Did Meyler dive? Is Huth a saintly Stoke figure? Is Pulis serious?

Martin O’Neill said, ahead of viewing replays, he thought it a nasty challenge. David Meyler has ample reason, after suffering serious injuries, to be anxious to avoid another.

Tony Pulis, in the manner now automatically adopted by beaten managers, was adamant: Meyler, “or whatever his name is”, went down under Robert Huth’s lunge with the express intention of getting the Stoke player sent off. As he was.

Even allowing for the preposterous things managers are apt to say, when looking for ways to explain failure, it is a serious charge to level. Either he is right and Meyler is a cheat, or he is wrong and guilty of slander.


See also: Pete Sixsmith’s brilliant account of the game, the snow, the controversy, the whole lot …

Let’s here Pulis out (via Sky):

I think Robert commits himself them pulls out, and I don’t think he actually touches Meyler, or whatever his name is, and I’m really disappointed at the player’s reaction.

I don’t think Robert actually touches the lad, and the way he goes down and rolls around, for me he’s done it for one reason and that was to get him sent off.

If it was a really bad challenge and you get caught, and I’ve seen some of them this year, then you can say that was a really poor, poor tackle, you’ve caught him and he stays down then fair enough.

But when you see him doing that, the referee might have reacted a little differently today if the kid had got up and been honest about the challenge.


David Meyler
himself tweeted last night:

@GaryLineker_ Please review it and show everyone he made contact!

No half-measures from Salut! Sunderland on these matters. A cheat is a cheat, whether he plays for the opposition or for Sunderland. Can anyone say we have not made this something of a campaign issue?

Like millions of others, we have now had the chance of seeing the Huth sending off again on MOTD.

It was, in my view, a yellow card challenge, not a red, given the conditions. Huth was unlucky.

But it was rash, the conditions indeed made it dangerous and Martin Atkinson had a good view to help him decide. He may have reacted harshly, but it was clear that Meyler went down heavily and awkwardly, again to some extent a function of the conditions. He can hardly be blamed for that. And no one but Meyler himself – and he insists there was contact – knows what else may have been in his mind.

I am giving both Huth and Meyler the benefit of the doubt. But to call Meyer a cheat, on the available evidence, is frankly outrageous.

And that makes Pulis’s response a disgrace.

What does the Salut! Sunderland jury think?

Monsieur Salut

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43 thoughts on “Did Meyler dive? Is Huth a saintly Stoke figure? Is Pulis serious?”

  1. Pulis should be questioning his player’s decision making in regards to throwing himself into a tackle at that speed. End of.

  2. I quite simply dislike Stoke with a passion mainly for the reason they are a filthy team and their style of football shocking on the eye.

    Huth or whatever his name is has got away with many a rash challenge in his time this time he got caught out by a simple lunge well so be it.

    I could not give a monkeys as I am happy with the 3 points and we would have beaten them anyway!

  3. I was sat in block 2 Q railling stand and had a good view of the Huth tackle. Could n’t believe my eyes it was obvious he would get a red card, no question.
    Liked Sunderland chant of ” we sell them to stoke” v funny.
    Maybe we’ll get Steve Bruce next!

  4. Stoke fan here at the game I called it a red, but watching on motd at most a yellow. Pulis rants are becoming a bit tiresome now due to his own shortcomings in his management skills.
    I did also notice the snow had not been cleared from your pen area that is a disgrace.
    Best of luck to you lot, you have had your share of misery but now have a manager with a gr8 pedigree, and we have Tone the Moan.
    We will just have to be satisfied with winning the F.A. Cup & Europa league this year (lol) be proud be Stoke.

    • Steve – your reaction to the Pulis rants is much like ours were to Bruce’s Excuses. Tiresome, predictable and lacking in substance.

      • I don’t mean your reaction Steveis tiresome, predictable and lacking in substance! I meant that’s how Pulis’s and Bruce’s are/were perceived!

      • Most stoke fans think Pulis is out of his depth but I suppose spending years in the lower leagues he got us to the promised land, and a cup final. But his style although in part has got us a long way is also dire and to predictable imao. But then what do I know I am just a fan.

  5. First thing I’d like to say is that it wasn’t a red. Atkinson got it wrong in real time – without the benefit of slow motion – primarily because of the speed Huth went into the challenge he was never going to win. If Meyler hadn’t evaded the lunge there would have been a lot more contact and we would not be having this debate.

