    Complain about this comment

  • 215. At 7:55pm on 04 Sep 2009, Biscoback wrote:


    You have to be the most sanctimonious, preaching and downright irritating person on these boards - that being said I do get a chuckle from your rants. I particularly like the constant use of "Robbo"/Niall and your constant use of the argument "When I am addressing Niall that is how to address him".

    What's wrong with using an alter ego for the purposes of a blog? Why does every blog the beeb puts on it's website need to be serious in tone or works of extraordinary literary merit? Why when you dislike the blog so much do you feel the need to comment on here? - have you written to the Beeb and demanded Niall (see what I did there?) be sacked?

    Ok it's not the highest level of football commentary but neither is it supposed to be - the same argument raged (no doubt you were involved) when Jacqui (definitely would) Oatley posted a light hearted blog - this was largely motivated by sexism, where is your prejudice derived from? One final question what do you do for a living?

    A blog in the style of JoeDiddyRoach could look a little like this:

    Fare thee well all readers of my blog. In Association Football this week I have made some curious observations. Whilst ensconsed in my local wine bar sipping a rather delicious Pinot Gris, my erstwhile acquaintance Tarquin passed comment at how incredibly interesting the world of soccer line markings was. I must confess dear reader that I felt slightly bemused by this (well it was after a post croquet pimms after all) as I have always ignored line markings in favour of the grass it lies upon (well who does not one would argue). I quickly derived great satisfaction in putting my chum in his place on this matter, which he of course was happy with being as I am a complete authority on all largely irrellevant soccer matters.

    Anyway I digress the Gael Katuka argument brewing between Chelsea raises an interesting query in my mind - should dress socks always match ones slacks or is there an argument for aligning your choice with ones brogues? Arsene Wenger I believe had very strong views on this and one day while discussing it with Patrick Viera and Manu Petit was horrified to find neither was wearing dress socks at all! Manu favoured a yachting shoe with no socks (whatever next) and Patrick was even worse wearing a black sport sock with chinos and slip on shoes (how very 1980's!).

    Well my time has come to an end fellow soccer lovers, it will be 6 months hence until I post again - one must ensure adequate preparation time between "Blogs" otherwise one may be accused of lacking substance. Fair thee well dear chums, fair thee well.

    Complain about this comment

  • 216. At 7:59pm on 04 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:


    Cracking blog, mate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 217. At 8:03pm on 04 Sep 2009, Biscoback wrote:


    I believe that if the penalty had been missed Celtic would not have made the complaint but UEFA may still have acted. When Mikolaunas (spelling?) took a tumble against Scotland he got a similar two game ban even though Scotland still won the game 2-1 (if memory serves) and the penalty became largely irrellevant.

    As for outside the box, Celtics (irony!) Aiden McGeady got a second yellow and a ban for a dive on the halfway line. If this had been missed and the Hibs player had received a caution or worse I believe that McGeady would have been banned after the matter.

    It is all relevant to context, if a player dives and nothing significant happens as a DIRECT result of it no-one is going to complain in my view and I think a complaint is needed before UEFA/FIFA/FA/SFA would investigate.

    What concerns me in this whole debate is again the issue of Johnny Foreigner and their dreadful theatrics. English players and the England national team are EVERY bit as bad as their foreign counterparts (South America and Italy apart) in feigning injury and diving. Michael Owen, Rooney, Ashley Cole and Joe Cole being amongst the worst in the game (A Cole being THE worst in my opinion!)

    Complain about this comment

  • 218. At 8:08pm on 04 Sep 2009, ControlledMagic wrote:

    JDR - and other habitual (and repetitive snipers):

    have you ever had a really good root? It's great for the relief of pent up frustration and, furthermore, would give you something better to do than come on here boring us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 219. At 8:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, Biscoback wrote:

    #218 -

    As JDR:

    Why yes I once had a thorougly good root around Grandmamas attic most fun you are right! What I couldn't figure out and I must say I was thoroughly bamboozled - was Grandpapa's last name on his birth certficate was Roach as was Grandmama's and they appeared to have parents of the same name - utterly bemused.

    What oh - time for another root, this time I will go for my drawers! (the ones in my school trunk obviously pfnarr pfnarr).

    Complain about this comment

  • 220. At 8:37pm on 04 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 221. At 8:46pm on 04 Sep 2009, Starburst_995 wrote:

    @ RedAstaire²

    I wasn't aiming my last comment at you.

    Anyway, as we're back to losing form at the cricket I'm off to watch Blackadder.

    Complain about this comment

  • 222. At 8:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    anyway, it's a relief to see many of you, especially England/ManU supporters, calling Rooney out... for a couple of days, it was like some kind of mind-control gas was sprayed by the FA to obscure the vast hypocrisy of what we should refer to as "Divegate" from here forward.

    as for Chelsea, this whole thing is a blessing in disguise. they've got a bloated squad, and adding more non-fitting pieces won't help them.
    actually, they should be punished by being forced to by 6 more mercenaries for around 200 million quid!

    Complain about this comment

  • 223. At 8:54pm on 04 Sep 2009, TotalBlue wrote:

    So the diving pendulum has swung in favour of Goalkeepers*.

    Not only can they go down and slide tackle with their whole body, limbs included, they can now entrapped opposing strikers or attackers to 'dive' who may 'dive' to evade potential injuries as in the case of Boruc vs Eduardo IMHO.

    *Lest we forget goalies are given lots of privileges i.e. protected and given benefit of doubt for any 'infringement' in the penalty box by football rules

    Complain about this comment

  • 224. At 8:56pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Denise, your post evokes memories of that classic 70's number by Suzi Quatro "Let's All Go Down To Red Devil Gate Dive"

    Complain about this comment

  • 225. At 8:57pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    ooops, sorry Denis (not Denise).

    Complain about this comment

  • 226. At 9:10pm on 04 Sep 2009, Roberto_Mexicano wrote:

    Not sure why there's so many people on here slating this blog. Which blog would you rather read?! There's no one else on here with the humour or writing style. It's by far the best read on here & the only one I can be bothered to take the time to read now to be honest, with the exception of the guy that does all the South American stuff.

    The last one was very poor, but I thought this week's was back to form, with some very funny images presented. I'd rather have a laugh and read something light hearted like this, rather than give my time to some nobody analyst's opinion who got into journalism because he likes the sound of his own voice and wasn't good enough to play or coach the game.

    Complain about this comment

  • 227. At 9:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, wedontknowfootball wrote:

    Lovely. Favourite line of the post got to be - "Eduardo had a more blatant plunge than Katy Price's neckline."

