Diving. We Stand

As you know, we at Football Friends abhor the diving culture that has seeped into out beautiful game – it is ungentlemanly, unsavoury, and it just isn’t English.

The FA might be content to continue counting their money over at Wembley and do nothing, but we won’t. We want to rid football of this disease, and make a stand for the values of the English game.

As part of our diving campaign, we will actively name and shame the Premier League’s main perpetrators each month, starting this month with one of the modern masters, Didier Drogba.

With 94 goals and 52 assists from 188 Premier League appearances, Chelsea’s number eleven is without doubt one of English football’s greatest imports.

His mix of exquisite technique, deadly finishing and perfect physique deservedly make him one of the most-feared strikers in the world.

But how can a man battle the effects of malaria and single-handedly bully defences one week, while displaying the balance and strength of a geriatric Bambi on ice the next?

Arsene and Rafa have both had their public moans about Drogba’s low-pain threshold and fetish for feigning injury, and coming from rival managers it is understandable.

But when your ‘special’ ex-manager Jose admits it, that is just embarrassing.

Almost as much as admitting it yourself on Match of the Day, before hastily retracting it, which is even worse.

Picking a favourite Drogba dive is like choosing your favourite Clint Eastwood film, very tough.

Though like the first Dirty Harry, there is one that just edges the rest and that comes from Chelsea’s visit to West Brom in March 2006 –  well worth revisiting on youtube if you’ve forgotten it.

The sight of a 6 foot 2, 14 stone beast of a man that can manage to contort his body like a member of the Royal Ballet is impressive.  

Mr. T can hold onto those Snickers for now, however, because much like his scoring this season, Drogba’s diving is now a lot less prolific too – he’s even ranked in this season’s top ten of players who have conceded the most fouls.

Maybe it is down to experience, or maybe it’s just not as much fun without the competition from Cristiano Ronaldo, who knows? But Drogba has definitely cleaned up his act.

Although, in the eyes of all of us at Football Friends, Didier. Once a cheat, always a cheat.

James Riley

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