Mohamed Salah Told His ‘Dive’ Vs West Ham Is An Insult To Nobby Stiles
Mohamed Salah has bizarrely been accused of insulting the memory of Nobby Stiles with his "dive" to win a penalty against West Ham.
Arthur Masuaku made contact with the Liverpool star on Saturday and Salah made the most of it, theatrically throwing himself to the ground. He then converted the penalty for Liverpool as the champions came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1
However you might find it hard to relate the penalty incident to the sad passing of Nobby Stiles, a World Cup winner with England in 1966, a day before Liverpool vs West Ham. Unless, it seems, you are Tony Cascarino.
The former Chelsea and Republic of Ireland star claimed Liverpool's win was tainted by Salah's "cheating". He also suggested that the Egyptian attacker was somehow disrespecting Stiles with his actions.
Writing in his column in The Times, Cascarino claimed: "I am a Liverpool supporter but I hated to see Mohamed Salah dive to win the penalty against West Ham."
"In the week when we lost Nobby Stiles, to see a player do what Salah did makes me think that the game as it was played by the England team of 1966 will be gone completely within the next 10 years."
With no disrespect to the legends of 1966, we'd argue that (54 years having passed since that win over West Germany) the game has surely already altered and 'gone completely' from what it was. But that didn't stop Big Cas.
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"Imagine showing that generation an example of what they would have considered cheating being rewarded in that way," he added.
"The culture started to change during my playing career and now when I watch kids football they are all as good at diving as they are at everything else. And when I say good at it, I mean they go down in a way that may deceive a referee into giving a free-kick."
Undoubtedly players going down easily, looking to win penalties and free-kicks, gets under the skin of lots of football pundits and fans. Graeme Souness on Sky Sports also didn't believe it was a penalty, despite the contact, claiming: "That is two players coming together in the box and Salah has fallen in a completely unnatural way.
"I might get into trouble here, but I'm with West Ham manager David Moyes here. That is a harsh penalty... I've seen Salah do this time and time again. I think it's careless from the defender and he has given Salah a chance to throw himself to the ground."
Certainly many will agree with Souness that Salah earned a soft penalty against the Hammers. But what Cascarino hopes to achieve in hauling Nobby Stiles into the debate is anyone's guess.
Stiles was a tough-tackling defensive midfielder in a far more physical era of football. As well as being a first-choice player for Alf Ramsey's World Cup winners, Stiles was also a Manchester United legend making 395 appearances for the club, winning two league titles and the 1968 European Cup.
His death at age 78 after long illness brought warm tributes from those who knew him. And also delivered a rather outlandish correlation from Cascarino.
All imagery: PA Images
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