    Hate to point out to you though, its Katie not Katy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 228. At 9:15pm on 04 Sep 2009, richroosterbooster wrote:

    if he was trying to get out of the way why did he leave his legs trailing along the floor?

    Complain about this comment

  • 229. At 9:20pm on 04 Sep 2009, LincsKopite wrote:

    It's a bit shameful really that big clubs (like Chelsea) are poaching smaller club's star players from their youth teams. They should develop their own if they're THAT good.
    The solution to this would be to ban the transfer of players from one club to another until they're 20, so that they have time to develop where they are and not rot in a big club's reserves.

    Complain about this comment

  • 230. At 9:22pm on 04 Sep 2009, LincsKopite wrote:

    One more thing- humourous blog btw. Some good one-liners in there. :-D

    Complain about this comment

  • 231. At 9:38pm on 04 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:


    well that's good for somefink, right? i will now wiki the song you speak of so i can have a good chuckle.

    i tried to repost for you, Trott - but the mod dogs are on me like flies on JDR's writing!

    basically i compared Rooney's recent quote to Richard Nixon's infamous denial, then asked Robbo if he only despises blatant, ridiculous looking dives while being ambivalent towards craftier ones.
    not sure what's so inappropriate in that - i feel a bit Eduardoed, to be honest!

    Complain about this comment

  • 232. At 9:47pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Denis, Comparison with Bill Clinton's denial might have prevented moderation. That bloke had a contraceptive for everything!

    Complain about this comment

  • 233. At 9:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    bah! excellent, Trotsky! you can be my moderator anytime.

    Complain about this comment

  • 234. At 10:05pm on 04 Sep 2009, WEPAYTHELICENCEFEE wrote:

    "what the hell are we teaching our children these days?"

    How about thinking for themselves instead of expecting them to act like mindless robots who can only copy others?

    Naaaaaaaaaah, silly thought I know

    Complain about this comment

  • 235. At 10:42pm on 04 Sep 2009, freindleonewhocares wrote:

    Excellent post "adampsb",quite true about Man U. and Moaning Fergie.
    Pity FIFA does not play fair with their bans,then half the prem teams would be playing reserves most weeks,as there are more ballet dancers in the pitches than real footballers(no insult to ballet intended).I am not a Chelsea fan but they do seem to get more than their fair share of criticism from all who are remotely connected to football.

    Complain about this comment

  • 236. At 11:10pm on 04 Sep 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 237. At 11:25pm on 04 Sep 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 236


    My wife is a great Michael Jackson fan. I was thinking of getting a REALLY intimate tattoo of "Thriller", to spice up our love life, 'cos I thought it was her favourite album. But she suggested that "Bad" would be more appropriate.

    I like to think it's because she prefers the tunes.

    Nothing to do with anything, that. Then again. we haven't heard from Joe for a while, so I thought I should post something really stupid.

    Complain about this comment

  • 238. At 11:26pm on 04 Sep 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    208. At 7:11pm on 04 Sep 2009, TheRealAnalyst wrote:
    If it was a Manchester United player getting the ban, would you have been welcoming the ban??

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, yesssssss!

    Complain about this comment

  • 239. At 11:32pm on 04 Sep 2009, LordPeebles wrote:

    I have to say, I'm very disappointed having read this blog entry. I cannot claim to have read any other of this particular authors entries but his standard of writing is nevertheless poor. Some of the comments made in this are, I believe, are worse than some that 606 wouldn't let me post. If the author wishes to rant, I suggest he do it towards a brick wall, I think I'll go and do the same right now, maybe he'll get a response he can understand.

    What the hell are we teaching our children these days?

    What the hell did they teach you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 240. At 11:38pm on 04 Sep 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Oops I've been moderated! not sure why... Zootmac - stupid Michael Jackson related post, son. Bit Off the Wall for you, son. Still we await the return of JDR and we must do something to lure the lad from his cubicle...

    Complain about this comment

  • 241. At 11:39pm on 04 Sep 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Lord peebles... welcome! Doubt I went to the same school as you mate given your name!

    Complain about this comment

  • 242. At 11:50pm on 04 Sep 2009, oldstafford wrote:

    JDRse… I’ve not managed to comment on the last couple of Robbo's blogs, you know, written in the style of someone who deliberately says things to make people react (sometimes hook line and sinker-see various posts above) as I’ve been a bit busy, but I see you’re still going with the same repetitive moans (you may as well cut and paste). Saying that I’m actually starting to enjoy your posts. You are becoming, if not already, a total


    i.e. somebody who doesn’t like something but will partake just the same. I’ve notice that you are beginning to get your own followers too like Beyondstale and to the lesser extent the highly unwitty Andreisapeewee. Good luck to you, and I look forward to your next post on Robbo’s next blog.
    Oh yeah on the blog. Diving is bad, Eduardo blatantly cheated. Ban the players for an amount of time that will affect the team's performance so that the clubs suffer. Simple.
    Kids should be able to sign for whoever they want at a set age (16?), after all they are deemed as adults by about that age, or at least the ones drinking 20/20 down our local park seem to think so.

    Complain about this comment

  • 243. At 11:53pm on 04 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Hopefully it was for repeated use of the F word in reply to JDR.

    Zoot, perhaps he's busy looking at the man in the mirror? Nahhh too much to hope for!

    Complain about this comment

  • 244. At 00:01am on 05 Sep 2009, Chopperz_Revenge wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 245. At 00:02am on 05 Sep 2009, celticski wrote:

    Complain about this comment

  • 246. At 00:09am on 05 Sep 2009, celticski wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 247. At 00:15am on 05 Sep 2009, LordPeebles wrote:

    fair enough :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 248. At 00:24am on 05 Sep 2009, oldstafford wrote:

    244 (ref beyondstale) agreed with you but I think the word at the end may have been a tad offensive especially for the BBC.

    Complain about this comment

  • 249. At 00:36am on 05 Sep 2009, DrConradMurray wrote:

    Arsene Wenger is Blanket Jackon's father.

    Complain about this comment

  • 250. At 00:39am on 05 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Blanket Wenger? Sounds a bit messy!

    Complain about this comment

  • 251. At 00:44am on 05 Sep 2009, oldstafford wrote:

    Blankit Wanger is Messi's father?

    Complain about this comment

  • 252. At 00:47am on 05 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Messi Blankit's Father is a what?

