Lawton’s one-eyed, one-sided diatribes

Surprise, surprise. An Arsenal player does a bit of overacting on the football pitch, and James Lawton, the Indy’s chief sports writer, devotes an entire article the following day to attack Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and the players for bringing the game into disrepute.

Was Cesc Fabregas’ reaction to Mikel Arteta’s elbow over the top? I think it most certainly was — Fabregas rolled about seven times as though he had been punched. Nonetheless, Arteta’s rightfully sent off for raising his arm and hitting an opponent.

But why is it that Lawton needs to wait for an Arsenal game to express his outrage? I read the Indy every weekday for over four years, but cannot remember a time when a dive by that expert in diving Cristiano Ronaldo or England’s “boy wonder” Michael Owen (who has admitted to such ‘simulation’) was attacked by Lawton. Indeed, in that Everton-Arsenal game, Phil Neville quite clearly stuck his leg out to con the referee into thinking he had been fouled — yet not a single word from this pompous sports moralist. Yet, we shouldn’t be surprised at all: Lawton has used the downsides of Arsenal and their manager on numerous to highlight the flaws in the contemporary game (mocked by this Arsenal fan).

But at least Lawton doesn’t revel in the ugly English trait of blaming foreigners for such antics and conveniently glossing over foul play and cheating by one of ‘England’s heroes’ (e.g. Alan Shearer’s disgusting attack on a fallen Neil Lennon). A quick scan of the major media outlets shows that all reports of the Everton-Arsenal game do not mention a single word about Phil Neville’s clear dive. Had it been a foreign player, we would have not heard the end of it — certainly the kangaroo court that is Sky Sports would have initiated a trial, found him guilty, then sentenced the player to be hung from the nearest crossbar.

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