Date:Sunday September 3 2006
The debate on the John Terry did he didn't he dive against Blackburn Rovers is still continuing. Mark Hughes thinks he did, but Terry Venables has now backed the England man in saying he didn't.
The challenge on Terry by Andre Ooijer that earned Chelsea their penalty, from which Frank Lampard opened the scoring in Rovers' 2-0 defeat in their last Premiership match on Sunday 27th August, has caused much conflict.
Ooijer and Terry jostled for position whilst awaiting a free-kick, but Ooijer did seem to have more of Terry. Some would argue it was a soft penalty but all Rovers fans know had it been at the other end we'd have been claiming it. Hughes said:
"John Terry is aware Andre is closely marking him and knows the referee is looking at him and then decides to collapse his knees. He falls in a heap and that is what the referee has seen."
Former England Manager Terry Venables, now back in the England set-up as number two to Steve McLaren is backing the England skipper, speaking in the News of the World he said:
"There is about as much chance of England's captain taking a dive as there would be of Mark putting on that act in his heyday."
"He neither is, or was, scared to take a battering. So I do not believe for one second that Terry dived to win Chelsea a penalty at Blackburn last week."
Personally I'm not convinced that Terry did dive. Ooijer certainly had more of Terry than Terry him, it was clumsy and probably a needless penalty to concede.
Venables would also say:
"Whether Terry went over or not, what Ooijer was doing in holding him with both arms are he made a run for a free-kick was a clear penalty offence."
"What it needs is 20 more like it to be given next weekend, then maybe players will kick this habit and get back to the art of defending."
You see this type of thing that happened between Ooijer and Terry all the time so I would agree with Venables in the respect that referees need to punish this consistently, the lack of consistency shown by referees often angers fans. If these are going to be given they have to be given by all referees, not a select few.
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Date:Sunday September 3 2006
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