Wenger makes shock comments following Spurs 'dive' controversy

2018-02-09 04:43:14

English players have overtaken foreign footballers in the art of diving, according to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger .

The French coach was trying to defend Tottenham rival Mauricio Pochettino's comments on his England internationals Dele Alli and Harry Kane 'winning' penalties in their recent match at Liverpool .

But talking in the build-up to Arsenal's must-win north London derby, Wenger claimed it is no longer the foreign imports who lead the way trying to con referees.

Asked what he made of Pochettino's comments that tricking the opposition is part of the game, Wenger said: "I am convinced that he wanted to say that tricking your opponent is to say that you have to be clever.

"How far was it an apology for diving? I'm not sure at all. I don't think he would.

"In my personal case? No. 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.

"I don't encourage them to dive at all. But if you look at the situation, I think when sometimes you do not want to provoke a dive as well.

"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, I must say. On that front, as much as I can be harsh with the referees, on that front I am quite tolerant with the referees because when you watch a game live it is very difficult at 100 per cent pace to distinguish whether it is a dive or not.

"In many cases, it's like that now, the guy goes and if the goalkeeper has their hands off, the striker leaves a leg as long as he can to make sure that the goalkeeper touches him. But that's not really a penalty."

Tottenham v Arsenal is live on talkSPORT at 12:30 (GMT) on Saturday 10 February

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