Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that English players has now mastered simulation ahead of a North London derby game between the Gunners and Tottenham Hotspurs.
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli was booked for simulation in Sunday’s draw at Liverpool, with his teammate Harry Kane also accused of diving by Reds defender Virgil van Dijk in winning a penalty.
“I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it,” Wenger said. “But I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now.”
Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino had also claimed after the game against Liverpool that overanalysing every controversy could “kill the game”; however, it was a stance which Wenger takes contrary to as the Frenchman believes that the issue is one that needs attention.
“You want your players to be intelligent. Sometimes they have played a little bit with the rules, they make more of it on the penalty case. Every striker will do that. 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.”
“As much as I can be harsh with the referees, on that front I am quite tolerant because when you watch a game live it is very difficult at 100% pace to distinguish whether it is a dive or not.”
“Most of the time, when a player is going to the goalkeeper, they push the ball away from goal. They had a good rule in England when I arrived here. When the striker pushes the ball away from the goal, they didn’t give penalties because the only resource the striker has after is to look for a penalty.”
“In many cases 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.”
“We have to get diving out of the game,” he added. “I don’t tell my players to dive. I don’t encourage them to dive at all.”
Arsenal plays Tottenham on Saturday at Wembley.
Tottenham 0 – 2 Arsenal