Gareth Bale: embarrassment


Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2003
Thread starter #1
What I'm going to say won't be a popular view, and I will probably be flamed for it. But it needs to be said.

A fellow poster wrote a few days ago that there is more to football than kicking a ball. He is so right. I am proud to be a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur. I am proud that our history - and our mantra - is about glory. I am proud of the 'Tottenham way'. I am proud of our integrity. Let me share a couple of examples.

In the 1959-60 season we were challenging for the league and needed to win a game (possibly against Man City) to maintain our challenge. On the stroke of half time we were awarded a penalty. Cliff Jones took it and the 'keeper saved it, only for Jones to put in the rebound. The goal didn't stand. The half had expired, but the ref rightly allowed it to continue for the penalty to be taken; but with the 'keeper's save, the half was over. The players argued, but when the ref explained his decision to (Sir) Bill Nicholson he accepted it and told his team to do the same. We didn't win the game and - as you all know - we didn't win the league. As a club, we accepted what was right, even though it hurt us.

Early in Alan Sugar's reign as Chairman, he discovered that players had been paid in a way that broke league rules. He reported it to the authorities. We were punished and - although the draconian level of the punishment was successfully appealed - we accepted our wrongdoing. We acted with honour. We did the right thing.

This season, we inadvertently played an ineligible player in the NextGen tournament. He made a brief second-half appearance in a game that we won comfortably, and he didn't affect the outcome. When this was drawn to the club's attention, the team was immediately withdrawn from the competition. We had broken the rules, so we did the right thing. Contrast this to the behaviour of our opponents in the next round. Liverpool knew of our breach before we played them, but waited until we had knocked them out of the tournament before reporting it in order for them to be reinstated.

The moral of these stories is that it is important to do the right thing. Winning by cheating is a phyrric victory, and a trophy won by breaking the rules is a trophy not worth having.

This is why I am ashamed - yes, ashamed - of the behaviour of Gareth Bale. His diving has frequently been debated on this forum, and I have been saddened to see that he has many apologists. Many have proposed the argument that he doesn't dive, he merely takes evasive action in order to avoid destructive challenges by ruthless defenders, and thereby prolong his career. Bale himself has recently used this lame excuse to justify his behaviour. (Perhaps he got the idea from reading it on SC.) I don't accept this, and many proponents of this argument would dismiss it if it were made by, for example, an Arsenal or Chelsea player. They would call what they see: he is a diver and a cheat.

Today against Everton we had the most obvious example of this to date. In midfield, in the face of an extremely mild 'challenge' from an opponent, Bale launched himself into the air. He wasn't propelled by the challenge: he hadn't been touched. He wasn't avoiding a potentially career-threatening tackle, as the Everton player hadn't tried to tackle him. He simply decided to perform a theatrical dive. He cheated. Again.

This has to stop.

Behaving in this way causes Bale to embarrass himself, his teammates, and everybody at the club - including its supporters. I happen to believe that it will mean that he (and the rest of the team) will be awarded fewer free kicks by officials who will think they are being conned, but that is not relevant. What is relevant is that he is harming the reputation of our great club. A reputation for fair play, for doing things the right way. An honourable reputation that has been built over 130 years.

I have admired Bale's play since he became a regular member of the team. I have cheered his great skill, the way he races past defenders and puts in perfect crosses. I have rejoiced in his great goals. But, in spite of all of this, if he won't stop cheating, I want him to be sold. Yes, sold. No player is bigger than the club, and if he continues to behave in a way that erodes the noble tradition of Tottenham Hotspur, then I want him to be playing as far away from the Lane as we can get him. (If the club then said that his refusal to stop diving was the reason for his transfer, then that would be perfect.) If we were to win a trophy because of his antics, then that trophy would be tainted. We wouldn't really have won it.

I would miss his great skill, his wonderful goals. But his departure would be a price worth paying.

Flame away.


