Football

BT Sport Had A Very Curious Approach To Discussing Marcus Rashford's Dive Against Swansea

BT Sport Had A Very Curious Approach To Discussing Marcus Rashford's Dive Against Swansea

Few pursuits have mastered the art of doublespeak quite like football, and we were given one of the great examples on BT Sport today. Marcus Rashford dived to win Manchester United a penalty in the dying minutes of the first-half of their televised Premier League game against Swansea City. Not that the pundits on BT Sport managed to call it that way. In the Premier League, foreigners dive, while English players "initiate contact". While Graham Poll did say on air that the referee got the decision wrong, nobody actually said it outright that Rashford had dived. Poll didn't say that Rashford dived, nor did Robbie Savage, and nor did Glenn Hoddle, with Savage instead filling the air with the notion that Fabianski had made an error in coming out, and attempted to correct it. (Without saying that Fabianski had, in fact, corrected his error).

On co-commentary, Robbie Savage speculated that Michael Owen might agree at half-time that it was "good centre-forward's play" by Rashford. They chatted about it, and eventually host Jake Humphrey raised the D-word, asking if it is overly harsh to say that Rashford dived. The word was eventually torn from Owen's throat:

Your eyes light up as centre forward, thinking aye,aye. The keeper has made a bad decision and you think,’I’m going to find the contact somewhere. You see Rashford - his knees buckle and he realises Fabianski’s pulled his arms away.

Yes. It... ends up a dive. You're waiting to be hit.

You’re never going to plant your foot that situation. I’ve done it before and had my foot broken. If your foot’s off the ground, you’re not going to get hurt - you just ride the challenge. It’s a situation where you don’t want to get hurt however you still want a penalty.

It ended up a dive but your sort of protecting yourself.

We're not sure what he means by it "ended up a dive", presumably in the same way that Michaelangelo ended up painting the roof of the Sistine Chapel.

In fairness, once Owen had broken the taboo by actually saying the word, Poll was sufficiently emboldened to say that it was indeed, a dive, and when asked by Humphrey whether he would have booked Rashford, Poll replied that he would.

Elsewhere, on the BBC, Chris Sutton was unequivocal in his condemnation of Rashford, saying that it was "never a penalty in a million years", and that it was "really poor" from Rashford:

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On Spanish TV meanwhile, the commentators took the "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed" approach:

See Also: Seamus Coleman Explains What Was Going Through His Mind After Neil Taylor's Tackle

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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