Pulis moaning ignores bigger picture
Published: 15.10.12 / Written by: David Gold
Tony Pulis seems to be on a personal one man crusade against diving.
His latest whine, that Luis Suarez dived against his Stoke team at Anfield on Sunday, reiterated his belief that the Uruguayan and any others guilty of such a sin should be banned for three matches.
The problem with Pulis’ idea is that it seems to ignore any other similar offence. Such as say, stamping on a player, as Robert Huth did to Suarez on Sunday. It may have been a mistake, as the FA ruled, but less has been punished before, and Stoke are one of the teams with the worst records when it comes to over the top challenges.
So if we are to start cracking down on diving, what about the over the top two footed lunge when the player committing the offence has almost no chance of winning the ball? What about the manager who continues to try to pressure referees?
Pulis is complaining about diving for a simple obvious reason. It suits him. Some managers complain about aggressive tackling because their teams tend to be on the receiving end. Some complain about diving because their teams like to be aggressive. Such as Stoke. Why can’t we launch ourselves at opponents without them falling to the floor? That is the refrain of Stoke at the moment. Why do opposition players continue to react to having their legs almost broken by writhing on the floor in agony? Ban them, ban them all, Pulis insists.
It is a ridiculous argument of course. Whilst diving is a problem, why it is uniquely evil and problematic is a mystery to most. Sure, it is dishonest. But so is time wasting, bending the rules by taking ages over every goal kick and throw on, as Stoke and others frequently do when playing the big boys. Also dishonest is the refrain ‘he’s not that type of player’ when a Stoke player breaks another player’s leg. Dishonesty also covers using one’s hands to control the ball, trying to intimidate referees and singling out individuals like Suarez who are no worse than half of their peers.
Suarez appears particularly ill treated in this particular episode. Unable to win a penalty whether scythed down cynically or elbowed in the back of the head, the Uruguayan seems at a loss to understand what a foul is anymore. It seems it is any reckless challenge of any sort, other than those committed against him. Is it a wonder he is looking to take the laws of the game into his own hands? The laws of the game have continually failed him this season. Sometimes, you have to fight fire with fire. Pulis should be wary of that particular idea.