Talking Point: Did Arjen Robben Dive Against Arsenal? It Would Appear Not… (With GIF Evidence)

Chris Wright

12th, March 2014


By Chris Wright

Germany Soccer Champions League

Now, believe us, we take zero pleasure in defending Arjen Robben and his ilk. Nil. Zilch. The man continues to offend us almost each and every time we seem him play; swooning daintily to the ground under the slightest duress with the same frail, feeble, gossamer-light constitution as the elderly well-to-do ladies who faint at the first sight of blood in Agatha Christie stories.

Diving is a sporting cancer. We abhor it. It is the tactic of the inferior, the cowardly. Yet it prevails.

Anyway, while watching Arsenal-Bayern Munich last night, we – like many other Gooners/neutral fans, we presume – were overcome with apoplectic rage when Robben seemingly took a couple of steps for deciding to mimsy his way to the ground under a “challenge” from Santi Cazorla just inside the penalty area.

However, in the cold light of day we feel we must apologise to Robben. Yes, the fall looked utterly pathetic (almost Gilardino-esque) but, on closer inspection, it would appear the Dutchman had fairly good grounds to hit the deck.

Take a close look at these ‘ere GIFs…

While not overly apparent in the first GIF, the second clearly shows Cazorla giving Robben’s left heel a shredding with his studs after making up ground behind him – which, like it or not, is going to hurt and definitely constitutes a foul.

I’m afraid we’ve got to hold our hands up there. We were wrong. It was a foul.

As for the penalty decision…

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - Bayern Munich v Arsenal - Allianz Arena

Pathetic. It would seem that defending is being slowly phased out of the (contact) sport entirely.

Posted in Arsenal, Bundesliga, Champions League, GIFs, Newsnow, Opinion

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  1. Sean says:

    its a dive, he was already going over!

  2. porter says:

    It really comes down to where you draw the line on contact. If you were running for a bus and someone touched the heel of your shoe or touched your shoulder , would you leap to the pavement ? probably not. Players like Robben wait for the contact and then go down . If you want a purely non contact sport then that’s what you are getting. A foul for a penalty should be a physical contact that brings a player down not the merest of touches.

  3. 2Bob says:

    He had two blatant dives before the penalty, both of which were well after any “contact”. Had the ref done his job, Robben would have already had two yellows and been off the pitch.

  4. Baz says:

    Moronic is the only way to explain this blog!
    The leg that Cazorla clipped still kept running on his next step, so was therefore NOT affected. Robben then took another step and dived. Cazorla didn’t trip him, Robben decided after two more steps that he will go down!
    Amazing that these sites exist when they just talk shit!

    And on the penalty, again he was touched on the ankle, but that would make a baby fall over. But robben dives if he feels any touch. Football is a contact sport. Legs touch legs, boots touch boots, these are not fouls. Robben is a diving cheat and should be banned by fifa – but won’t be.

  5. Captain Obvious says:

    You’re reaching here, lads.

    Cazorla’s boot made contact with his heel, but that should cause no more than a stumble. Robben reacts as if he got rammed by a bull in the back. He exaggerated the effect of the contact – or “simulation” for short – and thus dived.

    I’m interested to see how he’d react to getting fouled as hard as he pretends to be fouled here. I’m thinking Willem Defoe full “Platoon” anguish and death.

    • Anonymous says:

      we aren’t talking about losing to a much better team…..but to a diving cheat. Someone that would put Tom Daly to shame.

  6. khm says:

    We should recognize that we lost against a much much better team. We had no chance of going through. I am not a fan of your post though..

    You seem to imply that a touch is a foul, as you mean Cazorlas touch on Robben is a foul.

    By saying that the slightest touch justifies falling over theatrically to get a foul (incl penalty), means that Gilardino should have had a penalty (if he had fallen over earlier)? Gilardino was touched, and his run was somewhat disturbed.

    The thing is, there has to enough contact so the player is brought down or his run is obstructed for there to be a foul. Furthermore, I believe that it should take a larger foul to justify a penalty as opposed to a free-kick.

  7. Paul N says:

    Robben dived, that is obvious.

    Khm, Bayern were and are not a “much much better team”, that is OTT big time. The red in the first game was the deciding factor, that is obvious.

  8. Delford Magaya says:

    I agree with the writer, who said, Robben is a coward. Normaly when you a good player like the formers Arsenal player Henry, you do not want to dive. Yes you can win by doing that, but it is not all the time where you win games that way. Refrees should watch him out.

  9. Gattsu says:

    Pies is right, I was filled with monocle dropping rage like everyone else, but Robbens achillies clearly gets raked with the studs.

    Not a slight touch……not a nudge…..but a rake of the studs.

  10. CMDG says:

    Definite contact. It’s the theatrical fall that goes against him.

    @Paul N: it was quite evident Bayern didn’t even come out of second gear and bar a 15-20 minute spell we’re fairly comfortable throughout.

  11. Bax says:

    You all realise viewing it in slow motion makes it look a lot less painful? Imagine those metal studs raking down YOUR heel.

  12. Patrick says:

    @CMDG is right. He “dives” in a sense after the contact. He could have stayed on his feet, but he takes his left out from underneath him once he’s realized he can get the penalty. I don’t like the style of play he’s bringing, but it was a legit penalty given the contact.

  13. Patrick says:

    But we really should be talking about Lahm’s dive down at the other end. Robben is a piece for sure. But so is Lahm.

  14. bob says:

    his left leg keeps running and is getting ready to plant his left foot again until he pulls it up and goes down like a sack

  15. Booms says:

    @Delford Magaya … Henry never cheated ????

  16. J.B. says:

    It looks like Carzola’s right toe catches the studs of Robben’s right foot as he’s taking a step. Maybe that’s what threw his step off and he fell.

  17. Cosa says:

    Bayern not a “much better team”? hahahahaahahah!

  18. porter says:

    If rewatching the incidents we are left discussing the minutia of the degree of contact then it is safe to conclude that the touches were not enough to send a full grown man sprawling . He dived to make them seem worse and the referees of the world are culpable for giving the decisions .

  19. Chris Varikos says:

    Its simple, did you make an effort to get the ball? no – Did you make deliberate contact with the player? Yes. Was it in the box? Yes. Were you the last defender? no.

    Yellow and penalty.

    Arsenal fans need to click their heels together and come back from wonderland. They had it all their way in the 2nd leg with the referee – yes you did.

  20. SamNY says:

    I bet this blog is full of people who never kicked a soccer/football ball!! Getting stepped on by studs is the most painful feeling in this game… and if you’re running full speed, it might take a split second to realize the pain. It also only takes a small nudge to disrupt the run of any sprinting player. There is a reason why accidents at 5 miles/hour speed are not as devestating as accidents at 50 miles/hour!

  21. Wesley says:

    First scene: clear foul by Cazorla, unintentionally or not, studs to the heal hurt like a beach.
    Second: Koscielny is stupid for trying to defend through the body of Arjen Robben who had his back facing the goal. Rookie mistake, Robben bites and a penalty can be given.

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