SC's Naughty Boy
May 15, 2004
Yeah lets go back to having a mediocre right winger on the left like we did for half a decade before Bale's breakthrough.

Some fans need to stop mardy-arsing and realise what a great season we're having.

Fact is, bale IS getting fouled, he's just making too much of how much he's actually getting hurt.

But really - Don't hate the player, hate the game - all teams are doing it.


Bad Banter
May 7, 2004
He wins free kicks. It's part of his game. Call it diving if you like but he's beating players who are too slow to get the ball. The opponents aren't getting the ball, thus it's a foul. Theatrical or not, Bale is going down because he is either fouled or drawing a late challenge from the opponent.

Weren't Ginola and Klinsmann called divers too. Did they ruin the club? Sorry but if you want to watch a sport where there is no cheating or conning then you need to watch another sport. Football is not for you. Players call for set pieces when it clearly comes off them last, call for handballs when it hits a player in the chest, take forever to take a set piece to see out the clock.

It's all part and parcel of the sport. I would rather have a player who wins free kicks than someone who is untalented or doesn't try at all. We should be thankful for having Bale in the team.


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2005
Anyone remember one Francis Lee?

He was a high diver of the greatest quality, and along with the late Alan Clarke made tripping over themselves in the penalty area an art.

The referee can stop Bale or any other player from diving, what's worse is that one of our own is deluded enough to want to live without Bale in the team. I give up.
Sep 25, 2009
Not sure his diving warrants the full ten page range you have given. I think he does go over too easy, but I'd say half the time he is avoiding a broken ankle like he says. Put yourself in his boots, he plays football 24/7, not just games, training etc and I'm sure he dives to avoid injury more than he does to cheat.

More importantly, why are our set pieces so shit. Why does Harry continue to play modric left?? Poor tactics by Harry today again and perhaps attending
Training more than twice a week may help improve set pieces.


Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2003
when our team gets pulled around and kicked without the ref turning an eyelid, like today, then I support our players doing this as the only way to get attention.


Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2005
Did they show a replay of it? Because it looked like he just jumped out of the way. The ref was right beside it and didn't give him a yellow, so...


Devin Booker is the future.
Jun 10, 2003
If he was better at dribbling then he wouldn't get the treatment that he gets from the opposition.

Why is it that Nani and Valencia don't get the same treatment?


SC Supporter
Mar 27, 2006
90% of footballers dive. To single out Bale is frankly an embarrassment. Your point is correct but hardly needs a front page news headline. Edit Bale with Rooney/Gerrard/klinsman/lineker. It's endemic. And has been for years. Television has made it acceptable. Even though it's disgusting Bale is no more guilty than any other pro footballer


Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2006
Do you think if Bale played for Arsenal, United, City, Chelsea or Liverpool their fans would be calling for him to be sold simply because he dives? Like hell they would!
Jul 26, 2003
An opening post that's very silly. For several reasons.

For a start, Bale's a player who gets chopped down all too frequently. Two significant injuries have resulted from pretty nasty tackles. No one calls these tacklers 'cheats' (on the use of that inappropriate word, see later). Only someone who is irrationally anti-Bale would imagine that fellow 'dribblers' such as Nani and Valencia are any better or worse in their experience of tackles.

When someone is trying to chop you down, whether or not they are going for the ball, you have to 'ride' the tackle. That action can easily result in a fall, but it is better to fall when you are in control than be taken out by the opponent (witness in a different context, Dawson's awful fall and injury...). The opponent may or may not make contact in this process. In the heat of the moment it may be difficult to tell. Leaving aside the fact that many players can and do fall in such a way as to gain a free kick, it may be difficult to know whether or not contact has been made when you ride the tackle and fall.