    There were, however, worse challenges out there today that were deemed legal – and John O’Shea got booked for a shoulder (to shoulder) charge…

    I wouldn’t say David Meyler dived, but even as an SAFC fan I think he was rolling around a little too much considering the contact made, which is certainly not unique. This is what Pulis was getting at – these guys playing are men reacting like little girls to minimal contact THROUGHOUT football in all leagues in all countries.

    Refs don’t help of course – how often are honest players penalised for TRYING to stay on their feet after being tripped and getting nothing in terms of refereeing decisions? Not that often anymore, because even honest players go down nowadays (just with less in the way of theatrics).

    I think most football fans can relate to Pulis’ frustration – but why he takes it out on a player who clearly WAS fouled (albeit with minimal contact) and ignores his own player who, quite frankly, gave a card-happy referee a decision to make is another footballing ‘blight’. Who sees things clearly when their own team is involved, and then makes a constructive statement upon the nature of their side’s defeat when a microphone is shoved under their nose just seconds after the final whistle.

    I know that in a reversed situation, this site would be full of complaints against Mr. Atkinson…

  6. Credit to Stoke supporters: this posting is number one at their newsnow page, yet relatively few have come here to defend Pulis. I suspect they are as embarrassed by his comments as I would be if they had been made in identical circumstances by a Sunderland manager. Earlier comments were right: he should be man enough to apologise. Earlier comments were right again: he won’t.

  7. I had a clear view Pete. Your players were offered the towel for every throw. Personally I’d just consign the whole thing to history but it used to work 2 or 3 years ago and so we persist with it. Doesn’t work anymore and bores the arse off me.

  8. David Meyler has had horrendous injuries to contend with and this is his first start since recovery IIRC. Horrible conditions and difficult for players. He was trying to get out of the way of a bad challenge. He isn’t the sort of player to roll around and play act. Huth was a unlucky to get a red, and that is typical of Atkinson, who didn’t even see fit to give a free kick for Fuller’s challenge which was significantly worse than Huth’s.

    Tony Waddington or whatever his name is should think very carefully about what he says. Michael Turner who seemed to be fouling all afternoon and had at least 5 free kicks given against him didn’t get a card either.

    It has to be said that Huth is a particularly nasty and dirty player who seems to get away with murder most weeks. He didn’t yesterday and was harshly dealt with. Had it been a different player I’d feel more indignant. The towel thing with Delap is a disgrace btw.

  9. If you stuck a microphone under anybody’s nose after a defeat, you’d have a pretty good chance of getting them to say something daft. I’d take exception at the immediate post match nonsense Martin O’Neill came out with about it being a ‘nasty’ challenge except I like him.

    I don’t think Pulis’s reaction was down to sour grapes, just being pissed off at Martin Atkinson giving another daft red. (Our first of the season by the way). He shouldn’t have said it, but there you go.

    • Mark
      You give a responsible, reasoned argument, in common with most of the Stoke fans who I have seen comment on this. I agree that managers say stupid things immediately after a game. The problem with that excuse is that I understand that he repeated his accusation the day after, after he had time to reflect on what he had said and perhaps temper his comments (and your chairman had time to tell him to temper them).
      As I have said elsewhere, if I was Meyler I would be genuinely considering suing him for slander.
      I have a lot of time for Stoke fans who appear genuine football fans and always travel in decent numbers, despite the football which is served up for them (my opinion only), but there are times when you cannot defend your team or your manager (for example, I haven’t seen many Sunderland fans defending Larsson for his terrible dive at Wolves or Bardsley for apparently kicking Mata).
      In the case of Pulis and these comments, I’m afraid this is one of those times.

  10. Whatever happened to ‘We are Stoke, we don’t complain. We get on with it’. Three losses in a row seem to put pressure on this philosophy.

    The challenge was wreckless, Huth took a risk as he was always second favourite to win the ball. We cannot blame Meyler for jumping the tackle. If he hadn’t done so his career would be over.

    What is worse is the rant Pulis gave to Sky. Very surprised that he targeted Meyler as an example of a driver. Meyler didn’t give the red card the ref did. What must not be forgotten is this was Meyler first start since a career threatening injury.

    Made me sick listening to it, the only consolation was the three points and the knowledge that most of Pulis reaction was down to sour grapes.

  11. I agree with you Mark E. – that phrase “Entitled to go down” shouldn’t be heard in commentary.
    And the hypocrisy – if Man U. play Barcelona and Messi gains a penalty in one of these ‘minimal contact’ situations, Jim Beglin will be heard to say “aaawwww there was contact, but it was sooo minimal”
    If, on the other hand, Rooney is involved in an identical situation, we’ll hear him say “there was some contact, he’s entitled to go down.”
    The only occasion on which you’ll hear a player called a cheat is if it’s a foreign player playing for a foreign team.

