Arsene Wenger has hit out at Tottenham Hotspur pair Harry Kane and Dele Ali in a thinly veiled dig, when talking about diving in the game.
Wenger claimed it’s now a bigger issue in the Premier League than it ever has been before, and that it used to be a problem with foreign sides and players – but now the English born players are just as bad, if not worse when it comes to taking a tumble and trying to con the officials.
The Express report he 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.
“I am convinced that he wanted to say that tricking your opponent is to say that you have to be clever.
When asked about Pochettino’s response to the Dele dive, he said: “How far was it an apology for diving? I’m not sure at all. I don’t think he would.
“In my personal case I don’t 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.”
One thing that the Arsenal boss also added was what are the officials supposed to do with the current set of rules. He questioned the difficulty in assessing just what a player has done and how much contact there has been – and admitted that when he first came to England, the rules were better.
As we’ve seen this season, even with the introduction of VAR, it’s been hard for officials and it does still come down to how a tackle or a tumble on the ground is interpreted by the official in question, with even multiple replays on TV getting different opinions.
Wenger added: “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.
“I think 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 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.”