Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accused Matt Holland of diving to win the penalty which earned Charlton a 1-1 draw at The Valley on Sunday.
But the Gunners have been accused of very similar sins in the past and judging by our email inbox Wenger's lamentations have found little sympathy. [+]
Wenger's whine is simply ridiculous. Viewed from any angle from the playback, it still looked as if Matt Holland was trying to stay on his feet after he was clipped. What can a player do if the ref deems fit to award a penalty? Decline it?
To launch such a stinger on Matt is simply unbecoming of a top level manager. What has he to prove? That Pires has the right to dive because everybody else dives?
To suggest that the ref perhaps got it wrong may be acceptable, but to blatantly call Matt a diver is simply unbecoming of a manager. The FA should should dock him for his suggestions in bringing the game into disrepute.
His recent public remarks borders on flagrant inciting of unsportsmanlike behaviour. It is becoming increasingly disgustingly painful to hear his post match comments.
Entertaining the Arsenal team may be on the pitch, but I'm beginning to be switched off towards them by their unruly behaviours.
Again I see your site sensationalising stories that don't actually exist. Where in the story does M. Wenger use the word 'Dive'? Lets face it he doesn't, despite the fact that almost every pundit on the day said so.
I am beginning to think you have joined the gutter press rather than be a serious piece of football media. I also seem to remember that you were also one of those responsible for saying that M. Wenger said that Arsenal would go the whole season unbeaten last year, when in fact what he actually said was that he believed it was POSSIBLE to go unbeaten all year!
What I want is someone who can report the FACTS and a source I can trust....This used to be Soccernet.
I find it absolutely incredible that Arsene Wenger, the manager of the team that has done more to destroy the integrity of the game than any other, should be so hypocritical as to accuse anyone of diving to win a free-kick or penalty.
In fact, the rest of the Premier League clubs would be well advised to petition the league to allow Wenger's Arsenal the whole month of March off, as the potentially disastrous impact of a stiff March breeze on his players' balance could be catastrophic for opposing teams in and around the penalty area.
I steadfastly maintain that a video review panel must be established for the sole purpose of eradicating the cancer of cheating from the modern-day game. Fining and suspending the culprits, with stiffer penalties for repeat offenders (both player and club) is the only way to eradicate this type of cheating from the game.
It is also a sad fact that while there was a direct correlation between the dramatic increase in theatrical flopping (or whatever you would like to refer to it as) at the slightest touch and the influx of foreign players into the Premier League.
British players are now following the lead of their overseas thespian-like peers and resorting to the same disgusting tactics to gain an advantage. Bring on the video review panel and let's end this nonsense as expeditiously as possible.
Pete Curtis, Head Soccer Coach, Cleveland State University
I think Arsene Wenger has every right to moan about Matt Holland's dive. Admittedly he has benefited from 'simulation' from his own players in the past, but that does not mean he can't feel aggrieved when it happens to Arsenal.
But for the record I would like to say I don't think it was dive. Holland went to ground but he got up quickly to chase the ball and didn't appeal for a penalty, if anything he looked momentarily shocked when it was awarded.
Is anyone else's heart bleeding for Arsene Wenger after he accused Matt Holland of going ground easily against Arsenal?
At least there was some contact. Arsenal have experts in the field of diving, with Pires and Cole being the masters of 'finding contact' in the penalty box when there was none (see Pires expert performance against Portsmouth to rob them of two well earned points, who stuck his leg out to catch a defender he was past).
And the nerve of Wenger to accuse Holland and Van Nistelrooy of cheating in those games is hypocritical and ridiculous. Games should be reviewed on video, and penalties and other 'alleged' dives reviewed, with severe penalties (5-6 weeks & fines) to discourage it.
The charge should be "cheating" or "diving" not "simulation" as it is now, to attach the shame to the offence that this behaviour deserves. Perhaps England can set an example for the other leagues to follow.
It seems to me that there is an anti-Arsenal agenda in the media and this is just another example of the press inflating Arsene Wenger's comments.
Any manager from any club is entitled to their opinion of an incident and should not be criticised for giving it when it is demanded of them during the post match press conference.
The penalty was a soft one and Wenger has every right to suggest as much.
Once again, Arsene Whinger continues to talk out of both sides of his mouth-or is it another part of his anatomy?
Wenger's eye for spotting 'water sports' inside the penalty area always seems to improve when the spot kick is awarded to the opposition, and then needs a cane and a guide dog when one his 'synchronized swimmers' takes the plunge (Ah deed not zee ze incident).