  12. Agree that Meyler takes a tumble needs a few moments to get his breath back and get up – he wasn’t rolling around. Pulis-or-whatever-his-name-is, should apologise but I don’t suppose he will.

  13. Pulis’s comments are totall out of order, and insulting to Myler.

    On the good side it’s only Pulis(5000 moans a season), Stoke City manager, so who is going to listen to them anayway.

    Myler did nothing wrong, Huth did, the ref then makes a decision, end of story.

  14. Sunderland should ask for an apology from Pulis.
    Huth – pronounced HOOT in Deutsch – something apt there.

    Keown stated on Final Score that there were 15 snow clearers before the match and just one man and his dog at half time. It was clear on MOTD that Sorenson’s area had been cleared but not Mig’s.

    Johnson should be retrospectively carded – he was so disappointed that Baird had moved his leg out of his way that he couldn’t resist fouling the Fulham man, but had to extend his right boot a foot to the right to achieve it.
    It sickens me that these incidents are airbrushed or made out to be marginal by the pundits.
    In fact it’s blatant cheating; Johnson is not a ‘naughty boy’ as Hansen once claimed about a famous diver – he’s a cheat.

    • Yes David, I agree, the Adam Johnson incident is atrocious in the least way you look at it. His leg moved about a foot (*smiles) to make contact with Baird. It was a deliberate move to get fouled.
      I think moves like that should get retrospectively dealt with. But, not with David (Tony Pulis does not even get the name) Meyler. David Meyler was caught and does not deserve to enter the cheating Hall Of Fame.
      I think we would take Adam Johnson despite this, and hopefully put some Sunderland honesty into his play if it happened. Sadly he in a Man City frame of mind, and it seems there, anything goes.

  15. We at Stoke were told earlier in the season that Luca Modric ‘had the right to go down’ for a penalty even though Glenn Whelan didn’t touch him but did go for a tackle. It’s a disgraceful justification for cheating IMO. I don’t know who started it but I wish it would stop.

    I think Pulis has been unwise in his comments and I’d be making less of Meyler’s reaction to the challenge and more of the now habitual crowd of players surrounding the ref demanding a red card.They must all know Atkinson ‘likes a red’ as it was put on MOTD.

    Never a red obv but what do you expect these days?

    Oh, and we’ve always handed opposition players towels for throws. Personally I can’t wait to see the back of the throws because they haven’t worked for ages but Pulis is nothing if not persistent. He managed to keep Jonathan Woodgate labouring at right back weeks after everybody else realised it was costing us games.

    Finally, at least Tony Pulis is less of knobhead than Brendan Rodgers as I’m sure you’ll agree.

    x

    • Mark – supporters of most teams will be able to recall incidents of injustice and i agree with your post. I was drawing attention to the inconsistency of the analysists and so called experts.

      Meyler was caught and the momentum of Huth’s challenge brought him down. I don’t think it was a worthy of a red card but neither can I agree with Pulis that it was Meyler’s reaction which brought it about. On Sky Robbie Fowler didn’t even think it was worthy of a yellow. However, he also said that the Johnson incident should not have been a penalty.

      McClean, being relatively inexperienced at this level could have gone down and claimed a penalty but stayed on his feet and scored. I hope that whichever coaching staff deal with him in the future encourage that attitude and don’t teach him the “Shearer way.”

      • Oh and as for the towels – as you are a Stoke fan I will accept your explanation. Maybe I am getting confused with occasions where some teams had another ball ready for their own quick throw ins but waited to retrieve the match ball for the opposition. Whatever, there is some distant memory somewhere?

  16. Chris: the issue is now less red vs yellow, on which there is honest debate, but on Pulis’s attack on Meyler’s integrity, for which there seems no basis at all. And I agree with Malcolm on Shearer: the “entitled” to go down argument is symptomatic of what is ruining the game and also sits oddly alongside the collective MOTD view on the Huth incident.

      • I’ve said this a thousand times, but a player is NEVER entilted to go down. He either gets knocked over, pushed over, or tripped. He might even lose his balance and fall down, but he is NEVER entitled to go down.

        And Pulis – whach it again and make your judgement. whatever contact there was helped Meyler up into the air, and he came down with a fair thump. If that’s cheating, we might as well all give up and go home

  17. The judgement on the severity of the tackle has to include a view on the extent to which the tackler is in control of the tackle. Huth’s lunge would have brought him into contact with the player if the player had not taken evasive action. That made the tackle extremely dangerous.

