All divers should be punished
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.
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.