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Spurs boss discusses diving yellow card for Gareth Bale

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas and Gareth Bale (right) after  the 2-1 win over Liverpool. Photo credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas and Gareth Bale (right) after the 2-1 win over Liverpool. Photo credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Saturday, December 1, 2012
9:32 PM

Andre Villas-Boas tonight defended Gareth Bale after the winger was booked for diving for a second successive game in Tottenham’s 3-0 win over Fulham.

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Bale has battled throughout his career against allegations that he goes to ground too easily.

That claim came to the fore on Wednesday when he was booked for simulation against Liverpool and he saw yellow again today when Chris Foy cautioned him for diving following a tackle by Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell.

Replays showed there was contact between the two players, leading Villas-Boas to claim the booking was unjust.

The Spurs boss admits making a split-second judgement on a player as quick as Bale is difficult, but he also hinted that he felt the 23-year-old is earning an unfair reputation for being a diver.

“Gareth is so fast so it is very difficult (for referees) to judge situations,” Villas-Boas said.

“He has suffered big, big injuries to his ankles before and sometimes he wants to protect himself a little bit. He might put his body in situations that the referee thinks that he is diving and he is suffering for it in these last two games.

“He is now very near suspension for two unfair yellow cards and I think you gain a reputation for being a diver unfairly sometimes. This player has suffered a lot in his career. It’s a little bit harsh on him.”

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Fulham

Nickname: The Whites

Ground: Craven Cottage (capacity 25,700)

Founded: 1879

Honours: Second Division: 1949, 2001.

Third Division: 1932, 1999.

Southern League: 1906, 1907.

Leading goalscorer: Gordon Davies, 178.

Leading appearances: Johnny Haynes, 658.