    Complain about this comment

  • 253. At 00:50am on 05 Sep 2009, DrConradMurray wrote:

    Arsene Wenger needs to accept his responsibility as Blanket's father now Jacko is dead, and stop defending his players despite overwhelming evidence of wrong doing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 254. At 00:51am on 05 Sep 2009, oldstafford wrote:

    Father Blanks is a Messi mother.

    Complain about this comment

  • 255. At 01:02am on 05 Sep 2009, DrConradMurray wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 256. At 01:10am on 05 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Might be time for your ovaltine eh Conrad?

    Complain about this comment

  • 257. At 04:38am on 05 Sep 2009, CDNJORN wrote:

    I think you are getting too much hype. The article is rather boring and does show bias. Your ideas fit right in with the inconsistency of FIFA. Celtic thought that the penalty was a turning point. The Point is that they were outclassed and did not stand a chance in the first place. Now take me back to a couple of year to Liverpool. Now there was a penalty not called and it did make a difference to the game. No call however at that time.
    You will have to get used to writing about Arsenal this year instead of the hackers. Try to keep it even.

    Complain about this comment

  • 258. At 06:04am on 05 Sep 2009, dp wrote:

    Divers should be punished - sure. But Rooney - oh no, see, his dive
    was not so obvious.
    If a player does not come forward to tell the referee he was not
    fouled and accepts the penalty he is awarded, it has been a dive.
    And now sir Alex comes and approves Eduardos punishment - "it has to
    start somewhere", he joins the chorus. How convenient not to have
    Ronaldo in his squad at such times...


    Complain about this comment

  • 259. At 07:16am on 05 Sep 2009, gunner2618 wrote:

    Honest player? My foot! Rooney was responsible for the Gunners loosing their unbeaten run. He dived over Sol Campbell's foot' Campbell did not touch him at all. We haven't forgotten that Mike Riley's favourite penalty award for the red DEVILS

    Complain about this comment

  • 260. At 07:43am on 05 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    I've had it up to here with Gooners bleating that it's not fair that their lad got picked on when everybody's at it. Then they recommend the same axe fall on the head of 'honest' Wayne Rooney for his less flamboyant effort on Saturday.

    I don't want to keep picking over the slo-mos but while Rooney may well have been turf-bound before Almunia completed the job, Eduardo had a more blatant plunge than Katy Price's neckline.


    Robbo, i still think this is a pretty skewed viewpoint you present.
    first off, you just refuse to quit the "maybe he was turf-bound, but who really knows" rubbish and utter the words "Rooney dived." you claim to tell it like it is, and you normally do, old boy - but like a lot of others who pin their hopes of World Cup success on Wazza, you won't give up the ghost completely.

    secondly - how can you take the position that only Eduardo deserves punishment because his was a "flamboyant" dive? so it should all be based on style, not intent? to quote McEnroe: you cannot be serious! if anything, a cunning dive like Rooney's that's tricky to detect without multiple angle replays is more dangerous than a classic "sniper shot" dive.

    adamspb said it succinctly: a dive is a dive.

    please - leave the hypocrisy to the pros at the FA and Uefa.

    Complain about this comment

  • 261. At 08:36am on 05 Sep 2009, peter robinson wrote:

    Shirt pulling and holding in the box at setpieces are both just as bad as diving, much more common and just as likely to influence the outcome of a game. If there is to be a purge on divers, logically the suits need to go after thse other cheats as well.
    Of course what we have here is the back-door introduction of the video-ref but without any clear discussion of how/when/why or who. Not sure a bunch of suits at FIFA or UEFA can police all the dives in all games. If none of the 4 officials see it as a dive at the time....who has right of appeal to the video?
    At the end of the day this all blew up because Celtic lost out over two legs and threw their dummy out of the pram

    Complain about this comment

  • 262. At 08:51am on 05 Sep 2009, mybloodwasinjectedintomefromacanon wrote:

    agree totally.
    As for the blog robbo, fell asleep after second paragraph.

    Complain about this comment

  • 263. At 09:14am on 05 Sep 2009, arsenal4life81 wrote:

    The simple fact is that Eduardo should not have been awarded the penalty. He is not the first person to dive and won't be the last. (stand up Rooney, Eboue, Drogba and Gerrard) The referee made a mistake, not the first time etc and should have awarded Eduardo a yellow card. Are you telling me that because it has been reviewed after the game it is worth 6 yellow cards which would be needed to gain a two match ban? The ironic thing is UEFA and Michel Platini in particular are against the use of video technology. What has been used determine Eduardos punishment? Video technology. Clearly Platini sees this as an way to push his crazy 'five referees' plan.

    Complain about this comment

  • 264. At 10:13am on 05 Sep 2009, DutchParr wrote:

    I don't understand what the problem is with diving. I think it's absolutely brilliant. As a forward, you're must likely to get the **** kicket out of you for most of the match, without getting a freekick in even half of the times. What a brilliant way to get back at these smug looking defenders: diving! Also doing it whilst you are also taking the risk of getting a yellow and letting a good opportunity to score slip.

    Complain about this comment

  • 265. At 10:48am on 05 Sep 2009, the_fosse wrote:

    yes they should be punished and im glad you remember Tony Hibbert's dive at Turf Moor. Probably worse of the lot!

    I still find it hard to compare Rooney with these two situations though.

    Complain about this comment

  • 266. At 11:01am on 05 Sep 2009, ArtherCWithernee wrote:

    And you get paid for this column Robbo? Well done, another one playing the public purse system; akin to diving really. You provide an example of fodder for James Murdoch's policy proposals taxpayer funding vs. private funding. There was no conclusive proof that Eduardo dived and even if he did, to suddenly make him the scape-goat is unwarranted and ridiculous policy implementation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 267. At 12:12pm on 05 Sep 2009, Silvaticus wrote:

    #33 - "Chelsea have been flirting with this action for sometime now. Look at what they did with Jon Obi Mikel. surely the punishment they got for that must have been a warning for next time, but alas I think they feel that money will overcome and they will get away with it."

    A bit out of the loop, are you? Chelsea were completely exonerated of any wrong-doing in the Obi case after it transpired (a) the then-Chairman of Lyn had forged Obi's signature on a "contract" and then (b) the player wasn't allowed any representation when then forged contract was later sold on to Man United. This is a matter of public record, as even a cursory browse through this very site would confirm.