    Huth, or whatever his name is, tried evasive action of his own when it became clear to him that the conditions, rather than himself, were in control of the tackle. However his raised knee caught Meyler on the lower shin/ankle. He was out of control and the official must decide red or yellow. In my view it could have gone either way.

    Now on to Pulis, or whatever his name is. If he had not been blinded by his frequent red mist, he would have seen the contact of knee with shin/ankle on the replay. As all participants in physical contact sports know, impacts from knees, especially on bony parts of the body, can be very painful.

    My conclusion to this is that Stoke’s manager exposed very poor judgement in his statement after the match and should apologise to both the officials and the player.

  18. From what I saw on MOTD it was a nasty challenge. Certainly a yellow. There was contact. Pulis said David was rolling around trying to make it look worse than it was. It looked to me as if he lay motionless on the ground after a very nasty aerial fall.

    David has had injuries in the past, I think Tony Pulis (is that his right name, whoever he may be) is way out of order with his comments on this matter.

    If Pulis is a man he will apologise, if not he is merely an excuse for a human being.

  19. I agree with Jake and Phil on the Huth incident. (My thumbs up Phil!)

    As for the snow clearing that eluded me but in the past have Stoke not been censured for providing Delap and others with towels to dry the ball for throws but not the opposition? I may be wrong but something in the back of my mind tells me that a few seasons back they were ordered to treat both teams the same.

    What gets me about morality is the two faced stance taken by some pundits. Whilst the majority of people are going along with the MOTD team’s view that Huth’s challenge was at worst a yellow and not a red, I have to take exception at Shearer’s opinion that Adam Johnson was entitled to go down in the box and get a penalty.

    If you haven’t seen it, Johnson pushed the ball between two Fulham defenders, one of whom left a leg sticking out but not (IMO) in Johnson’s path. The Man City man appeared to make a conscious move with his right leg to ensure contact and then went over. In Shearer’s mind (but not mine) this is legitimate! The player’s reaction on interview hinted at embarrassment and would seem to hint at a deliberate attempt to win a penalty.

    As with Meyler’s reaction only the player himself knows the intent, but to my eye the contact was minimal and Johnson could have stayed upright.

    I’m not saying this because it was Shearer’s opinion either – it could have been anyone. Is it just my view or did Mark Lawrenson (ex defender) sit sheepishly by whilst listening?

    • M. Salut – bring on the edit button button! My comment should say – “in Shearer’s mind (but not mine) this is legitimate!
      I was trying to type and think at the same time – never a good idea! Done – Salut

  20. It looked, to me, as though Huth did indeed make contact with Meyler’s knee.

    That, coupled with the jarring of his landing makes it obvious why he was in, apparent, pain.

    His response to the challenge would also appear to be vindicated by Atkinson who took, absolutely, no notice of him and walked straight up to Huth and then deliver the card.

    There was, therefore, no way in which Meyler’s actions could have influenced the referee’s decision.

    Atkinson reacted to what he saw – not the way Meyler reacted.

    Pulis should apologise!l

  21. By the way, did anyone else notice this? At half time the Stoke ground staff cleared a good proportion of the penalty box Stoke would be defending in the second half. Our box, apart from having the lines cleared of snow, was untouched. Curious eh?

  22. It was definitely not a red card when viewed in slo-mo but in real time it looked very dangerous indeed, so I can understand why the ref sent him off. Meyler took evasive action and as a result hit the (very hard) ground from a canny height so it’s not surprising he was hurt. I hate players faking injury but I think Meyler was innocent of this in this case. So Huth was unlucky to walk but Pulis shouldn’t attach any of the blame to our lad, the ref has to make a snap decision and he made a judgement on something that happened very fast in very difficult conditions. He made a mistake. Don’t we all?

    • Totally agree with you Jake. Meyler took evasive action when he saw Huth coming towards him. Had he not done so the impact would have probably have seen him carried off. Pulis, or whatever you call him, needs to question Huth’s decision making not Meyler’s integrity.

      • If Tony Pulis, or is it Poo-list?, wants to go on national TV and slag an opposition player at least have the decency to get his name right. By the way, is it pronounced MAILER or MILER?

      • Who was that guy on TV slagging off David Meyler? Was it Tonsil Yup, Nosily Put, Splint You, Lint Soupy, Toils Puny, Oily Punts (with a P!), Lousy Pint (apparently what you get in Stoke), Unity Slop, I Lust Pony (well, he is Welsh).

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