Nicolas Pepe was sent off for a head butt on Ezgjan Alioski and the Ivorian has received support from Troy Deeney.
The Watford striker claims that the touch was simply not enough for the north Macedonian to go to ground the way that he did.
Pepe will have to serve some kind of suspension now, but Deeney doesn’t believe that what he did warrants the fall from Alioski.
He claimed that it was once embarrassing to go down that way, but things seem to have changed and it isn’t that embarrassing anymore.
He also slammed people who defend behaviour like that and compares it to defending players who dive to earn spot-kicks.
He added that if he was the one who went down that easily, he would have gotten some stick from his mates for falling that easily.
“We’re probably from a generation that’s a bit different,” said Deeney on TalkSport as quoted by The Independent.
“The embarrassment of going down like that is not necessarily the same any more. We’re all saying ‘he did get touched so he’s gone down’ – it’s kind of what we’re doing with the diving now, defending them. Whereas, me personally, if I would have got brushed with a head like that and went down, my mates would be hammering me for the next six months. It would be anything, like a gust of wind – ‘oh, watch Troy, he’s going to fall’.”
Pepe has struggled to start games for Arsenal this season and now that he has been handed a chance to start, he has messed things up for himself.