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Commence the simulation witch-hunt

If he weighs the same as a duck...

Clive Rose/Getty Images

The manager must be loving it. Ish. Chelsea, having flattered to deceive for long stretches against Hull City, are not being questioned over their performance. Instead, they're being questioned for their honesty. Steve Bruce led the charge after the match, complaining bitterly about notorious diver Gary Cahill:

But when you watch [the dive] over, it’s like something out of Swan Lake. It’s that blatant, that obvious what he’s trying to do.

There’s no justification for it. He’s taken off thinking Meyler is going to challenge him, looking to win the penalty. In Latin countries it’s applauded but people enjoy the Premier League because of its honesty and integrity. We need to stop this simulation that has crept in.

Source: Guardian.

Ok that's entirely too much rah-rah England for me, but you understand the sentiment. Diving is bad and we don't like it, and Bruce thinks that had Cahill been adequately punished for his second-half fall the game might have been very, very different. In fairness, he might be right, although not protesting for a penalty kind of indicates that the big centre half was taking evasive action before getting a kicking from Meyler rather than actively trying to win a penalty.

Bruce's frustration plus the yellow cards received by Willian and Diego Costa for simulation (the second one, at least, was quite clearly an utter nonsense), has pushed the narrative around the match to 'what a bunch of dirty divers Chelsea are'. I mean, check out the BBC's bullet point summary:

  • Chelsea maintain three-point lead
  • Two Chelsea players booked for diving
  • Bruce furious Cahill not shown red card
  • Huddlestone sent off for Hull

The problem with the media focusing on Chelsea's imaginary diving habit is that it'll have a direct impact on how we're refereed in the future. Eden Hazard in particular has trouble with getting kicked and not getting calls, and if referees are paying attention to the nonsense Match of the Day and friends have been spouting, he's liable to get kicked even harder in future.

There's obviously not a whole lot we can do about this. It's just stupid and annoying that Chris Foy's weird refereeing performance is somehow our fault.

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