The one thing you can guarantee when watching a Liverpool game is that there will be action. With Jurgen Klopp’s expert combination of gegenpressing and, at times, gegenconceding there is usually plenty for pundits and fans to digest, and the match against Tottenham at the weekend was no different. The game had a last 20 minutes like no other this season, and the main talking point seemed to be this – “Did Harry Kane dive?”
So lets look at it from Harry’s point of view: It’s six minutes from time, you’re away at Anfield and the score is 1-1 when you get through one on one with a goalkeeper desperate to prove his point that you know is going to do everything he can to stop you from scoring.
In this situation, Kane’s inch perfect reactions will have allowed him to sense what was coming. He knew that just a little dink to the left would have moved the ball out of Loris Karius’s reach. At this point, I strongly believe that a penalty MUST have been on his mind.
Now what I am about to show you may be very controversial:
This is a shot of Harry Kane’s legs MAKING CONTACT with Karius’s hand. I say it in this way and not that his hand made contact with Kane’s foot because that is exactly my belief: that Harry Kane played for the penalty rather than run through on goal to score. I believe that, rather than take the choice to go past the keeper and score a brilliant 100th goal, he decided to leave his legs in so that he could win a penalty in doing so.
For me, Harry is correct in saying that he felt contact and so decided to go down. However, for me that does not excuse the man that English football fans currently hold up as the shining light of modern football. The saviour, playing for his hometown club and loving life while there could be hundreds of millions on offer elsewhere. At least, for now, that is how most English fans (Gunners aside) will feel about him, while refusing to condemn his actions that are less than savoury, preferring instead to sweep them under the rug. That, I believe, is what happened in this incident. If it was any other player, they would be criticised for going down too easily, battered for making a mockery of the modern game, shunned for being a pariah. Ladies and Gentlemen, the usual suspects:
HOWEVER, I saw barely any of that coming from anyone after the fact. I’m sorry England fans, as hard as this pill might be to swallow, Harry Kane did in fact play for the penalty. He left his leg in, felt the brush of a hand on the top of his boot, decided against carrying on, flung himself into the air, then looked flabbergasted as if to say “Come on ref! I was totally meaning to run through on that! What’s that? Evidence you say? Well….let’s just say it’s damning:
So, okay, he didn’t dive. But the point I’m trying to make here is that he isn’t the golden-hearted local lad who’s fecal matter has the perfume of that of a freshly cut rose. So Virgil, I guess, was also a little right. In my opinion, playing for a penalty is just as good as taking a dive with no contact as it robs viewers of good football and teams of points (and football bloggers of jobs but lets uhhhh leave that for now). The point is this – if you’re not out there to play football then why the hell are you out there at all? If you want to be an acrobat then go join the circus Harry.
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