Leeds United: Setpiece mauling is worse than 'diving' - Lorimer

The issue of diving is as old as the hills. Take it from someone who knows.

I had Brian Clough on my case many years ago, and he never tired of telling people what a terrible cheat I was.

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That whole episode came down to a penalty awarded in a game between Leeds United and Derby County. Clough accused me of diving to win it; the person at fault was actually David Nish, the defender who brought me down. I can say that with certainty that because I felt the foul.

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Blatant cheating in any form is out of order but I hear and read a lot of rubbish about diving, particularly when it comes to marginal examples. The automatic reaction is to slate the player who "dives" and accuse them of bringing the game into disrepute. As an ex-striker, I'll say it as I see it from the other side of the fence.

A forward in full flow is prone to the slightest touch or the slightest foul.

If you're sprinting at pace, it doesn't take much to knock you off balance. It's a huge advantage to any defender if they can take you out discreetly and then walk away saying 'he went down too easily'.

Are we honestly saying that fouls should only be awarded when someone kicks you 20 feet into the air?

Footballers are canny and rarely so blatant. I can't accept that some of the nudges, pulls and trips committed by defenders inside the box are done without a degree of cynicism or in the hope that they'll stop a forward in his tracks without any retribution.

Defenders are no angels, I'll tell you that.

Over the years, I had a few instances where I was fouled and a player would say 'come on, I hardly touched you'. My response was always to ask why they touched me at all. Is it fair that penalties should rely on crunching tackles when goalkeepers are protected from virtually any contact?

As you can probably gather, strikers and defenders tend to see this issue from very different viewpoints.

Leeds United's manager, Simon Grayson, said this week that players should be banned for diving and he's got a point if the offence is clear.

It's strange that Theo Walcott, the Arsenal winger, can admit to having done it against Leeds and still get away scot-free.

But the problem is one of interpretation. What looks like a dive on a video replay might actually have been a genuine foul in real time.

There's a difference between how an incident appears in slow motion and how it feels at the moment of contact.

I don't see any number of rules solving the problem of diving, for the simple reason that simulation is difficult to prove.

What we need is for players to police themselves and, for that reason, I don't ever expect the issue go away. It's clearly a concern but there are others as well.

Nothing annoys me more than the number of fouls that go unpunished each and every time a player takes a corner.

Again, I think it's the strikers who get the rough end of the stick, with defenders all over them and stopping either movement.

It's as bad an example of cheating as diving, but no-one seems to notice or care.

Never let it be said that the game has double standards.

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