Manchester United and England’s Wayne Rooney never dives: only foreign ‘cheats’ do that
Did Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney dive to win a penalty in the FA Cup win over Preston North End? Before we get the experts’ views, let’s hark back to the day when Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was “going to ground easily”.
The Sun called Suarez “Armstrong MKII, marking the Uruguayan in the same bracket at Lance Armstong, the biggest cheat in sport. Ever. “You cheat!” thundered the Sun. We pointed out that Suarez played to the whistle, much like the Team GB cycling team with won Olymic Gold by dubious means.
How the Sun and the Mirror cheered the plucky Brits and booed the swathy foreingners.
It looks very much as if – as if! – top English players could do no wrong. There were more examples of double standards, such as when Suarez was vilifed for biting an opponent, whereas England’s Jermain Defoe was “cheeky”. Suarez got counselling. Defoe got off.
So. Did Wayne Rooney dive?
Let’s hear from The Sun:
“Rooney may have gone down a bit too easily under a challenge from Preston keeper Thorsten Stuckmann, which probably explains why he was only shown a yellow card instead of a red.”
Good old, Rooney. If it wasn’t for his falling over so neatly, Stuckmann would have been sent off.
The BBC, which broadcast the match, wasn’t bovvered:
“But United made sure of their progress with two minutes to go when Stuckmann sent Rooney tumbling, although there were some suggestions he might have dived, and he stepped up to send his penalty high into his net.”
In December 2014 the Daily Mail was appalled by diving:
Diving is once again a hot topic in the Premier League after three Chelsea players, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Willian, were all booked for simulation this month.
How does it report on Rooney’s going to ground?
Thankfully, not everyone is so blinkered.
The Daily Telegraph tells its readers:
“They even added a third that came wrapped up in controversy involving the England captain and simulation. Wayne Rooney was running into the box when Preston’s keeper, Thorsten Stuckmann, came haring out, sliding in, forcing Rooney to hurdle the challenge which he managed but then elected to fall to earth rather than stay on his feet.”
English players never do dive.
“If I ever saw one of my team-mates diving, I’d definitely have a word” – Steven Gerrard.
Is talking to yourself a sign of madness?
“I can speak about the England lads and I think it is something we don’t do. We’re too honest” – John Terry.
Such are the facts…