English Players Are Masters Of Diving, Says Arsene Wenger

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English players may be the “masters” of diving, says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Tottenham’s Dele Alli was booked for diving in Sunday’s draw at Liverpool.

Team-mate Harry Kane was accused of diving by Reds defender Virgil van Dijk in winning a penalty.

Wenger said: “I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it, but the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now.”

The Frenchman said in November that Raheem Sterling “dives well” following Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City.

Wenger, whose side face Spurs in the Premier League at Wembley on Saturday, said: “I don’t tell my players to dive at all. We have to get diving out of the game.

“Sometimes players play a little bit with the rules. How far can you go? That is down to the referees.”

On Tuesday Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said diving was a “minimal issue” in football, and that “tricking” an opponent was now part of the game.

This season the Football Association introduced new regulations to retrospectively ban players who dive.

A panel is tasked with looking for cases of simulation by reviewing footage every Monday, and any player found guilty is suspended.

In October Carlisle United forward Shaun Miller became the first player to be banned, for two games.

Everton striker Oumar Niasse was the first Premier League player to be suspended – also for two matches – in November.

Niasse, 27, was charged following an incident during a 2-2 league draw at Crystal Palace.

A penalty was given after he was adjudged to have been fouled Scott Dann. Leighton Baines converted the spot-kick and Niasse later scored to earn Everton a point.

In 2012 former England striker Michael Owen blamed “the influence of players coming from South America, Spain and Italy” for the growth of diving in English football.

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