Chris Sutton clashed with Ian Abrahams on Twitter over whether West Ham midfielder Mark Noble dived during the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on Monday.
Abrahams, who works for talkSPORT and is a known Hammers supporter, revealed on his personal Twitter account that the West Ham captain went down due to anticipating contact and didn’t blatantly dive.
“I think it was a case of Nobes anticipating contact, granted didn’t look great but not a blatant dive,” wrote the broadcaster.
Abrahams’ opinion saw Sutton come chiming in to claim that if Noble didn’t play for West Ham then the talkSPORT broadcaster would be stating that the midfielder dived in a bid to win a penalty.
“Why can’t you just say he dived because that’s what he did??…if it was another team’s player you’d say different…,” wrote Sutton on his verified Twitter account.
Why can’t you just say he dived because that’s what he did??…if it was another team’s player you’d say different… https://t.co/VSGt3YZTcE
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) September 16, 2019
Noble went down in Villa’s box appearing not to be touched, and it did look like he dived in a bid to win the Hammers’ a spot-kick. While the veteran midfielder could argue that he slipped as he did get back to his feet quickly and didn’t appeal for a penalty, it did look pretty suspect when he went to ground. However, given that Noble’s efforts to win a penalty failed, this debate regarding the midfielder hitting the deck will likely go away quickly. Hopefully, the veteran midfielder avoids attempting to cheat his way to a penalty in the future as not only should he be above that but it could have gone horribly wrong for him on Monday, after all Noble went to ground when he was already on a yellow card and he could have easily picked up a second booking for simulation. The 32-year-old has proven to be an important player to Manuel Pellegrini this season as his return to the team coincided with the Hammers’ results improving. Noble has averaged a decent rating of 7.07 across his three league outings on WhoScored and has maintained a pass completion rate of 84.3%.