    Complain about this comment

  • 268. At 12:33pm on 05 Sep 2009, Silvaticus wrote:

    #229 "The solution to this would be to ban the transfer of players from one club to another until they're 20"

    It's an idea but as we abolished slavery 175 or so years ago, I'm not sure how it would work. How could you enforce a law that insisted a legal adult was not allowed to choose his own employer; that he was only able to follow his chosen profession by signing terms with one, specific club? It would be far simpler to enforce if the "poaching" club was simply required to pay set levels of compensation, rising as the player develops (makes the first team, is capped, etc.) to the side from whom they've poached him, together with a set percentage of any sell-on. These levels could be set high enough to disuade regular poaching. The biggest problem at the moment is that the academies don't feel they're being compensated enough when losing stellar talents and the compensation levels granted by tribunal can leave them spitting feathers (Bostock from Palace as a recent example). If the levels were higher, structured, transparent and standard across the board, the developing clubs are far less likely to feel they've been tucked up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 269. At 12:52pm on 05 Sep 2009, Demoremda_AJAX wrote:

    about Rivaldo
    I wouldn't fine him, just make him wear a big arrow on his head that says 'UTTER JESSIE').
    haha id love to see that, one of the most ridiculous simulations i ever saw

    Complain about this comment

  • 270. At 12:53pm on 05 Sep 2009, LordPeebles wrote:

    As far as punishing divers goes, especially retrospectively, the point has already been made that the rules must applied with an even hand and also as pointed out above a dive is a dive not because of the way that it is executed but by the intended outcome of the diver. This brings your statement about the difference between Eduardo and Rooneys dive into disrepute, surely?

    My major sticking point in the whole argument about retrospective bans has to revolve around the fact that it has solely been based on attacking players deceiving the referee. Is it not the same act of cheating if a defensive player who performs a deliberate foul inside the penalty area and gets away with it is not punished?

    I do believe that a very large can of worms has been opened with the Eduardo case and things could get very messy. If a retrospective ban can apply to an attacking player deceiving the referee then it should be applied to all such incidents and furthermore it should be applied with roles reversed, a defensive player who does not own up to the referee and later found to be guilty of cheating should suffer the same punishment.

    Personally I think the decision is a stupid one, people cheat, people have always cheated, the idea of a cheat free game is imaginary. Most people could come up with a list of cheats as long as any list of great goals they've seen. It maybe unfortunate but it is part of the game as much as it is a part of life and the sooner you get used to it the sooner you can stop boring people with how unfair it all is and just get on with it. Don't misinterpret me, I still believe cheating is wrong, but small time cheating is not worth dealing with. Imagine the consequences of a world with no cheating whatsoever (that includes no white lies), really think about it.

    But while we're on the subject. Maradona should surely be serving a lifetime ban, actually no, he should be forced to watch all football matches on a tv just a little too small to see what's going on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 271. At 1:08pm on 05 Sep 2009, GuNNer-Toby wrote:

    To be honest i think they have been a bit harsh on Eduardo,in the past we have seen many player dive and nothing done about it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 272. At 1:15pm on 05 Sep 2009, Andreisgiant wrote:

    Interesting that without a certain someone posting every ten minutes of the day and plaguing the comments section with utter tripe, the comments about Niall's blog appear to be 50/50 in favour and against.

    Those of you that keep telling the critics to "go away" could take note. You are no longer an overwhelming majority, or perhaps never really just had a representative who had nothing better to do.

    Niall, perhaps now we can have a blog that actually deilvers humour and not recylced rubbish. There seems to be sufficient support out there

    Complain about this comment

  • 273. At 1:54pm on 05 Sep 2009, MikeZeffertt wrote:

    Complain about this comment

  • 274. At 1:58pm on 05 Sep 2009, MikeZeffertt wrote:

    Of all the divers in all the clubs in all the world ... of course divers must be punished ... er ... um ... if they happen to play for Arsenal ... er ... not MU or Barca of course ... or ... or.
    And thanks to Sir Fergie for his very helpful unbiased view. Hmph!!! Excuse me while I vomit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 275. At 2:15pm on 05 Sep 2009, Brian wrote:

    Typical English rubbish. Hulking, talent-free center halves can put rugby tackle forwards (it's amazing that more forwards don't emerge from corners without a jersey for all the grabbing that goes on) with complete impunity and that sort of naked cheating is "manly." But someone falls to the ground after such an assault and he should be banned for life. Bloody hypocrites!

    Complain about this comment

  • 276. At 2:26pm on 05 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    When I read your post at 153 I knew there was something wrong. If Santa Claus was real, he'd be a real person but if the Easter Bunny was real, he wouldn't be a real person, he'd be a big eared carrot eatin' rabbit!

    Then we get to your 272 post. 50/50? It seems to me that the overwhelming majority of posters are in favour of Robbo, even if they disagree with some of his comments. It's not as if Robbo actually takes a firm stance on the issues, he just squirts some laughing gas on them.

    However it's not, as far as I'm aware, a bi-weekly Robbo popularity contest. His blog is a humourous, light-hearted view that has again provoked all sorts of debate and as with most of these issues there seems to be common ground but no clear agreement. Either way, there's a good bit of fun and humour involved, shame it's lost on some. If ignorance is bliss, you must be utterly content.

    Complain about this comment

  • 277. At 2:58pm on 05 Sep 2009, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    Eduardo dived and deserves to be punished. End of story.

    His real mistake was his act of simulation/cheating in such a high profile televised game. He basically made FIFA look bad and dented their pride somewhat.

    An interesting aside to this is the case of Alex Witsel, who, whilst playing in a much lower profil Belgian league game at the weekend, broke an opponents leg in a horrible fashion. Anyone who's seen the video can be in no doubt that Witsel 'did' the player in a fashion that would get him 3 years in jail if he did it on the street.

    If Eduardo's cheating is worth 2 games, Witsel should never be allowed to play again.

    Let's see if FIFA do something or simply ignore it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 278. At 3:01pm on 05 Sep 2009, taiwanhio wrote:

    Been reading your column when it was a column and now a blog, but I kind of miss the audio you used to have.

    Any chance of a podcast Robbo?

    Complain about this comment

  • 279. At 3:08pm on 05 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:


    Complain about this comment

  • 280. At 3:13pm on 05 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    agree that the constant grabass in the box - tugging of shirts and shorts is another major blight on the game. i used to go ballistic when defenders would use this cheating tactic on me, especially with refs who look the other way. everybody's doing it, with Cashley being a particular standout... he's like a spotty younger brother trying to keep the other one from getting front seat in the car. plus it looks about as silly as diving, which makes it really bad by Robbo's reasoning!

