Wednesday 18 September 2019

Arsene Wenger believes English players 'may be the masters' of diving ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Tottenham

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed English players have mastered the dark arts of diving to win penalties ahead of his side’s game against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.

The Spurs duo of Dele Alli and Harry Kane were accused of diving in an attempt to influence the match officials during last weekend’s thrilling game against Liverpool at Anfield, with former Ireland striker among those who labeled the duo as ‘cheats’.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino then suggested ‘football is about trying to trick your opponent’, in comments that inspired some to suggest he was supporting his players amid diving claims.

Now Wenger has entered the debate, as he suggested strikers cannot be stopped from tumbling in the box in a bid to win penalties.

“I don’t tell my players to dive. I don’t encourage them to dive at all, but if you look at the situation, sometimes you do not want to provoke a dive but you want them to be intelligent and play a little bit with the rules,” he stated.

“They make a bit more of it with the penalty case, every striker will do that. They extend the rules. How far can you go? That’s down to the referee. Sometimes at normal speed, it’s very difficult to determine.”

Wenger went on to suggest English players had now caught up with their foreign team-mates and opponents in the diving stakes, as he was asked about the incidents involving Alli and Kane and Pochettino’s comments.

“I think he wanted to say that tricking your opponent, you have to be clever,” he added. “How far? Was it an apology for diving? I’m not sure. I don’t think he would.

“In my personal case, no. I think you have to get rid of diving out of the game. I remember there was tremendous cases here when it was foreign players who did it.

“The English players have learned very quickly and are maybe the masters now.”

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