Danny Mills accuses Robert Pires of bringing diving to the Premier League

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Football News

Danny Mills is hardly a welcome sight around the Emirates Stadium these days despite retiring from football in 2009. Having regularly played the pantomime villain against Arsenal throughout his career, the former Manchester City defender would certainly find himself in more welcoming places than N5 on a Saturday lunchtime.

And it seems that the years have not mellowed his disenchantment towards Arsene Wenger's men after he used his column in the Times to have a somewhat unnecessary dig at fellow retirees Robert Pires and Thierry Henry.

Of course, he was talking about their infamous 'pass penalty', which made global headlines 11 years ago after Pires fluffed his lines attempting to pass the ball to his team-mate. Having missed the ball completely, the referee awarded a free-kick in the opposite direction. Mills was the first defender on the scene that day and didn't keep his opinion to himself.

The epic fail was brought back into the limelight this week after Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez dispatched the cheeky technique with style against Celta Vigo on Sunday night. Mills says that he found Arsenal's attempt disrespectful, but, for some unknown reason, didn't think the same of Barcelona's.

He wrote in the Times: "The exact words I said do not really bear repeating, but it is fair to say that I offered Pires several choice thoughts on what he and his team-mate had tried. I made it reasonably clear, for about 15 seconds, that I felt they had been disrespectful.

"What Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez did for Barcelona on Sunday night, on the other hand, simply encapsulated not only what a gracious, unselfish player the Argentina forward is but what a wonderful, inventive team the Spanish champions are. It showed how confident and how in tune with each other they are."

We're not quite sure how that works, but we'll go with it for now.

Diving maverick

Not satisfied with just calling the Arsenal legend disrespectful, Mills went on to accuse Pires of introducing diving into the Premier League.

He continued: "I will always remember him as the player who, in my view, really brought diving into the English game; his habit of throwing himself to the ground without any provocation always infuriated me."

There is plenty of evidence to suggest the Frenchman was a regular simulator, but whether he was the very first to do it is debatable.

Th most infamous dive in Pires' career came against Portsmouth during the Invincibles season of 2003/2004. Arsenal were losing 1-0 and could not find a route back into the game. Pires has always denied diving over Dejan Stevanovic's clumsy tackle, but it is widely accepted that he did. Henry scored the resulting penalty, keeping the unbeaten run going.

The rest is history.

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Danny Mills
Premier League
Manchester City
Robert Pires
Robert Pires
Danny Mills

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