Media Darlings: diving, cheating, thuggish Spurs can do no wrong

dele alli yellow

Another incredible weekend of Barclays action just gone, which as usual was short on actual quality but long indeed on drama. I’d like to talk about Spurs if I may. As an Arsenal fan it’s difficult to have an opinion on them without being called biased or one eyed, and that’s often very true, tribalism dictates that sense and sensibility go out of the window when discussing your most hated rivals. However, that doesn’t mean an opinion is immediately rendered invalid because of it. So here goes.

Tottenham’s “rise” over the last few year under Pochettino has been mildly impressive. They’ve flirted with the top 4 in the last ten years and in spite of what the media might have you believe, they are still merely flirting with it. One season in one season out, hardly 20 years of champions league football now is it? Yet we find ourselves in an age of media-driven Spurs glory.

kane dive

Lesser Spotted Essex Fly-Swallow

As a team they have not won a major trophy since 1991 (the League cup will regain its major trophy status in approximately 2 weeks). This is 27 seasons. TWENTY SEVEN. Whichever way you dice it, that’s remarkable. Over a quarter of a century with neither a League title or FA Cup win. The list of teams that are waiting less time includes Wigan, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Leicester and Leeds.

So why are they given such grace by our glorious press? You never hear them called out for lack of success. Top 4 is now as a good as a trophy we are told. It would be absolutely tragic if it were not so laughable. Wenger was derided for years for saying this, it now seems that Klopp, Poch and Mourinho are being praised for the very thing that Wenger was beaten with.

But this is not really what I want to discuss. Firstly, Spurs are a dirty team. They kick players all over the pitch. They employ something called rotational fouling which I think means they take turns in making fouls to break up play and frustrate the opposition. So much so that their opponents often take the first and second yellow cards, born of those frustrations.

It was discussed last evening on Twitter and the general feeling is that there is nothing you can do about it from an officials point of view. I actually disagree. The totting up process should apply to the team, not an individual. As an arbitrary number, the team gets 5 innocuous fouls and the 6th is a booking regardless of who made it. It would prevent the tactic Spurs have adopted from being too effective. It’s annoying that it’s been given a name; “rotational fouling” as to me, that legitimises it. It’s considered a valid and clever tactic. No. It’s cheating. It’s a thuggish approach delivered by a manager who was a violent thug as a player.

A jaguar doesn't change its spots...

A jaguar doesn’t change its spots… Poch was a thug as a player, too

Secondly, the cheating. Oh yeah. That. I take no credit for pointing out that Robert Pires made ONE dive (and it was) and is widely chided as the worst diver in premier league history. This is patent nonsense. For a start Vieira was worse. But more importantly: diving is far far more ingrained in the game today than it was years ago. And it’s that awful type of dive, the one where the attacker initiates contact. Dreadful. I understand it’s very hard to spot, but there were three blatant examples of it yesterday from Spurs.

Deli Alli, undoubtedly the most contemptible player in the league, utterly embarrassed himself with a shameful piece of cheating. And was rightly booked. Kane, darling Harry, forced contact with the keeper when he realised he’d lost control when he could easily have taken another step. And Eric Lamela, who was seemingly shot with a Rhino Gun from the Kop.

lamela dive

Kop Sniper strikes again

Two of those were awarded penalties, one was a rightful booking. It’s becoming an epidemic. And Tottenham are at the forefront. At the risk of being stereotypical, Southern American players have oft been been known for their cynical approach to the game. It feels like Poch has injected this straight into the eyeballs of the English players at Spurs. Dier is a thug with the IQ of a cricket bat; Alli is an outright cheat and coward who soon enough will end someone’s career; and Kane is a sneakcheat. Your parents love him, the teacher loves him, but he’s getting someone else to do his homework or cheating on his girlfriend with her best mate, on the sly.

Until the press in this country stop fawning over Spurs’ “Englishness” this will continue. It staggers me that they still get away with an easy time from the media. Even football365 yesterday brushed over the diving.

And yeah yeah: we will all celebrate an Alli dive to win the World Cup. I won’t. No chance.


“How’s that, boss?”

Maybe when Spurs finally win a trophy the press will turn on them? Maybe when Alli breaks a leg? Right now the fourth estate is culpable for a disease in the game which will not go away. As long as they continue to praise “clever” tactics and cheating players, the players shame is hidden.

Enjoy your week.