The village moralists who want to accuse players like Bale of cheating don't watch the game. Bale was accused of cheating when he won the penalty at the Emirates. Contact was made with his knee early in the encounter with the defender, which in turn threw him off balance and he fell as the defender put in his other foot which didn't make contact. It was a penalty. A not dissimilar event happened with Defoe yesterday: the initial contact (deserving of a penalty) threw him off balance. Look at the final fall without looking at the sequence of events leading to it and you might see a dive.

Whether or not a fall is too 'dramatic' is not a judgement any of us can make. Oh yes, the little moralists will do that, because they want to moralise rather than look at the game. But falling safely may be falling more spectacularly, for example. Even if falls are exaggerated to gain the referees attention, is this 'cheating'. Of course not. Most players do it in one way or another in order to get a free kick. It is up to the referee to make a judgement. It is not an issue of cheating.

OK, so let's look at the entirely stupid use of the word 'cheat'. Small-minded moralists are attracted to that word. The trouble is that their minds are so small, they don't know what it means.

Running into the penalty area and leaving a leg trailing so that the defender makes contact is not regarded as cheating. It is clever professionalism. It is another version of drawing a tackle and pushing the ball away in order to get a penalty. Misjudging it so that contact is not made as you fall is simply that: a misjudgement. Like a misjudged tackle. It's not cheating.

Real cheating is bribing referees, throwing games, taking performance-enhancing drugs, using football clubs to launder money, or to asset strip, taking backhanders in sponsorship deals, etc., etc. Do the small-minded moralists talk about complex and much more serious problems like that? Do they fuck.


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2006
Not sure his diving warrants the full ten page range you have given. I think he does go over too easy, but I'd say half the time he is avoiding a broken ankle like he says. Put yourself in his boots, he plays football 24/7, not just games, training etc and I'm sure he dives to avoid injury more than he does to cheat.

More importantly, why are our set pieces so shit. Why does Harry continue to play modric left?? Poor tactics by Harry today again and perhaps attending
Training more than twice a week may help improve set pieces.
Sensible words.

I too don't like his continuous rolls and then the fact he gets up again. Never liked any player that does that.

But I don't think he dived against The Ar$e - i think he was caught.

The guy is so fast and defenders are all out to get him. Evasive action is a sensible part of his game and he does get caught late on many an occasion. But feigning injury and rolling about is embarrassing.


Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2005
The 'tactic' used by opposition players is to crunch-tackle Bale early in the game to slow him that not "cheating"?
In response to this Bale makes sure that he doesn't get tackled hard and injured; at least that's the way I see it Spud mate. As far as selling him for that reason goes, well that's really 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater' isn't it?
While on this subject, I thought just about all of Spurs' midfield lost their cool - and expected more decisions from the ref. - at Everton's chippy tackles yesterday. It would appear that 'the word is out on Spurs' to get after their smooth, skilled players.
This problem won't go away either; just wait when we play Stoke City!


Jun 4, 2004
He'd be a better player if he stayed on his feet a bit more. We're shite at set pieces anyway.


Active Member
Aug 24, 2006
I am very saddened by the comments made by apologists for Gareth Bale. I think he is a terrific talent but diving and overacting after tackles is what he does and it IS WRONG!
I get really p****d off by british and continental players who writhe in agony after a seemingly innocuous tackle. Some of reactions at times have been embarrassing to say the least. I hate diving and pretend injuries in other teams so why should I excempt Spurs players - I don't.
I want Spurs to win in the right way not by cheating. Just because others teams do it does not make it right.
The main article for me was excellent.

Scenario : FA CUP FINAL in May CHELSEA 0 SPURS 0 - Spurs perform a devastating counter attack, the blistering pace of Bale has left Terry for dead but Cole last gasp sliding tackle misses the ball and Bale (in honesty), but Bale has overrun the ball so he dives. To all the world it looks a penalty. It is given , we score, we win. Video reruns and closer inspection clearly exposes the dive. Do we celebrate winning the cup or do we feel cheated. Well for me - BAN BALE and play the game again (even if we loose).
Its not the result its how we play the game.