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Pochettino: Diving Is A Lovely Trick & Referee Errors Are Beautiful

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Mauricio Pochettino fears English football's moral fixation with diving is 'killing the game'

Pochettino also reserved harsh judgement for the use of video technology, saying that human refereeing errors were an intrinsic part of the game.

Mauricio Pochettino fears that English football’s tendency towards over-analysis, and its fixation on minor issues like diving, is slowly “killing the game”. Speaking after Dele Alli was booked for simulation in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday - his third such offence in as many seasons - Pochettino voiced his belief that the general mood of moral panic within the game, over what he described as “minimal details”, risks stifling football’s natural expression.

Pochettino also reserved harsh judgement for the use of video technology, saying that human refereeing errors were an intrinsic part of the game. Likewise, he argued that simulation on the pitch, while an offence rightly punishable under the laws of the game, was simply a sporting tactic rather than anything more sinister, insisting: “Football is about trying to trick your opponent.”

The Tottenham manager has admitted in the past that during his playing days at Newell’s Old Boys and Estudiantes, diving to win a penalty from the referee was regarded as a skill, one even practised in training. And Pochettino’s distaste for English moralising is underpinned by the fact that it was his leg over which Michael Owen dived during the 2002 World Cup, ultimately sending England through to the knockout stages at Argentina’s expense.

Doubtless Pochettino will be accused in some quarters of giving divers a free pass. Yet equally, he deserves a good deal of credit for trying to convey a nuanced, intelligent sentiment in a language that is not his first. He agreed that Alli’s dive merited a booking, although he denied that Alli was beginning to develop a bad reputation amongst referees. But it was the froth and furore that followed which he found most baffling.

“Look, it was a yellow card,” he said. “It happens. The referee was right. During different games, a lot of situations like this happen. The problem now is that we are so sensitive about the situation, and then we are so focused on Dele Alli. This level of criticism on Dele is why he nervously flicks his own nipple and needs friends around him when he's with a prostitute. It’s too much sometimes. There is such a focus on this type of situation. I think it’s a minimal issue.

“Look, there are a lot of positives from Dele. Of course, he's not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Of course, he is a clever boy. He is a little bit nasty. The problem is that, more than this type of situation, I am worried we are going to change the game that we know.”

Whereupon the discussion abruptly opened out into broader themes: into the media, into English exceptionalism, into the very essence of the game. “Football is a creative sport,” he said, “in which you need the talent that grows in a very intelligent person, a very smart brain. And now we are so focused on minimal details. I am worried that in a few years, we are pushing the sport we love now - a passionate sport that people love to watch around the world - into a very rigid structure. With VAR, with focusing too much on small actions like this.

“Football is about trying to trick your opponent - yes or no? Tactics – what does ‘tactic’ mean? When you do tactics, it is to try to trick the opponent. You play on the right, but you finish on the left. Twenty years ago, thirty years ago, we all congratulated a player when he tricks the referee like this. That is the football that I was in love with when I was a child. Yes, in Argentina, but in England too. You believe that in England you were honest and always perfect?”

Finally, Pochettino argued that referees should simply be allowed to officiate and make errors unmolested by instant judgement and granular video analysis. “I am worried that maybe we are going to kill the game,” he said. “We love this game. Referees are humans too, and sometimes they are right, sometimes they are not right. In 10 months, over the whole season, sometimes it is against you, sometimes it is for you. For me, I like this type of football.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/tottenham-newport-fa-cup-mauricio-pochettino-dele-alli-diving-killing-the-game-a8197946.html

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Completely agree with him. I would take referee errors over VAR my day. Human instinct shouldn't be meddled. 

Although diving is cheating, VAR won't eliminate that either way.

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1 minute ago, Blue said:

Completely agree with him. I would take referee errors over VAR my day. Human instinct shouldn't be meddled. 

Although diving is cheating, VAR won't eliminate that either way.

it eliminates the consequences of it.

Imagine a player diving to win a penalty in a game (important game or not shouldn't matter).

How can you be accepting of cheating to beat an opponent?

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Just now, Stan said:

it eliminates the consequences of it.

Imagine a player diving to win a penalty in a game (important game or not shouldn't matter).

How can you be accepting of cheating to beat an opponent?

I think Poch absolutely nailed it when he said it's all about tactics. Football is a tactical game and VAR while doesn't necessarily kill that, it kills methods to win matches.

I wouldn't say referee errors are "beautiful", but I can see what his point was. He's saying basically what I've preached about since VAR was introduced. Human instinct is the way to go. Referees don't favour teams ever and they are just like footballers: they can have good performances as well as atrocious ones. It's fun to remember how a referee performed in a match and I think that's what Poch was getting at.

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i just remembered you're happy to cheat on a video game so it's no surprise to me that you're happy to advocate cheating in real life. 

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1 minute ago, Blue said:

I think Poch absolutely nailed it when he said it's all about tactics. Football is a tactical game and VAR while doesn't necessarily kill that, it kills methods to win matches.