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11 Responses to Media Darlings: diving, cheating, thuggish Spurs can do no wrong

  1. Rico February 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm #

    This is truly beyond pathetic, you are so wracked with jealousy its clouding your judgement. Spurs have got where they have with 100s millions less income and expenditure than any of their competitors thats a fact. Ex referee all scouse loving pundits said both pens were nailed on but you know better than them? Karius ADMITTED he brought down kane also another fact. As for pires your having a laugh right? Biggest diving cheat the league has ever seen

  2. Charlie February 5, 2018 at 1:01 pm #

    The reason Arsenal is hated by English press maybe due to the English hatred of things French, historical rivalry and English monarchy. As having a French manager is a lightning rod for English bias.

  3. Ric February 5, 2018 at 1:08 pm #

    Let’s hope Dele starts with breaking Aubameyangs leg have a nice day.

  4. MJC February 5, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

    Fantastic piece of well-balanced sports journalism. I appreciate the fact that you’ve taken time out from your day to write about the team that you obviously love to hate. Was brought here by a newsnow link, your article didn’t disappoint. I hope Kane the “sneakcheat” gives you more to write about next week.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. PTK13 February 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

    The bit that gets me, is that adive either gets a yellow card, or a 2 game ban.
    Surely, it should be a straight red? If not, then how can a 2 game retrospective ban be justified?

  6. S-P February 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm #


    Both penalties were correct – as has been explained by Dermot Gallagher and many other members of the refereeing fraternity, not to mention ex Liverpool player pundits.

    Dele dived…and was rightly booked for it. Hardly the first player to dive…as you ArseAnal fans should know.

    Thuggish? Ha Ha soft Spurs! Oh, look, Spurs stick up for themselves now, let’s label them as thugs. To take one game that seems to be generating this, City away this season: right from the first whistle the City players were surrounding the Spurs player on the ball, in packs, and pushing, shoving and jostling them with absolute impugnity. But whenever the Spurs players even tried to press the City they were penalised. De Bruyne should have been sent off for two mandatory yellow card offences, Otamendi toe-punted Kane in the face when he wasn’t even bending down, and Winks was fouled about four times in one incident but the ref wouldn’t award a penalty as he did his best to stay on his feet. But you say and remember what you want, eh!

    As for media darlings: the media is constantly berating Tottenham for having a sensible wage policy, as advised by UEFA. They are constantly trying to unsettle, sell or incite to move, their players and manager. There is a media witch-hunt against Dele. They are frequently ignored when discussing top of the table matters as though they aren’t there, despite finishing fifth or higher in seven of the last eight seasons, above Liverpool in defenition the last eight seasons, etc. Go and check out how the Mirror reported yesterday’s two legitimate penalties, and then come back and tell me Tottenham are the media darlings LoL.

    You, my friend, are a sad, bitter little person… which is rather funny because, as you are at pains to point out, you don’t have that much to be sad or bitter about…yet. Perhaps it is anxiety about what is to come Come back when you match our European trophies

  7. Mark February 5, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

    “As an Arsenal fan it’s difficult to have an opinion on them without being called biased or one eyed… However, that doesn’t mean an opinion is immediately rendered invalid because of it. So here goes.”

    1. Spurs don’t win any trophies.
    2. They are “dirty”
    3. They “cheat”

    No, an opinion is rendered invalid (and infantile) when it comes as basic as this. Stick to discussing whether or not your own underachieving manager should be sacked or not — yaaaawn. And maybe don’t aspire to having any meaningful opinions at all, or trying to blog badly about them.

  8. Brad February 5, 2018 at 1:35 pm #

    Citing the daily mirror? Ok. Thanks I’ll take a read.

  9. Ant February 5, 2018 at 3:42 pm #

    So sad that Arsenal writers have to spend their time thinking and writing about Spurs rather than their own club.

    Maybe you’re bored about having to write about the same Arsenal narratives year after year.

  10. marblehalls tv February 9, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

    I find Spurs objectionable. But then I don’t see how diving can be condoned. Nor compared to stepovers. One is a trick of playing skill, the other is an attempt to con the referee that a breach of the laws of football has occurred. That said, I don’t get the hate you’re getting from spurs fans. Don’t they get that we’re rivals, and as an Arsenal blog, we’re going to say…less than welcome things about them?

  11. Wowasiknya February 14, 2018 at 9:14 am #

    99% of the stuff pitched at Poch is disingenuous stuff that is more about creating clicks than it is about eliciting an understanding of how things operate at Hotspur Way. ‘POCH STUMBLES WHEN QUESTIONED STILL NO NEW ALDERWEIRELD DEAL’ is easier to write than the exceptionally dull truth.

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