herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Robben has the Dutch of a diver

Chelsea boss Mourinho says Netherlands ace 'tries to get free-kicks and penalties'

Holland's Arjen Robben. Picture: Wong Maye-E/AP
Holland's Arjen Robben. Picture: Wong Maye-E/AP

NETHERLANDS winger Arjen 
Robben can sometimes 'try to get a penalty', according to his former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Robben was taken down by Mexico defender Rafael Marquez for the deciding spot-kick in the Oranje's dramatic late 2-1 win at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, which secured a place in the World Cup quarter-finals for Luis van Gaal's men.

The Bayern Munich forward insisted after the last-16 clash it was "definitely a foul", but courted controversy by admitting he had taken a tumble earlier in the match.

It was a "stupid action" he reportedly apologised for before and after avoiding punishment from FIFA, with head of media Delia Fischer saying the disciplinary committee would only look retrospectively at "serious infringements" - a decision the winger had expected all along.

Worked

Mourinho worked with Robben at Stamford Bridge, the forward having signed from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2004 before going on to win the Barclays Premier League twice, two League Cups and also the FA Cup while at the Blues.

The Portuguese coach can understand why the pacy winger who left London for Real Madrid in August 2007, can be a divisive figure - with Robben having been labelled "a very good diver" by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after the Gunners bowed out of the Champions League following a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in March last season.

"My opinion on Robben? He was my player and I know better than many what a fantastic player he is," Mourinho said.

"I also know that because of his speed and because of his creativity he is punished a lot with fouls by opponents who cannot stop him. I also know that sometimes he tries to get an advantage and he tries to get a free-kick or he tries to get a penalty."

Mourinho feels referees would benefit from video back-up to help them make what are often tough marginal calls.

"I think it's important for the players to help the referees and to help the referees is to be honest on the pitch and to help the referee is to be pure and try to win the right way, but the reality is that not every player behaves that way and referees have a difficult job.

"If you have technology you can have a chance to have a fourth official watching on the video or screen situation," he added.

"So I think the referee should also be happy to have the chance in case of doubt, the chance to clear every doubt and the chance to make the right decision because when one country feels that one bad decision influences its future in the competition I think it's hard and I think it's important for coaches, for players but also referees. I think technology is something the referees would welcome."

Robben, meanwhile, hopes everyone can now move on as the Dutch prepare to tackle Costa Rica for a place in the semi-finals.

"I don't change myself. That's my personality," he said, speaking at the Netherlands' training base in Rio de Janeiro.

"I think it's good. I apologised for one stupid action, but it didn't have an influence in the game.

"We had two clear penalties, one was given. That is it. I don't think we should talk about it any more."

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