The furore amongst the English media and supporters of English football teams (and Real Madrid) over Barcelona cheating amazes me. Cheating is part of the game. English players cheat. Players for the club you support cheat.

This piece by Andi Thomas covers the hypocrisy of the English media’s approach.

What’s interesting, however, is the persistent and constant elision of English deception from the English media’s presentation of the English game. While the amount of moralising that followed the clásico was due in no small part to the waves of hype that had preceded it, there nevertheless remains a stubborn refusal to admit that this might be something that is a problem with all football, not just other football. This attitude finds its nadir with Steven Gerrard (yes, alright, him again. But does any player so neatly encapsulate English football? None that I can think of), who once told the Daily Mail, apparently with a straight face, “I don’t think there’s anything worse than a player diving when no-one’s been anywhere near him. It does ruin the game”.