Saturday 15 December 2018

John Aldridge: Harry Kane and Dele Alli should be called out for what they are - cheats

Read Aldo every week in the Herald

Harry Kane goes to ground at Anfield and (inset) Dele Alli is booked for diving
Harry Kane goes to ground at Anfield and (inset) Dele Alli is booked for diving

John Aldridge

HARRY Kane and Dele Alli should be called out for what they are after their antics at Anfield on Sunday - and that is cheats.

After Alli was booked (yet again) for diving in the box to try and win a penalty in the second half of a thrilling game against Liverpool, Kane got the spot kick Spurs craved as he fell over in the box under minimal contact from keeper Loris Karius.

The referee and his linesman were conned by Kane's tumble and it got worse when Erik Lamela fell to the ground like he had been shot in injury time and the assistant referee was duped into giving a second penalty.

Referees and their assistants need to be wise to Tottenham's antics from now on because even though they proved they are a great side with their performance at Anfield that was more than worthy of a point, they now have a reputation for being the biggest divers in the Premier League.

Yet I suspect you will not see too much coverage of this issue in the English newspapers because Kane and Alli are the stars of the England national team and with the World Cup around the corner, journalists will suck up to them and the English FA ahead of Russia 2018.

Well, the Irish media don't have to follow those rules, so I hope they call it as it is and say that Alli and Kane are divers.

It's a shame that we are reflecting on what was a great game between two attacking teams by focusing on the decisions of the match officials and Tottenham’s diving players because that match was another cracker.

Spurs deserved a point from the game as they were outstanding in the second half and the goals we saw from Victor Wanyama and Mo Salah were out of this world, but I have to question some of the decisions of the match officials.

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Part of me thinks the officials got lucky with those late calls that were so crucial to the outcome of the game and even though former referees have come out and said the officials got it right at Anfield, there appeared to be a lot of guess work involved in several aspects.

I'm not sure referee Jonathan Moss knew what was going on when he allowed Kane to run through on goal from an off-side position, fall over keeper Karius and try to win a penalty.

If I was in that position in my playing days, I probably would have gone down as well, but I'd have made sure the keeper clattered into me if I was going to go looking for a penalty.

All strikers do it, but Kane didn't do a very good job of getting enough contact to justify a penalty and as for the off-side decision, well that left everyone baffled after the game.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was fuming about that off-side call when he spoke to the media because the rules are not as clear as they should be, with Dejan Lovren's touch on the through ball apparently playing Kane on-side even though he was ahead of the last defender.

If a referee is not 100 per-cent sure about giving a penalty in a crucial game like that, he cannot make that call and I do not believe Moss and his officials were totally sure that should have been a spot kick.

As for the second penalty, well that was a total nonsense.

Lamela went looking for a foul from Virgil van Dijk, who didn’t even see him coming when he tried to clear the ball. The Spurs player made the most of the contact from Van Dijk, went rolling around in the box as if he had been shot and the linesman fell for it. He was conned in my view.

If a defender goes to clear the ball and an opposing player jumps in front of him, the collision is accidental and no one will convince me that that second penalty decision was right.

On the balance of play, Liverpool probably got lucky to get a draw out of that game as Tottenham were the better side for long periods, but those late decisions from the officials left a nasty taste in the mouth.

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