Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale: Is He Really "That Kind of Player"?

Kim Newsome@@KimNewsomeContributor IIJanuary 1, 2013

Dive or No Dive?
Dive or No Dive?Matthew Lewis/Getty Images


3 - Only three of the five yellow cards Gareth Bale has received this season have been for simulation. Mythbusting.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 1, 2013


Is it really mythbusting or is it the proof in the pudding?  Gareth Bale has only had five yellows this season, yet the majority of them have been for that most loathsome part of the game (for some), diving.  On Boxing Day the Spurs player went in the book for simulation for the third time in five games, earning him a one-match ban which sees him miss the New Year's Day match against Reading.  After the match, a furious Bale told reporters:

 “It’s the same thing every time. It’s the third time I’ve been clipped this season and I’ve been booked for no reason again. It’s one of those things. There’s nothing I can do about it. Referees have to look closer I think."

“It’s not something I’m doing, it’s people thinking I’m diving when there is actually contact. At the end of the day if there is contact then it’s a penalty or free-kick. If there is contact and I fall over, what am I expected to do, hit my head on the floor?”

Is Bale the victim here?  Let's take a look:

Is that a dive or a penalty?  Gareth Bale is 6'1 and weighs about 160 pounds, has been trained at the highest level to maintain body control when running at a high speed, yet he fell to the ground when a defender appeared to brush the right side of his body.  

You be the ref:  Dive or penalty?  Did Bale deserve his one match ban?