Premier League

Clive Allen says Tottenham star Gareth Bale should have got penalty, not yellow card, against Sunderland

Bale: will miss clash with Reading

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Clive Allen says Gareth Bale is right to feel frustrated with referees following his latest booking for diving.

The Tottenham winger was given a yellow card after going down under a challenge from Sunderland's Craig Gardner during Spurs' 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light and will now miss the clash with Reading after picking up five bookings this season.

Spurs legend Allen told Sky Sports that Bale was clearly impeded by Sunderland player and feels the Welshman should have been given a penalty, rather than a yellow card.

"When he's at that pace the slightest of touches is going to knock him over or knock him out of his stride," he said.

"I thought he was very unfortunate today. As the challenge comes in there is contact from Gardner's right knee and, in particular, from his right arm. I'm not sure the referee sees the arm, but there's the slightest of contact with his right knee.

"The right arm goes out across the chest and it impedes him and stops him making a goalscoring situation because he was in. I think the arm knocked him over in the end and it should have been a penalty.

"When he knocks the ball out of his feet and past defenders there is only one way they can stop him and that's either stepping across him or trying to impede him in some way.

"He was such a threat today on numerous occasions. He gave Gardener so many problems."


Bale has now been booked for simulation five times since the start of last season, three of those coming in the last five games, and his manager Andre Villas-Boas criticised the inconsistency of the officials.

He said the booking for Bale was a poor decision and even suggested that another Tottenham player, Jermain Defoe, should have been booked for diving in the first half; a point that Allen agreed with.

Excellent performance for AVB

"There is a case where this is now following Bale and he's been tagged with this that he's diving," he added.

"The way I would call it is that when he knocks the ball out of his feet, as he did on numerous occasions in the game today, he's going to go after that ball.

"There's very few players that can stay with him and can catch him. The only way that he's going to go over - because he knows that he's in and he knows he's free - is if there is contact.

"When you go back to Jermain's case, he takes a heavy touch and the ball gets out of his feet. He knows he can't get possession of the ball in the box and while he would say he's fallen or there's contact, Jermain has dived over unfortunately.

"It's the inconsistency of the decisions from the referees that will cost Spurs dearly. There's a big game coming up with Reading, that they feel they can win, but without Gareth Bale they're not the same side."

Bale cannot appeal against the booking and Allen suggested he would like to see a panel of former players review incidents of simulation on a Monday morning to prevent referees making so many mistakes.

"It could help if you had ex-pro's there who understand the situation," he said.

"Myself and Dwight Yorke are sat here and as the incident happened we both called 'penalty' because that was the nature of the incident and the way it unfolded. It just looked that way.

"That's not to say you get it right all the time - and it is very difficult for the referees - but a lot of the time, the first time you see it your opinion is not too far away."