Arsenal Forward Robin Van Persie Admits To Exaggerating Falls
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has admitted that he has exaggerated falls in the past, and defended his theatrics by insisting he is simply demonstrating to the referee that fouls were committed against him.
Diving has emerged as a hot-button issue this season, especially around the Emirates, since Eduardo Da Silva’s infamous tumble against Celtic in a Champions League play-off. Also, Emmanuel Eboue was booked for an awkward bit of simulation in a loss to Manchester United.
Manager Arsene Wenger came out against diving in his defence of Eduardo, and while the Dutchman also condemns outright cheating in the game, he believes his embellishments are a legitimate signal for officials to follow.
“Yes, I did,” said van Persie when asked if he’d ever exaggerated a topple. “Sometimes when you are in the middle of an action and you get a little push and you know there’s nothing more to take. Then you are in the right to show in a way to the ref that you are pushed. That’s not really diving. It’s just showing ‘Come on, he just pushed me, so I can’t score now.’
“You sometimes have a little movement with your arms or with your body, but I don’t think that’s really cheating. It’s never my intention to dive, anyway. It is a bit tricky, I have to say, because I am against divers. It is just not honest. But it is difficult because, sometimes, like I had a little moment against Manchester United in the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford last month.
“For example, after the whole Eduardo thing, when I had the ball on the right side and I cut it back. Patrice Evra gave me a little push — a really little one — but it sort of outbalanced me. I just fell down and the whole stadium started to boo me. I was, like, ‘Come on, can’t you see he pushed me?’
“Some people don’t see these little pushes and they can give you a whole different picture to what the situation really is.
It doesn’t play on my mind, never, because I always have the intention not to dive. But sometimes you are out of balance, it looks a bit funny.”