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Arsene Wenger says English 'may be diving masters' ahead of Spurs clash

Arsene Wenger says English 'may be diving masters' ahead of Spurs clash
From ESPN - February 8, 2018

LONDON -- Arsene Wenger has said English players "may have become the masters of diving" ahead of Saturday's North London derby against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

Spurs were embroiled in controversy last weekend, with Dele Alli booked for simulation in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Anfield and Harry Kane and Erik Lamela accused of diving to win penalties.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino defended Alli by saying football is about trying to "trick your opponent," but speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Wenger said: "We have to get the diving out of the game.

"I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it, but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now."

But Wenger stressed that it was important not to interpret Pochettino's remark as excusing diving.

"I am convinced that he wanted to say that tricking your opponent is to say that you have to be clever," he said.

"How far was it an apology for diving? I am not sure at all. I do not think he would.

"In my personal case I do not encourage them to dive at all. Sometimes you want your players to be intelligent, they have played a little bit with the rules, they make more of it on the penalty case.

"Every striker will do that. They extend, a little bit, the rules. Where is it and how far can you go? That is down to the referees and I think that sometimes, at normal speed, it is very difficult to determine.

"Most of the time, when a player is going to the goalkeeper, they push the ball away from goal.

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