Theo Walcott

Walcott admits he dived trying to win a penalty

The mixture of feelings at the final whistle was confusing. It’s been many years since I’ve been disappointed with a draw away to Arsenal and though the result is a massive achievement that can’t be taking away from the players, a 90th minute equaliser from the penalty spot will always hurt!

There was little doubt about that penalty – Ben Parker clearly made contact with Walcott. However, Arsenal had a similar claim just a few minutes before. Initially referee, Phil Dowd, pointed to the spot, judging contact had been made between Alex Bruce and Walcott, only for the referee’s assistant to flag for offside causing Dowd to reverse his decision.

Walcott has since admitted that he dived! Speaking to Talksport, he claims it was his first ever dive and that he had a “laugh and a joke” about it with the referee afterwards. Regardless of the fact the penalty wasn’t given in the end it is a hard fact to take that – in a game that rested so finely on tight decisions – Walcott has got away with a potentially game changing piece of cheating.

Although he claims Alex Bruce – who put in an immaculate performance – “was fine about it”. Had the linesman’s flag not gone up and saved everyone’s blushes there would certainly have been less laughing and joking.

Walcott has apologised for his actions and claims he isn’t happy with himself.  However, his admission does open up the debate for retrospective punishment yet again.