Tim Sherwood's recent outbursts failed to arouse the desired response from Spurs on Thursday as they lost 3-1 at home to Benfica. Matt Stanger wasn't impressed...
Again, Manchester City didn't look overawed by playing Barcelona, but Nick Miller writes that Wednesday night showed how far they have to go to truly compete with them...
Jose Mourinho hates diving, we were told this weekend. David Moyes, we already know, also deplores simulation. So disgusted by such malpractice are both managers that they are prepared to...wait for it...take their players aside and talk to them about it. Mourinho goes a step further - "If one day I win a game where I feel I did it because one of my players didn't behave correctly, I will strongly criticise him."
Shall we just stop the pretence here? Clearly, despite what managers might say, diving or simulation is only really bad if you get caught. If your team profits, like when Robbie Brady 'won' a penalty for Hull against West Ham the other week, it's no more than a shrug of the shoulders moment, as evidenced Hull manager Steve Bruce. A 'sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't' situation.
In fact, in his awkward post match interview, Bruce sheepishly but profoundly asked "What is simulation, what is diving all of a sudden?" before shuffling off screen to celebrate a critical three points. No doubt Brady, accused by Sam Allardyce of simulation and with good cause, got a stern telling off from his manager and his embarrassed team mates.
Actually, and call me a cynic, I doubt very much that that is what transpired. Furthermore, if it had been West Ham who had benefitted there is little doubt that Allardyce would have been similarly realistic about it, pointing by way of justification to other incidents in other games where decisions went against his team.
Surely it's time we stopped asking managers for their opinions on these matters, or even time for us all to see diving as part of the game like any other foul play? Can't we just accept it happens and will continue to happen like all other attempts to gain advantage - and just leave it for the ref to decide on?
Yes, managers like Moyes and Mourinho have some power to put a stop to it, but they choose to talk to their players instead. Not sell recidivist players. Not fine repeat offenders. Not even drop them. Just talk to them.
Even Mourinho - apparently appalled by such play acting - admits as much and rather highlights the reality of how simulation is viewed in the game by managers: "I have not dropped a player because of diving, but I have been strong and critical. I spoke about it with [Didier] Drogba and [Arjen] Robben." So stinging was Jose's criticism, that both players were moved to, well, carry on simulating.
And why not? After all, being lectured on the issue and football morality in general by the manager of the Porto side that took histrionics to a new level in the UEFA Cup Final defeat of Celtic in 2003 probably prompted a fit of the giggles from all concerned. So too would the memory of Mourinho's paragons of virtue at Real Madrid.
Treating a dive as morally abhorrent, whilst, for example, nodding knowingly at a clever, cynical foul designed to prevent a team from launching into a dangerous counter attack is simple hypocrisy. Ultimately, the simulated disgust of the managers has become as bad as simulation itself.
Paul Little - Follow him on Twitter here