    Complain about this comment

  • 281. At 3:22pm on 05 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    or how about Danny Guthrie's petulant attack last season on Fagan of Hull? the kid did his best Joey Barton - hacked at him violently at midfield, missed, then chased him down into the corner in a tantrum and broke his leg at second attempt.
    this got him the same punishment as Eduardo?
    God help us.

    Complain about this comment

  • 282. At 3:34pm on 05 Sep 2009, davidgilmourthe3rd wrote:

    i had a short break and just popped back to see wether we have collectivly resolved this issue.

    no surprise to read we have not.

    sad as it may seem I have actually scanned all 280 comments ( as i have naff all else constructive to do )

    its interesting to note there are not many responses from the scottish contingent who after all started this mess in the 1st place having been thoroughly put to the bagpipes by the mighty Arsenal with or without the " dive " or " cheat " from our guy Eduardo. They were soundly beaten! in the 1st leg, the penalty which has caused such a fuss just rubbed salt into the wound.

    The fact is this.

    Both Celtic and Rangers are not a match for the likes of Arsenal and i think they would also struggle against Stoke City and Hull. On this evidence I would not welcome them at all to the EPL and anyways they wanted and got independence let them deal with it!.

    Celtic were offered a replay, in fact Arsenal offered them a goal start but they declined as 5-1 on agg looks far better than 10-1 with or without penalties, dives or any other excuse they want to offer for thier lack of abilty as a top flight side.

    celtic were resoundly stuffed by the far superior outfit and we can all breath a sigh of relief that thier brief foray into this years CL is at an end and the real masters of the art of footy will enthrall us with their skill and we wont have to hear no more about Celtic being rubbish away from home, we all knew that anyways in fact they were rubbish at home when they met Arsenal so much for thier fortress which even man choo struggled to overcome.

    a message to Eduardo: carry on lad ignore these plonkers who are attempting to undermine your skill with petty acusations, let your feet do the talking.

    as for Arsenal defending him, rock on Arsene Wenger! top man.

    as for celtic; naff off back to the spl

    Complain about this comment

  • 283. At 3:49pm on 05 Sep 2009, start the car wrote:

    More pointless united hating drivel from a sad little man- just been reading some of your archive nonsense from 2001 and its really shameful how you admit to hating united, quote "Yes I do have a general hatred of Manchester United. It's not anything particularly specific, it's just general." and whilst commenting "objectively" on their next champions league opponents you said "Real will skin 'em alive again and we'll all be jumping up and down for joy, despite the fact that we're meant to be supporting the British club. " - well done you can't beat the bbc for some unbiased objective reporting- get a life "niall" and do something useful.

    Complain about this comment

  • 284. At 3:51pm on 05 Sep 2009, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    282 - davidgilmourthe3rd:
    a message to Eduardo: carry on lad ignore these plonkers who are attempting to undermine your skill with petty acusations, let your feet do the talking.

    as for Arsenal defending him, rock on Arsene Wenger! top man

    Well done on missing the point entirely. Arsenal were better than Celtic. No-one is disputing that as far as I can see.

    In fact, Arsenal's obvious superiority over the two legs only makes Eduardo's cheating all the more pathetic. Don't you think?

    Complain about this comment

  • 285. At 4:06pm on 05 Sep 2009, EddSutch wrote:

    Why is this ban for Eduardo so harsh!? Arsenal were 2-0 up with both being away goals so how can celtic complain and sayit changed the game? we still beat them 5-1 on agg so minus the penalty and thats 4-1 oh no what a difference.

    As for Rooney i have lost respect for him, as an arsenal fan I completely agree with wenger saying it was 'old traffordish' but if you look at the replay rooneys' left leg and knee is already on the floor before Manuel touched him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 286. At 4:09pm on 05 Sep 2009, shinywillie1980 wrote:

    Trotter that link my god that challenge was brutal. Did you see the other one there, a compilation of the challenge set to heavy music, wonder if we could hire the bloke to do the same to JDR keyboard.

    Complain about this comment

  • 287. At 4:10pm on 05 Sep 2009, davidgilmourthe3rd wrote:


    it would help if people learnt to disguish what constitutes cheating and what constitutes a dive and the point i feel is that there are indeed many in the PL who weekly dive to gain some edge many infact fall over on the half way line to gain a free kick which also could be termed cheating.

    the problem many have with this attack on eduardo is that it seems ok for the likes of Rooney, Drogba, Gerrard and a few others to fall over to fool the ref on far to many occasions yet this is dismissed as ermmm.. all part of the game.

    by all means slate eduardo but i say to all Lets have a level playing field, cheating in football is not a one way street many are guilty of it and go unpunished.

    i await with considerable interest as to just what will happen in subsequent games regarding players from all sides getting a penalty and furthermore if its ok to use video technology in this instance then its ok to use it in all cases! not just to be used when the powers that be deem it fit to use and then sanction players afterwards.

    Complain about this comment

  • 288. At 5:13pm on 05 Sep 2009, ******~Mr RAM~L.F.C. & B.D.~****** wrote:

    The standard has been set now; all divers should definitely be publicly shamed and banned and I believe the club too should be fined for not teaching such cheats to play within the spirit of the game. Forget about past incidents, it's all about the future. I look forward to a cheat-free World Cup now but I may have become overly optimistic. In other parts of the world, 'gamemanship' is widespread. I can bet my car that Eduardo has won similar 'fouls' when playing in the Crotian league. From an alternative perspective, perhaps winning such shameful penalties/free-kicks indicates a form of selflessness by the culprit for the benefit of his team?

    Complain about this comment

  • 289. At 5:14pm on 05 Sep 2009, ******~Mr RAM~L.F.C. & B.D.~****** wrote:

    Correction *gamesmanship

    Complain about this comment

  • 290. At 5:17pm on 05 Sep 2009, cacklepipes wrote:

    Same old same old isn't it? You are like the bloody soaps that BBC sticks on endlessly, boringly, crushingly horrible things that, if you were to watch for any length of time, you'd soon become brain-dead. Your endless twaddle is beneath contempt.

    Complain about this comment

  • 291. At 6:00pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Honest Wayne Rooney, eh?

    Fantastic in its timing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 292. At 6:05pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 293. At 6:06pm on 05 Sep 2009, drabdavid1 wrote:

    What a typical Man United sponsored article, as for Rooney, I make it 2 weeks running he has now coned a referee, perhaps he should be baned?

    Complain about this comment

  • 294. At 6:08pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    You can't say that, david, he's honest.

    Complain about this comment

  • 295. At 6:10pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    But Townsend's bluster was wonderful; "Rooney dived, erm, lashed out, more in frustration than anything".

