Walcott ribbed Ox chipped Bale dived and Falcao falced

The big news this morning is the blow that Theo Walcott took from San Marino’s keeper Aldo Simoncini. I’ve only seen videos and photos but it looks a terrible foul by Simoncini and one which should have been a straight red card. He wasn’t even booked, probably and ironically, because “Simoncini won the ball”.

Unironically, The Daily Mail, who normally have little love for the Arsenal and are quick to defend red card tackles as long as the player “won the ball”, published a pretty scathing review of the tackle and have the best photos of the incident. Go figure.

Walcott walked off the field but then suffered difficulty breathing and had to be stretchered to the changing room. From there he went to the hospital and spent the evening. At least those are the reports I’m hearing. Accuracy doesn’t really matter for this story, what matters is that Gooners panic and say things like “I never thought that West Ham would be Theo’s last game for Arsenal” and “sad end to his Arsenal career, but fuck  him I never rated him anyway.”

I suspect that since it’s October and since his rib is reportedly not broken, we may have Theo to kick around for a few more games. Maybe. We’ll see.

England looked comically poor against San Marino and the score line certainly flattered the home side. The highlights are available on 101 Great Goals and while you watch them, remember these are the highlights. The Ox got on the score sheet for England’s fifth and it was the pick of the litter. Cleverly loses possession while dribbling straight at Ox and the ball goes to the Arsenal man, who simply passes the ball into the upper corner to become “the fourth youngest ever England goal scorer”. After the game, Ox said that he felt relieved to get his first England goal because apparently his dad has been giving him stick about it.

Meanwhile in the Welsh game, Gareth Bale continued the trend of proving me right by both getting fouled and diving at the same time. As I wrote a few days back, there exists the possibility that a player is fouled and also dives. Here in this gif you see that happen again. I know that no one agrees with me but I definitely think Bale should have been booked and that he was fouled.

The other thing that happened in that Wales game is that Aaron Ramsey missed a bunch of chances. Petulantly stripped of the captaincy by Welsh manager Chris Coleman after Ramsey said he didn’t want to play with the man who broke his leg (Ryan Shawcross), the Arsenal man showed real class to play on and keep the Welsh team driving forward. Shame he didn’t get on the score sheet. That would have been the ultimate middle finger to Coleman.

And finally, I’d just like to remind everyone that this guy named Falcao is really good. Really good. Love to see him at Arsenal.

Other stuff happened yesterday too. Discuss that and tell me that I have my head up my ass for believing that a player should be booked for simulation even if they are fouled in the comments below.



29 thoughts on “Walcott ribbed Ox chipped Bale dived and Falcao falced

  1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

    The dive is unquestionable to me. Ridiculous. I don’t know that I see the foul, though. Seems like they touched legs and I’m not sure the defender is entirely at fault for that. Either way, yes. That’s diving for sure.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Poogs

    Tim u don’t get enough credit haha your articles are always relevant and concise, occasionally funny

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1stonroy

    We were interested in Falcao a couple of years back but there is no chance now. Maybe in 2014 with the new deals we’ll spend some money.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1wardy

    How would you start to penalize some one for diving when they have been fouled. Do you realize how many appeals they would be??? If bale keeps going he will end up with the sot of support suarez gets from officials. None!
    Nobody wants to see diving in the game. Nobody! simulation should be an instant booking and if you accumulate 4 for simulation you should have a minimum 4 game ban with a hefty fine attached to both player and club. What would be refreshing is seeing clubs act on it themselves and fine the player.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      Reverse psychology: everything I predict is wrong. So, if I predict he will leave in January, then he will stay.


      1. Vote -1 Vote +1jaymin

        you’ve never made a direct call such as this in the past, and you are now deservedly in the know of internal Arsenal matters, so I am not going to bet against your being correct on this, which makes me sad. Would hate to see Theo in a Chelsea or City shirt.

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    I’m growing fond of Theo. He does look quite useful of late, especially as a sub. But I agree with Tim. He’ll be off in January.

  6. Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    I hate internationals with a reluctant exception for world cup qualifiers. I have to tolerate them, because even though I come from a minnow of a footballing country which most of the time doesn’t even qualify, I do get caught up in the excitement of the world cup. Every four years you see pretty much all 32 flags in this town except for the Maple Leaf.

