I’m surprised by how much has been made of the Mohamed Diame (alleged!) elbow on the ball on Saturday.
In case you haven’t seen it, 10 minutes before half-time the ball was headed from a corner (I think) and as the ball headed towards goal, it came into contact with the Newcastle midfielder’s arm.
As usual, it is largely down to the TV companies as to what gets talked about after matches.
If Match of The Day and/or Sky Sports pick out and feature it, then everybody else follows, such as the newspapers etc.
That has been the case with the Swansea match, both main broadcasters, no doubt BT Sport will have done the same, showing video reruns of the incident.
Yes it hit Diame’s elbow, but a Swansea player changed the direction of the ball just in front of the Newcastle player, and it looked more of an instinctive reflex when his arm went up and stopped the ball going in the net.
That isn’t to say that it shouldn’t have been a penalty and probably a red card because it was, certainly we would have felt hard done by if it had happened at the other end and nothing given.
However, the way some pundits/fans have went on, you would think it was premeditated cheating just like Maradona’s disgraceful hand of God incident. An incident which for me meant he could never be considered a true great, no matter how good he was. A cheat is a cheat.
In the wider picture, it is amazing how much power TV companies do have in dictating the agenda.
Just look at the opening day of the season, yes Jonjo Shelvey deserved to go for his stupidity but Dele Alli was in no danger of any serious harm. In contrast, Harry Kane’s shocking challenge on Florian Lejuene put him out of the game after only half an hour and he was on the injured list for some time, yet there was nothing said afterwards regarding how Kane should have had more serious punishment.
Even worse, when Newcastle lost to Everton, Wayne Rooney blatantly elbowed Matt Ritchie in the face and whilst the officials missed it at the time, it was unbelievable how the TV companies didn’t even replay it or make it into a big talking point.
About time we got a little luck and who knows, maybe Diame’s elbow and the point Newcastle subsequently picked up on Saturday, may be a deciding factor at the end of the season.
Mohamed Diame talking to the Chronicle:
“It all happened very quickly to be honest.
“I just saw the ball and wanted to move my body but my arm went quicker than my body.
“It wasn’t a goal, I am happy for that – that is it.
“When you play Swansea at home you’re disappointed not to win it but we have to take the positive things from it.
“I think we could have scored in the first half and made the game easier for us but it is a point.
“If we can win, it’s great, if you can draw, at least you haven’t lost.
“We just have to keep going as we are and the more we play, the shape of the team is stronger.
“We did have opportunities to score and didn’t take them – after that – it wasn’t easy to keep our shape.
“It won’t be easy at Man City, it will be tough, and we’ll have to work hard.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Swansea 1
Newcastle: Joselu 68
Swansea: Ayew 60
Possession was Swansea 58% Newcastle 42%
Total shots were Swansea 8 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Swansea 5 Newcastle 4
Corners were Swansea 5 Newcastle 4
Referee: Graham Scott
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Merino 82), Atsu, Gayle (Joselu 64), Perez
Elliot, Haidara, Manquillo, Hayden, Murphy
Crowd: 51,444 (Swansea 1,100)
(Alan Shearer spells it out after watching Newcastle 1 Swansea 1 – Read it HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Swansea draw HERE)
(Swansea boss says Newcastle lucky to avoid red card, penalty and defeat – Read it HERE)
(Read what Rafa Benitez had to say after the game HERE)