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Brentford player Watkins dive brings rightful criticsim

Dive: (verb) to plunge head first, (noun) deliberately fall when challenged to deceive the referee into awarding a foul.

Now we’ve got the semantics and denotations of what a dive is out of the way, let’s look at the particulars. I am. of course, referring to Olly Watkins against Barnet last night in the FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Barnet.

Let’s make no bones whatsoever about this, based on the above definitions of the word ‘dive’ – what Watkins does is nailed-on. Rid yourself of any thoughts of equivocation or justification – Watkins chooses to go to ground.

You get pundits on football shows talking about concepts such as ‘contact’ or even finely differentiating it to ‘minimal contact’; here there is none. None whatsoever.

Watkins had already gone past Barnet’s David Tutonda, the defender throwing his arms up before Watkins went to ground as if to indicate no tackle had been made. Replays from behind the goal show the total lack of contact clearly. Tutonda even stops himself from making a second-effort challenge AND Watkins is still stood up.

It’s something that really cannot be defended. Yes, you can throw fancy words out like ‘attempt to deceive’ or convoluted concepts such as ‘playing the game’ but there really is only one way to describe this – it’s cheating. Plain and simple cheating.

It’s something that Watkins was accused of before, throwing himself over an on-rushing Bailey Peacock-Farrell in a 1-1 drawn game at Elland Road. At least there a little contact was made AFTER the dive began, as Watkins threw his legs out from under him. Here, not even a hint of contact.

Here’s how some fans have responded to Watkins’ blatant deception of the referee to gain an advantage in the form of a penalty.

Watkins nears Tom Daley Olympic effort – football fans comment

As if to rub salt into the outrage that some are feeling, penalty taker Neal Maupay then got into the face of Barnet’s young keeper Will Huffer to mock him. Not classy, not classy at all.

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