    That all being said, why does FIFA allow an even tinier minnow like San Marino to play at this level? Have they ever won a match? Are they happy to be the Washington Generals to everybody’s Harlem Globetrotters? Or are they get frustrated and starting to break the bones of the opposition? Not that I wish injury on any player, but of course it had to be a Gunner didn’t it? Couldn’t have been a body from Chelsea or Man U or Man City or Totts. It just had to be us.

    I heard on The Guardian Football Weekly that a couple of the San Marino players were bus drivers who owned a bus company and actually drove some of the ticket holders to a match a few years ago. I really just don’t get it.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

      FIFA really need to have a minnows’ tournament, in which San Marino can compete against the likes of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, the Faeroe Islands and other footballing giants.

      The winner could then go on to try their hand against the big boys.

    2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1jax

      They did actually win once (against Litchenstein I believe), but have you heard that Gibraltar (with it’s population of 29K) is the next “nation” likely to get full FIFA status and will compete in World and EUEFA cups? I understand that this has really pissed off Spain. Can’t think why!

    3. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

      How else would you get the big name players to stop by these little places for a match? Their citizens probably wait eagerly every two years to find out who they’ll get to see live this time. Let them have their little pleasures.

  7. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

    I noticed this comment from a Stoke supporter at the bottom of the Daily Mail article:

    Theo Walcott will always be a lightweight football player I remember him playing at Stoke for Arsenal for all of three minuets then he went shoulder shoulder with a Stoke player and landed in the stands with a dislocated shoulder there was nothing wrong with them going shoulder to shoulder but the young lad is a lightweight and don’t forget his manager at Arsenal is always telling them that the players from other teams can not make contact with them so when someone comes along with a little rough challenge it surprises them hence the utter look of astonishment on Theo’s face as he lies on the ground. Its a contact sport Roy and Theo get used to it.
    - simply the best , Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom, 13/10/2012 19:55


  8. Vote -1 Vote +1Cliffy

    Gareth Bale, the same 50 Mn man…who consistently season after season has scored less goals than Theo Walcott..except for last year where he scored one extra goal…
    He keeps getting bullied…dives around…does not always play in the best interest of the team…and still get more plaudits than Theo..

    I never get what is the whole hype is about…

    I am not saying he is skill less… But Bale’s goals are more speculative crack at the goals than intended ones..
    Just my observation..I could be very wrong and Bale might be the best winged angel the island ever produced…

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1Jay Allen

    Odd. I’m no fan of dive-y Bale’s but looking at that gif, I think the fall is absolutely legit. The defender peels off to his left and clips Bale’s right heel just as his foot is moving forward, subsequently catching his own leg. You can even see the effect that the clip has on the defender who himself stutters right after the contact.

    Anyway, I hate being in the position of defending any Spurs player for any reason (especially Bale when it comes to diving) but this one ain’t a smoking gun…

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1steve

    Jay Allen…..
    But is that a foul, does just making any sort of contact automatically make it a foul. Did the Scottish player mean to make contact?
    you here it on match of the day and sky “there was contact so its a pen/free kick” There has to a difference between accidental contact and deliberate contact… hasn’t there?

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1Jay Allen

    > But is that a foul, does just making any sort of contact automatically make it a foul. Did the Scottish player mean to make contact?

    I don’t think intention matters in this case nor ironically does the actual contact. The question to answer, if I was the official, is “did the contact impede the player in a way that gave the defender (or his team) an unfair advantage.” Because the contact tripped Bale, my answer would be yes.

    > you here it on match of the day and sky “there was contact so its a pen/free kick” There has to a difference between accidental contact and deliberate contact… hasn’t there?

    IMHO when judging fouls, you can’t judge on intention because then we need officials who are ALSO empaths/mind readers (and lord knows how bad they would be at that). Only the effect on the players can be objectively assessed for a fair judgment.

  12. Vote -1 Vote +1Jay Allen

    To answer your question more directly, the above does implicitly mean that not all contact equals a foul. But in this case, I think there was cause for the foul.

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

    Oh, Falcao Falcao…. he doesn’t even know the turmoil he caused over here on our local FA (Paraguay). WC is a distant target for us now.

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