    Oh, the humanity.

    Complain about this comment

  • 296. At 6:40pm on 05 Sep 2009, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 297. At 6:41pm on 05 Sep 2009, bigmohgunner wrote:

    I understand the fact that diving is ruining the game we all love and cherish, but the fact is that it happens all the time.

    Rooney gets away with it all the time, yet no one has the balls to say or do anything about it. He dove last week against Arsenal, and today against Slovenia. If F.I.F.A wants to do something about diving they should make sure that even the high profile players are punished for it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 298. At 6:42pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    I assume no England fans will be calling for a two-match ban for Rooney after today's episode, however.

    Complain about this comment

  • 299. At 6:44pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Just how bad is Gareth Barry?


    Complain about this comment

  • 300. At 7:14pm on 05 Sep 2009, Starburst_995 wrote:

    I see you're being thoroughly entertained by the match tonight then, BeyondThePale.

    Ah well, the Honest Rooney Brigade's riposte to his latest controversey shoud be interesting ...

    Complain about this comment

  • 301. At 7:15pm on 05 Sep 2009, armourplate wrote:

    Have you ever dived in footy Robbo?

    Complain about this comment

  • 302. At 7:26pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:


    I was entertained by picking apart the mindless, banal commentary, that's about it - we really shouldn't be diving against Slovenia to get a goal in 45 minutes.

    I suspect the McFans will be firmly behind Townsend.

    Complain about this comment

  • 303. At 7:29pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    And as a Liverpool fan, it's painful to see this rather ineffective Barry/Lampard axis which has pushed Gerrard out to the periphery purely to play the two lumps up front.

    Complain about this comment

  • 304. At 8:23pm on 05 Sep 2009, niceputtingitright wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 305. At 8:43pm on 05 Sep 2009, PhearTheTurtle wrote:

    The Messi comment is off the mark. Anyone that watches the Spanish game, a lot of commentators in here apparently don't including the author, know that Messi is marked hard in every game he plays and gets triple coverage on the ball. It's amazing that he stays up as often as he does; if that were CR under the same circumstances, you'd think someone deployed Marines to the match, as many times as he'd go down as if shot. (pouty grimace and all, which seems to provoke an 'aww, isn't he cute' response from English refs)

    Wayne Rooney clearly learned his stuff from somewhere. Eduardo? Stick to playing, your skills aren't in acting, my man.

    Complain about this comment

  • 306. At 9:14pm on 05 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    A two match ban for Rooney? The next two International friendlies? Looked to me like his shirt was grabbed between the shoulder blades, with those new collars he could have choked!

    Johnson is fantastic going forward but defensively he's useless. As Gaz suggested, we'd be better off with one of the Neville brothers at right back, Aaron would be my nominee. Get that lad a passport!

    Complain about this comment

  • 307. At 9:47pm on 05 Sep 2009, Kuru Kanagalingam wrote:

    Finaly we can hope all the so called experts in the media and ex players will shutup or start say what happend today and ask for Rooney to be banned for two match the same way Eduardo is banned. Did any one note that the ITV match match experts start giving excuse to defend Rooney even after the England Manager seem to me Shamed and went back to his seat. I wonder any of so called Experts or Reportors will ask England manager the Question I want to Ask " Did England manager was shamed the way Rooney claim for the Penalty?" If any thing I think Rooney pulled the other guy to fall than other way. I am very tempted to Watch the Football matches Sound off. I do still have some respect for some Sky commentators. On Celtic Game I respect their manager than payers as the manager didn't blame the penalty as you all know it didn't change the fact celtic needed Tree goals as they stand they had no hope of getting so blame the other side.

    Complain about this comment

  • 308. At 10:05pm on 05 Sep 2009, GG - save 606 wrote:

    how can u ban eduardo and not pedro for diving in the box in the super cup or messi for headbuttin? simple, because uefa r anti english

    Complain about this comment

  • 309. At 10:06pm on 05 Sep 2009, benidorm1 wrote:

    Enjoyed the blog apart from the Mesi bit, he does do the odd roll but is miles away from the likes of Drogba & Ronaldo who are past masters at the dive.Keep up the good work of annoying JDR.

    Complain about this comment

  • 310. At 10:07pm on 05 Sep 2009, blueskyrai wrote:

    if you are so courageous to write such stuff on arsenal player write something on rooney's dive that too 2 times within a week.
    why go and give your dirty thoughts on arsenal player only?
    be clear you pundits should be aware that the punishment for arsenal player is not for what he did but it's for platini's egoistic revenge over arsene wenger.
    have that eufa been able to control so many irregularities that prevail in european football? no. but when they get chance to harass innocent clubs like arsenal they pounce on them like tiger pouncing on helpless deer. if arsenal acts in harsh and rough way as most of the arrogant big clubs this eufa shit sould have not even dared to say a word.

    so to save the beautiful game of football dictators like platini should be immediately removed from such high post and hand over the responsibilty to some responsible person.

    Complain about this comment

  • 311. At 10:14pm on 05 Sep 2009, me wrote:

    will be interesting to read robbos interpretation of rooneys penalty in the friendly tonight.

    wouldnt surprise me if he took a week off all a sudden. to be fair he really needs the break from all this impartial reporting. its obviously getting to him.

    Complain about this comment

  • 312. At 10:14pm on 05 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Gaz's catamite leaps to Rooney's defence.

    Quelle surprise.

    Two match ban and let's have no more said on the matter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 313. At 10:29pm on 05 Sep 2009, KiranZeus wrote:

    LMAO at Robbo! what have you got to say about Rooney today matey? . . UEFA shold ban him for two international games shouldnt they?

    Its a joke! its not as if Eddie was the 1st person to dive and win a penalty!

    Complain about this comment

  • 314. At 10:47pm on 05 Sep 2009, Cuckoo14 wrote:

    looks pretty good unfortunately

    Complain about this comment

  • 315. At 11:47pm on 05 Sep 2009, pinpoint77 wrote:

    The ban is ridiculous. If the ref sees him dive he gets a booking. If the ref fails to see him dive its a two game ban. Where's the sense in that? Is he the first player ever to dive?! You'd think so given the reaction to this!

    Where exactly is McGeady's ban for diving last weekend? If you're going to ban one, then ban the rest...or are we still taking double standards?

    Complain about this comment

  • 316. At 00:11am on 06 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    No mate, Gaz and Rooney can defend themselves, Johnson on the other hand, well that's a different matter. He'd be helped if Alonso was there but you'll be seeing him well pressured in the months to come.