I wouldn't say referee errors are "beautiful", but I can see what his point was. He's saying basically what I've preached about since VAR was introduced. Human instinct is the way to go. Referees don't favour teams ever and they are just like footballers: they can have good performances as well as atrocious ones. It's fun to remember how a referee performed in a match and I think that's what Poch was getting at.

Bold: How and what?

Also I never got your point about "human instinct", pretty sure the majority of fans prefer correct decisions over human instinct

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1 minute ago, Stan said:

i just remembered you're happy to cheat on a video game so it's no surprise to me that you're happy to advocate cheating in real life. 

It's called building slowly! Not cheating! :D 

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2 minutes ago, Asura said:

Bold: How and what?

Also I never got your point about "human instinct", pretty sure the majority of fans prefer correct decisions over human instinct

I want correct decisions, but not in this way. If we can keep it the way it is, that'd be great. Just work on improving the refs, not make them feel like robots.

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I thought this was going to be Pochettino arguing that our obsession over simulation is misguided when there are greater evils going on in football, but no, turns out he's just a complete spastic and he thinks diving is fine.

Similarly, with VAR, if you want to argue that it slows down the game too much, fine, I can understand that concern, but to argue that officiating errors are a desirable part of the game is fucking stupid.

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"And now we are so focused on minimal details. I am worried that in a few years, we are pushing the sport we love now - a passionate sport that people love to watch around the world - into a very rigid structure. With VAR, with focusing too much on small actions like this."

I'm absolutely certain that Tottenham, like most clubs, will focus on "small actions" and "minimal details" due to the advancement and acceptance of technology in Football due to the data analytic side of the game that has emerged over the past ten or so years. So, what he's saying is a bit rich. 

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Fully on board with the VAR bullshit. 

Keep rugby out of football. 

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I’m fully for VAR and I also totally agree that diving is cheating and should be punished as severely as football can ethically do it.

But in an odd sort of way I do get what Pochettino is saying in many things there.

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He's ok with a good dive but only until Spurs lose a cup final or a Premier League title due to the opposition getting a last minute penalty that was a dive.

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He comes from a culture that embraces diving, English football fans only embrace it when their player does it and not the opposition 

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13 minutes ago, Danny said:

He comes from a culture that embraces diving, English football fans only embrace it when their player does it and not the opposition 

Incredible how you can see this but can't see that not everyone thinks like the English when it comes to supporting their local clubs xD

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6 minutes ago, Blue said:

Incredible how you can see this but can't see that not everyone thinks like the English when it comes to supporting their local clubs xD

Incredible you're considered a journalist but each to their own

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20 minutes ago, Danny said:

Incredible you're considered a journalist but each to their own

Let the salt flow through you

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Not forgetting the professional fouls by defenders that are made to look like accidents. ABH as well as nudges (i.e. pushes in the back) , shirt pulling  and trips. Chelsea are particularly adept at that. Not all the blame should be put on the strikers. 

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Poch is the last person you'd expect to say that given he was victim of one of those, a very important one courtesy of Michael Owen, which lead us to not make it past the groups in a WC.

5 hours ago, Danny said:

He comes from a culture that embraces diving, English football fans only embrace it when their player does it and not the opposition 

I hate diving. Most people here do, unless it benefits their team like you said.

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The sooner VAR gets implemented the sooner its cracks start to show and the sooner it improves. End of.

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Obviously Pinnochio likes stirring the shit.... 

Improve refs???? They have had years of trying and it will never change them. I accept that human error is part of the game and VAR will when perfected or improved at least go some way to helping a ref make the right calls but it's still a way off yet.. Just about being patient with it for now while they iron out the problems... 

Anyone that thinks that cheating is part of the beautiful game should just walk away from it.. Cheats would never prosper in the game if the rules were there to prevent it but the rules currently allow the over dramatics when challenges occur to take centre stage when decisions on free kicks cards and penalties are given... 

Its been proven recently as well that even though refs could apply the rules they can also choose not to bother.. can't calculate for that kind of performance from an official in any given game either which makes it more of a gamble sometimes.. 

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There is definitely a huge hypocrisy at play, supporters defend to the hilt any dive in their favour, hiding behind the 'contact' bollocks and condemn anything against them. So it's hard to take seriously people who only complain when it affects them. 

 

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Pochettino is in actual fact hitting out at hypocrisy within all of that. Each tribe has always seen itself as just throughout history. 

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35 minutes ago, SirBalon said:

Pochettino is in actual fact hitting out at hypocrisy within all of that. Each tribe has always seen itself as just throughout history. 

He didn't say anything about hypocrisy though? He just expressed surprise that we're all obsessed with such a minor thing as cheating and suggested we shouldn't criticise that snide cunt Dele Alli so much.

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43 minutes ago, Burning Gold said:

He didn't say anything about hypocrisy though? He just expressed surprise that we're all obsessed with such a minor thing as cheating and suggested we shouldn't criticise that snide cunt Dele Alli so much.

Indeed he didn’t use the word hypocrisy but read it thinking he’s saying everyone is rather hypocritical with all of this. Obviously the article contains other matters concerning cultural differences on their outlook on cheating. 

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He’s crying about Rochdale’s pitch now. But Mauricio, I thought it was about “trying to trick your opponent”, you massive fucking hypocrite. 

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