Don't start labelling everyone else as a cheat just because your players are being penalized for poor decisions in the area.
Rusty A. Fox
Arsene Wenger, your behavior with regard to opposition players is laughable if not disrespectful. Your persistence in standing by your own players irrespective of their on field infringements, not matter how blatant, is tolerable and understandable, but when you publicly condemn opponents for 'diving' (cheating) you leave speculation open as to your reputation.
When I heard your press conference after the Charlton match I laughed. Your team has the worst record over recent years and your players fall like dominoes in the penalty area. Keep your mouth shut Arsene, unless you plan to show some respect and objectivity.
Your credibility to commentate without bias has now been shot to pieces - well done, you have become a joke, HA HA.
Wenger was right to criticize in order to prove a point. If it was an Arsenal player that had gone down, everyone in the media and their mother would be crying about how they were cheaters.
But if it happens against Arsenal, then it is okay because they themselves have gotten away with it in the past. I believe Arsene merely was asking for consistency in the way the media judges instances of misconduct.
Holland may have tried to get up and chase the ball, and there was some contact, but if you watch the replay closely, his legs kicked out before the contact. Did Lauren use "The Force" to knock him down?
Holland dived, and anyone who defends it because who it was against has no respect for the game.
I can still remember Robert Pires dangling his right leg against the leg of a Portsmouth defender in the box and then falling to win a penalty. Arsene Wenger's player won the penalty that way and now he cannot make a point complaining about an opposing player taking a dive.
Arsene Wenger always picks up small things out of a match in defence of his team's defeat or anything not going well with his club. His character and narrow minded approach only triggers his team's lack of sportsmanship on and off the pitch.
Arsenal will continue to be a bad boys' club like Leeds United, and this will never change under the management of Wenger.
Andy Lee, Hong Kong
Why is it that when an Arsenal player 'dives' they are called a cheat and a disgrace, yet when Arsenal are on the receiving end of a 'dive' it's somehow acceptable.
People seem to be saying that it's ok for Matt Holland to have taken a tumble because it was against Arsenal and they deserve it...what a load of old rubbish.
I agree that Robert Pires does tend to fall over quite easily these days but so does Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Owen, Kewell etc...why don't they get vilified??? It's unbelievable..in fact Ruud has got to be the worst offender of them all yet he is hailed as the best thing since sliced bread...more like a cheating, penalty winning fraud.
More power to Arsene for saying what he thinks...Ferguson gets away with it all the time...then again, they don't get any decisions agains them do they!
I was at this match - In the same melee that brought the Holland penalty, Sol Campbell was climbing all over a Charlton player (can't remember who) and I was waiting for the ref to point to the penalty spot - so when he did a couple of seconds later I assumed it was for the Campbell incident - but Wenger never spotted that one....
So whichever way you look at it - a penalty was the right decision....
Leeds seems bound for administration ? and possibly bankruptcy there after ? regardless of whether or not they are relegated this season.
Hindsight being what it is, one might make a point that Leeds' (second) biggest mistake was selling only Rio Ferdinand two summers ago. Had Ridsdale sold all of his stars at the same time back then, maybe the ones that followed Rio out the door would have commanded larger fees; a) before their club performed so poorly in the autumn of '02, and b) Leeds' financial weakness was laid bare.
Taking the medicine all at once may have been the best thing in the end. Ultimately, it was up to Ridsdale to make this decision in the club's long-term interests but then if he was capable of that there wouldn't be this mess in the first place.
Instead, all he did was deny, deny, and deny until he was forced to resign. Pitifully, he hasn't yet finished doing damage to the once proud club.
Jason Elliott, Boston
Have you not noticed the link between the unnecessary departure of O'Leary, and the decline of Leeds. There should be a diplomatic story into that one.
At the time, O'Leary was certainly the best thing for the club, regardless of big spending and financial concerns. Of the many departures of managers over the last couple of years or so, his was certainly the most unrealistic, unexpected, and foolish.
I think Shaun should play for his country it's us in S.A who made him what he is today, the least he could do is show us some appreciation. These European clubs have a tendency of looking down upon Africa's international games as if they mean nothing because they just want to use our players.
That's why no African team has ever won the World Cup.
As a true South African I just want to wish Shaun and Charlton all the best in the future. Losing him in the Bafana Bafana line up is a blow to South Africa, however I think he has served the country like a true patriot with his prolific goalscoring prowess and he has to move on.
Having said that 'a wise man always changes his mind'. If he does I am sure he will still be welcomed.