    Rooney didn't dive anyway, more of a crumble really. Perhaps he could be the Bald Crumbler?

    Are you suggesting that Robbo might take a self-imposed two blog ban?

    Complain about this comment

  • 317. At 00:43am on 06 Sep 2009, lochcescmonster wrote:

    I think it is the injustice of it all really, I'm an arsenal fan and yes i agree it was not a penalty, and potentially was a dive, but i have to say you will see worse dives in every game of football you see. Part of the problem i think is it has upset 'plucky celtic' in a game between british sides and it just wasn't cricket ...

    hmmm and wayne rooney playing the game the right way? please you must be kidding right??????????????

    feel free to see my views on the eduardo issue in more detail at

    Complain about this comment

  • 318. At 01:07am on 06 Sep 2009, sportygauros4ever121 wrote:

    What about Rooney's dive against slovenia?

    Will Fifa/Uefa have a look at it or will this one go like it didnt happen by them and the English media?

    Complain about this comment

  • 319. At 01:32am on 06 Sep 2009, cratloe4 wrote:

    Perhaps the worst article i've ever had the misfortune of reading! Although I haven't the slightest notion who you are or care for that matter, you come across as a sad, grumpy, old man who chooses only to live in the past and cannot embrace today's game! Diving can only be called so if there is ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACT. No bumps, no grazes, no shoves, no pushes, no part of another can come into contact with another for it to be described as a "dive". I call it "making the most" of a tackle, nothing more. Let me remind you of "Saint Rooney" in Old Trafford when United stopped arsenal's 49-game unbeaten run. There was minimal contact and yet no one cares that a penatly was given. The hypocricy shown is baffling! What is evident from reading other well-educated football fans' comments on this page is that you are alone in your thoughts and should be kept to yourself. We look forward to when write about aspects of the game which aren't from the dark ages of "i break your leg, you break mine!" We've all moved on to embrace a better game!

    Complain about this comment

  • 320. At 02:07am on 06 Sep 2009, learsenal25 wrote:

    As someone mentioned before, if a diver is caught cheating then it is a yellow card offense; however, if the player gets away with cheating then it is a two match ban?! This is absolutely poor logic by UEFA. A player is heavily punish because the ref made a mistake?

    I am for this ban only if UEFA are consistent in banning people for diving. Ronney dived today aganist Slovenia....he should get a two match ban. Cracking down on diving will only work if everyone is treated equally. If Rooney does not receive a ban then Eduardo's punishment is unjust.
    Diving is CHEATING no matter what the circumstance!

    Complain about this comment

  • 321. At 03:11am on 06 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Well thanks for that link Sporty but it wasn't a dive. After reviewing it ad nauseum and with the power vested in me by the Great Wizard of Oz, here's how I see it; Rooney has no chance of gathering the ball, he lunges in the hope of getting at least some contact on it, the defender falls over Rooney's leg, Rooney hears the whistle and puts his hands up to say (use yer best scouse accent) "I never "f$#%&* touched 'im ref" thinking that the foul has been given against his goodself. Well, he's as surprised as anyone to have been awarded a penalty! For further explanation we'll have to wait for the Sunday morning conspiracy theorists, only most of whom will naturally be Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal fans!

    Complain about this comment

  • 322. At 03:39am on 06 Sep 2009, erfsenal wrote:

    only reason why eduardo has been persecuted, in the press, and by uefa is because he is not english. in fact he will be lining up against england on wednesday night.... youre telling me its not rigged?? rooney has won two non-penalties in the last 6 days...

    Complain about this comment

  • 323. At 04:38am on 06 Sep 2009, learsenal25 wrote:

    nuff said

    Complain about this comment

  • 324. At 09:32am on 06 Sep 2009, big-verte wrote:

    Soccer is not rugby we dont need video refs ,lets accept the decision of the man with the whistle if he says you dived then punishment is okay but if he misses it lets agree with his decision rather to make decision like an examination with a marking shceme.Whats going to happen when a fair penalty is not given and the video shows a clear penalty lets be sensible

    Complain about this comment

  • 325. At 10:24am on 06 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "he lunges in the hope of getting at least some contact on it"

    You may want to review it again - the ball is some 15 feet in the air at the time of Rooney's di...lunge.

    Dear oh dear.

    Complain about this comment

  • 326. At 10:28am on 06 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    "Whats going to happen when a fair penalty is not given and the video shows a clear penalty!"

    Realise that the decision was made against the away team at OT, as usual, and get on with it?

    Complain about this comment

  • 327. At 11:00am on 06 Sep 2009, pic_taker wrote:

    This debate will run and run. I just wonder who wins and who loses...did he dive or not, I'm not sure - so what can we do to at least set a working ethic to get players not to dive...

    Policy comes from above in all organisations by setting clear directives, UEFA/FIFA are poor at this, accepted, you would of thought not by now. I also concur should at least do from the start of a season, not a knee jerk during....

    Suppose he did dive and as a result Celtic lost by the penalty awarded (ok in this case they were going qualify anyway)- how much money is involved, yes the player should be punished but what about the club(business) they still have gained with no sanction. Should they not be punished too, which then hopefully would start a culture from top to bottom. Even compensation (ie the fine imposed) paid to the opposition, as opposed to the govening body who then would be shown as being impartial to the decision. This surely would further the ethic, though it must be of a tangible amount, as like it not football is about the money...cliche and discussion for another day.

    Complain about this comment

  • 328. At 11:08am on 06 Sep 2009, Pedro Franco wrote:

    Here's a question for ya, Robbo, after what happened during the Slovakia game, what should be done with Rooney? Should he be punished? Should that include official games? After all, he's even more guilty than Eduardo, isn't he?

    Complain about this comment

  • 329. At 11:19am on 06 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Quite disgraceful that Pedro's completely innocuous post has been moderated.

    Complain about this comment

  • 330. At 11:21am on 06 Sep 2009, BeyondThePale wrote:

    Yet more evidence of the appalling bias toward one club on the BBC football website.

    They'll be distributing Labour propoganda next.

    Oh, wait - they already do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 331. At 11:39am on 06 Sep 2009, Jack wrote:

    Yes - Eduardo dived. I don't know why they (come on he's not alone, isn't he?) do this. It's pathetic really then they score and are enjoying this - unbelievable.
    Yes - Rooney dived. He was fortunate becasue Almunia isn't so smart and swallow the hook. Yesterday Rooney showed that he's a decent hypocrite. Make a foul and want a penalty - I lost my words.

