"It's not as if you are going to nail up a picture"; Michael Stewart weighs in on Greg Taylor diving debate

By Euan Davidson

February 13, 2021

BBC Pundit and emerging Celtic fan favourite Michael Stewart has weighed in on diving.

Specifically referring to the Greg Taylor incident against St Mirren, Buddies boss Jim Goodwin wanted divers to be “named and shamed”.

Goodwin said [Daily Record]:

“I am asking the referees to be stronger and the compliance officer to dish out necessary punishments.

“Until we do that and get hard on these people they will continue to do it as there are no consequences.”

Former Hibs, Manchester United and Hearts man Michael Stewart offered a humorous response to the latest refereeing outcry. In comments on BBC Sportsound, Stewart said:

“It’s never a penalty as far as I’m concerned but when you are running at pace and there is contact you can go down without it being a dive.

“And I think it’s one of those instances where I can understand why Greg Taylor has gone down but it’s never a penalty kick.

“To take it a step further to name and shame divers, what else can you actually do?

“It’s not as if you are going to nail up a picture in the centre of town saying ‘this guy’s a diver’.

“We have media awareness of it and it’s being spoken about. The game is live on the telly. There’s plenty of commentary about it on social media so I don’t really know what you can do to name and shame divers any further other than to take retrospective action.”

Greg Taylor, standing upright / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Michael Stewart is right; Celtic man Taylor can’t be vilified forever

Once again, we find ourselves agreeing with Michael Stewart here.

Not about the penalty itself. For the record, we would argue that Taylor was brought down and the penalty was the right call. Call us biased if you will; it looked like a penalty.

However, how long is the vilification of Greg Taylor meant to go on? Are Celtic supposed to offer him to the SFA for public flogging? What’s the end goal here?

We’ve seen that public reaction can impact a player’s image. Neymar, for example, is one of the most exquisitely gifted footballers of this generation. Still, he’s a diver. Admit it: you think Neymar is a diver, because he very publicly exaggerates contact.

Ultimately, Goodwin has brought this case to very public attention. There will be thousands of Scottish football fans who will see Taylor as a cheat, rightly or wrongly. Social media has already had its say; to most, it’s already very old news.

It’s not even the most egregious example of simulation from this season. Why it’s getting particular attention is a mystery. Celtic were already 1-0 up and dominating the game.