After this weekend's events, now is the time to make a stand against diving in England.
Embarrassing. That was Tony Pulis' verdict on the second half theatrics of Luis Suarez in yesterday's game between Liverpool and Stoke. He was spot on with that verdict. It was painful watching Suarez, a player of exceptional talent, falling to the ground as if there was an imaginary limbo bar between him and the ball. I'm surprised Glenn Whelan didn't pick him up and show him what a proper kick feels like.
Unfortunately this was not the only case of simulation in these weekends’ fixtures. Gareth Bale jumped to the floor as if avoiding being shot at by the on-rushing Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Some may argue that he was expecting contact from the keeper, but the question begs, why is Bale looking for a foul when he could take it past the goalkeeper and have a free shot on goal?
Now, I hear you saying 'But what the stamp on Suarez from Robert Huth?!’ This, whilst being disgraceful behaviour in itself, is a totally separate incident and does not excuse Suarez from his histrionics on Sunday afternoon. Nor does Aston Villa's repeated fouling of Gareth Bale excuse his from wimping out of a tackle, that's what he's paid a six figure sum every week for.
This has become a real problem in this country and it is time the FA makes a stand against it. There is nothing more infuriating than watching players like Suarez, Bale and also Englishmen such as Ashley Young waste their talents by tumbling to the ground in a desperate attempt at conning the referee and the opposition.
Predictably, the FA has already said that they will not take any action against the events of this weekend. All it shows to the fans is that diving, although not always successful, is a part of the game that the governing body are willing to tolerate. Unacceptable. For too long, players have been trying to cheat their way to victory through diving and it has to stop. Now.
Long gone are the days of Robbie Fowler owning up to his dive and telling the referee not to give a penalty. Instead we see Suarez praying to the referee for a spot kick whilst everyone in the ground, not to mention the millions watching on TV, are hiding behind their hands and cringing at the sight of a £22 million striker embarrassing himself and his team.
I know Liverpool fans are going to point to last weekend at Norwich where Suarez should have had a stone-wall penalty and I don't disagree with them. But perhaps if Suarez didn't have a reputation that preceded him, he'd be more likely to get these decisions.
It is unfair to single out Suarez, Bale and company as the only culprits, but it is these players mentioned that are the ones who are gaining reputations as cheats; a reputation I'm sure they'd like to shake off.
It remains to be seen whether the FA do make an example of these serial offenders, but anyone expecting anything to change soon, need to stop getting their hopes up.