Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is worried that Eden Hazard is in danger of getting an unfair reputation for diving and this is making referees more reluctant to award us penalties.
The Belgian international earned the Blues three penalties during the first month of the season and although he’s been fouled in the box since, he’s no longer being awarded spot-kicks. And with simulation coming under increased scrutiny, especially for repeat offenders, Di Matteo is concerned and doesn’t want Hazard to earn a reputation as a diver:
“The first three penalties he got in the first few games were clear-cut penalties.
“But there were a few others where he didn’t get them so I wouldn’t want the officials to have a prejudice against him.
“If it’s a foul, it’s a foul. Sometimes they get them right, sometimes wrong.
“I wouldn’t accuse my players of going down too easily. It’s a different culture. In England you need to try everything to stay on your feet.”
Di Matteo was speaking after our 4-1 win against Norwich at the weekend in which Hazard had two penalty shouts but appeals were ignored by referee Anthony Taylor.
Hazard could almost win us a penalty a game when he races into the opposition penalty box and when you’re going at that pace it isn’t going to take a lot to knock you off your stride, although you can never be so sure with the amount of diving you see these days *cough* Suarez *cough*.
Now, I’m not suggesting none of our players dive. I’ve seen Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz take a tumble a little too easily this season and Oscar was booked for a dive against Stoke, but we’ve had some stonewallers recently and the referees just ain’t giving them, but what can you do?