Adam Gray takes a look at the issue of diving in the Premier League, and the England futures of Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand.
Luis Suarez in recent weeks has found out that a reputation can go before you when it comes to penalty appeals. Rightly or wrongly, and whether they would like to admit it or not, referees must have it in their mind when the Uruguayan goes down in the area. The incident at Norwich last week looked a stonewall penalty, yet Suarez wasn't given it, much to most people's surprise. Yet if he thought that any referee would fall for his antics at Anfield yesterday against Stoke, he was sadly mistaken. It was the worst example of cheating I have seen in a long time, and I hope he is embarrassed by it. I doubt he is though. Sadly he was not the only one to be shamed. Gareth Bale was just as guilty of 'simulation' in the game against Aston Villa and probably just as unremorseful of his actions. If players can receive retrospective punishments for acts of violent conduct, the FA and the Premier League must look to ban divers too.
Ashley Cole became the latest player to find out the hard way that Tweeting in the heat of the moment can land you in hot water. His rant at the FA follwing his evidence in the John Terry racism case was silly, but it could have been worse. Although he ought to have known better, he has apologised and he will pay his fine, and that should be the end of it in my opinion. He was likely to be rested for the England v San Marino World Cup qualifier on Friday irrespective of the controversy, but frankly I could play left back and we would be ok. They say there are no easy games at International level, but San Marino continue to contradict the cliche.
One player who should be playing for England but will not be is Rio Ferdinand. Absolutely nobody believed Roy Hodgson's 'footballing reasons' explanation before the European Champonship, but his omission this time around following John Terry's retirement from the International game can mean there are no other reasons this time. I'm sorry Roy, that's nonsense. He should be in the squad, it cannot be said more plainly. As for Hodgson letting slip on the Tube that Ferdinand was out, inadvertently or otherwise, what an incredible lack of respect. It wouldn't surprise me if Ferdinand opted to quit England duty too.