Dele Alli’s performance against Swansea City was an almost perfect one. He showed the class and skill which has made him such a recognisable and appreciated player in the Premier League, and around the world.
However, the 20-year-old Englishman did not show any of those qualities in the 38th minute when he seemed to channel his inner Tom Daley and threw himself to the ground of the penalty area, under no contact at all.
Alleged Swansea defender Kyle Naughton seem bewildered when referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot and allowed Harry Kane to take the lead for the London club.
The penalty decision, although on the final 5-0 scoreline may have seemed insignificant, opened the floodgates, and the manner in which it was conceded only added to the Welsh club’s misfortune who now sit bottom of the table.
— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) November 29, 2016
After the full-time whistle Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino that he had not seen the incident, and when asked if he would look to punish Alli for his blatant attempt to gain an unfair advantage, he was reluctant to comment.
“It’s too difficult to advise because you cannot recreate in the future the same situation and you cannot advise, ‘don’t fall down’,” the Argentine told The Telegraph
“I didn’t talk with him and I need to speak with him to know what happened in that situation.”
Diving has been a hot-topic in the Premier League since a mass influx of foreign players, however, the Tottenham manager was keen to recall when he himself was on the wrong-end of player simulation – against an Englishman.
During the 2002 World Cup England were awarded a penalty against Argentina after Michael Owen went down in the area under the challenge of Pochettino.
“It was 15 years ago when Owen dived,” he said.
“Don’t believe that English football is fair play always, because Owen jumped like [he was] in a swimming pool. Come on. I didn’t touch him. I promise you.
“I think today football is more global. It’s more European football. Now we have the influence of the Latin people that try to cheat always. Maybe you were more pure 20, 25, 30 years ago, now you are like us.”
The Spurs boss had an extremely credible playing career which started out at Argentinian club Newell’s Old Boys – where the 44-year-old said diving was focused on in training.
“In Argentina, yes, the people sometimes practise that,” he said.
“It’s true. But many years ago. Now I don’t know. But when I was player always it was part of training to try to cheat.”
He said this before adding that “of course” he does not do so as a manager.