AVB gives his thoughts after Bale booked for diving at Sunderland

16:13 29 December 2012


Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson (left) and Craig Gardner tackle Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale (centre). Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas is unhappy that Gareth Bale will miss the game with Reading on New Year’s Day after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season.

It was the Welshman’s third caution for diving in five games and his Portuguese boss felt that this decision was a mistake.

“It’s a difficult decision for the referee,” he said. “It’s a big mistake as we’re going to miss him for the game against Reading.

“He was one game away from clearing his yellow cards. There has been a lot written about the yellow cards he’s been getting.

“A couple of them have been good decisions. A couple haven’t and this one certainly wasn’t.

“[Craig] Gardner didn’t look at the ball – he looked at the player. It is very difficult for the ref to judge but it was a big big mistake.”

Bale cut a frustrated figure after the game telling Sky Sports: “What do you expect me to do? Hit my head on the floor.”

And the Spurs boss felt Bale’s pain.

“It’s obviously frustrating for him,” Villas-Boas added. “We opened ourselves to the referees. They came to our training ground.

“We’ve spoken to them and listened to them. Gareth acknowledged it was difficult for them to make decisions.

“He isn’t going to change his style. He is difficult for them. He was comprehensive towards the referees. Today was a mistake.

“It’s difficult for the referees there is no question about it. Today was a big mistake.

“Sometimes we have to give a bit of confidence to the player because he’s being chased now and it’s unfair what he’s going through.

“Particularly when he misses a game when there is going to be a clearout for yellow cards.”

Villas-Boas felt that the way the Welshman plays makes him a target for referees.

He explained: “It’s a consequence of his pace, ability and speed and the amount of times people want to stop him in various different ways.

“Sometimes they do it in a proper way. Sometimes they have to fall. He understands that it’s difficult for the refs to judge.

“Today was a mistake and the team gets penalised for the game against Reading.”

That said, the Portuguese was delighted with the victory that lifts the Lilywhites into third place in the Premier League, albeit before Chelsea and Arsenal play.

He added: “I think it was a brilliant game and we didn’t deserve to go a goal down in the first half.

“We played some very good football like we did the other day. We told the players to keep going at half time.

“As soon as one goal came, we felt we could score two or three. We scored another one although we couldn’t score the third.

“We went through a bit of suffering at the end of the game.”

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