    Let's focus on every divers not only one. I'm wondering why people wasn't so harsh for Ronaldo? He was one of he best I've seen. Any doubt but when he didn't get one he was furious sometimes. Of course he played for Man United not Arsenal...

    Complain about this comment

  • 332. At 12:34pm on 06 Sep 2009, me wrote:

    the media is generally pro man united. it sells papers and space. lets not forget that and move on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 333. At 2:16pm on 06 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Good morning BTP,
    The ball is, like the rest of the stuff here on earth, affected by gravity. So, whether it's 15 ft or 150 ft in the air, it will come down. Perhaps we can agree that footballers time their meeting with the ball with due consideration to the effects of gravity on the ball. Players that do this well are often successful. Players that don't tend not to make it to the top. Of course, "timing" is just one of the skill sets involved. Another characteristic often noticed in the style and approach of some players is a never quit attitude. Rooney is by general consensus, one of those. So yes, it was a hopeful lunge. The hope being that he could make his foot coincide with the arrival of the ball less than a second later and not that he would win a penalty for the effort. The only chap at fault there is the ref!

    Complain about this comment

  • 334. At 3:17pm on 06 Sep 2009, bushy-tailedPARTYON wrote:

    I do agree that footballers should be punished for diving, but i am not an arsenal fan and feel that UEFA have not got a problem on their hands in making this rule stand. How many other footballers have cheated a penalty, it happens every week. I feel really disgusted that they chose Arsenal to start the punishement tactics whereas last year the likes of Ronaldo and co were conning every week. UEFA, you have handled this wrong and should of set the rules up before punishing teams. Also, lets have a scenario: Man Utd in the last minute, against Real madrid in the final and its 0-0. Real defender in the box and rooney dives and gets a penalty and Man U go on to win. Will it happen? Of course it will because the chance to be euro champions for a 2 game ban is worth it. Its never going to stop. And besides, Man U would of got away with it. I am discgusted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 335. At 6:09pm on 06 Sep 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    Trotsky - haven't seen it yet, but it sounds like you're suggesting Rooney did NOT dive yesterday.
    fair enough if he didn't, but it would only be the cherry on top of the hypocrite cake if he did.

    good Daily Mail article someone posted earlier... pretty much says it all, with a link to an amusing "all-time greatest dives" collection.

    so were England pretty much rubbish yesterday?

    Complain about this comment

  • 336. At 6:37pm on 06 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    'ello Denis, that's correct, I don't think Rooney dived yesterday. England's performance yesterday was approaching McLarenesque. Have you not seen it? You'd better have a good excuse! Nothing we haven't seen dozens of times before and nothing to do with the on-going 50 game experiment we're conducting with Gerrard and Lampard mind you! Passion free plodding really, personified by Barry. Carrick looked as if he was overcoming an overdose of cold medicine. Though Cole and Rooney had a bit of energy as usual there wasn't much to rave about. It might be the case that we're just not that good or maybe it's the pitch? The lads will have a lovely time in S. Africa but for all we can live in hope and should enjoy it while it lasts, I suspect that they won't be bringing back any extra baggage!

    Yep I read the article on that lad's link, there were moments there when the author seemed to be borderline infringing on Robbo's own particular style of penmanship. I'll have to pop back and look for the diving link.

    Complain about this comment

  • 337. At 6:52pm on 06 Sep 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Denis, I hit that link again and it provoked a hacking warning!

    Complain about this comment

  • 338. At 7:25pm on 06 Sep 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    Wow, my posting was removed because it is deemed, 'potentially defamatory.'

    All I suggested to believe was that Mr. Rooney may not have been entirely honest in the game.

    Way to go BBC!

    Complain about this comment

  • 339. At 10:27am on 07 Sep 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    338 Spitfire

    Meanwhile, "catamite" and "onanist" get the OK, presumably because the moderators don't know what they mean.

    Or DO they know what the words mean, and agree with the assessments?

    Either way - worrying

    Complain about this comment

  • 340. At 12:56pm on 07 Sep 2009, Ireland Brew wrote:

    What is a catamite?

    I would assume, from the context, that it is some sort of bestial parasite.

    Complain about this comment

  • 341. At 11:26am on 08 Sep 2009, barca4ever wrote:

    Phil, What do you think about Rooneys dive against Slovenia? I don't see the press labeling him a cheat. I thought you guys were supposed to be objective and fair but i guess i made a mistake. The way the press covered up that dive is .... I am lost for words.

    Complain about this comment

  • 342. At 1:42pm on 12 Sep 2009, DrCajetanCoelho wrote:

    Diving is a special art. It calls for courage and risk. The diver knows he can risk an injury or even get caught red-handed and thoroughly punished infront of millions of viewers world wide.

    But the diver does it and eagerly waits for the referee for a favourable verdict in the form of a spot kick if he is lucky to dive in the box. If the whistle man relents one witnesses instant celebrations even before placing the ball on the dreaded spot. What a dive it must have been !

    Often the diver is seen along with his team mates pleading with the referee to issue a red card to a member of the opposite team who happens to be closest as the champion diver prepares for the grand spectacle. Such a scenario becomes very painful for the discerning fan who sits before the TV or travels spending time and money to the Stadium to watch Eleven Gentlemen playing against another set of Eleven Gentlemen.

    The well maintained soft football turfs with thick lush green grass make it safe for the professional divers to indulge in their well rehearsed favourite craft. Harder football grounds, the type we used to play in our time, were quite dangerous. Thinking of a dive was suicidal on those punishing surfaces. Even an accidental fall left one with bleeding knees and bruised elbows that made daily life difficult at every step. Intentional diving was unheard of in those days of instant justice.

    Our beloved footballers today are expected to uphold the spirit of the game and enhance the beauty of the Jogo Bonito through fair play.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Complain about this comment

  • 343. At 7:45pm on 21 Sep 2009, Wuggoman wrote:

    RE chelsea v Spurs - was it a penalty or a dive? An answer which solves all the questions is that Keane fell over Carvalho - no trip, no dive- referee right to wave play on.

    Complain about this comment

  • 344. At 06:57am on 29 Sep 2009, diamondronaldinho wrote:

    All Divers should be punished , if after scoring a goal diving is a crime , then Rooney is the most wanted Criminal , the master diving tactician , The refs dont find the difference in his diving before scoring a goal and after scoring a girl , he has them confused and they give Rooney the benefit of doubt and ultimately MAN U Benefits......

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS


Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.