Gareth Bale: Is Tottenham Winger the Premier League's Biggest Diver?

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Gareth Bale: Is Tottenham Winger the Premier League's Biggest Diver?
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale was booked for simulation for the second time in as many Premier League fixtures recently, sparking a debate that he had become the league's worst diver.

Let's be clear from the outset. This isn't a collection to add to that argument, we're here to look at the instances surrounding the claims and try to decide whether the winger has gained himself an unfair reputation or the accusations are justified.

A "league table" of bookings for diving was recently published by the Daily Mail, leaving Bale free and clear at the top with four to his name. No other Premiership player had more than two.

Naturally, manager Andre Villas-Boas has defended his player in public (via The Mirror):

It is difficult for him, particularly in the last two games. If he has a reputation I think it's a little bit unfair... the last two have been unfair. I think he uses it as a precaution from different types of challenges. I'm not saying all of the players that challenge Gareth are malicious but the action is so quick that it might look like it's not a foul while it is.

In an attempt to prove or debunk the question, here's a recount of the instances of Gareth Bale being accused of diving.

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