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'CLEVER BOY'

Mauricio Pochettino quotes about diving and ‘tricking the referee’ have triggered a lot of people

No Premier League player has been booked for simulation more than Dele Alli in recent times

Your Da and his mates are fuming with Mauricio Pochettino.

The Spurs gaffer has leapt to the defence of Dele Alli after the England midfielder was booked for diving for the third time in as many seasons.

Pochettino believes that football is about ‘trying to trick your opponent’ and that players used to congratulate their team-mates if they deceived the referee.

Dele took a tumble against Liverpool at the weekend was shown a yellow card

EPA
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Dele took a tumble against Liverpool at the weekend was shown a yellow card

When asked about Alli’s penchant for simulation, Pochettino claimed: “There is such a focus on this type of situation. I think it’s a minimal issue.

“He is a little bit nasty. He’s not perfect, nobody is. Of course, he is a clever boy.

“Football is a creative sport in which you need a very smart brain. And now we are so focused on minimal details.

Mauricio Pochettino insisted that football is about trying to trick your opponent

Reuters
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Mauricio Pochettino insisted that football is about trying to trick your opponent

“Football is about trying to trick your opponent – yes or no?

“Tactics – what does ‘tactic’ mean? When you do tactics, it is to try to trick the opponent. You play on the right, but you finish on the left.

“Twenty years ago, thirty years ago, we all congratulate the player when he tricks the referee like this.

“That is the football that I was in love with when I was a child. Yes, in Argentina, but in England too.

“You believe that in England you were honest and always perfect?”

Pot stirred

Getty - Contributor
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Pot stirred

The Argentine manager also said he thought the media’s obsession and intense scrutiny of diving was more harmful to the game than simulation itself.

“My worry is this: of course if you dive, and the referee saw you, you are punished. And he deserves it. But don’t go more crazy.

“The problem now is that we are so sensitive about the situation, and then we are so focused on Dele Alli. It’s too much sometimes.

“There is such a focus on this type of situation. I think it’s a minimal issue.”

As you can imagine, much of social media didn’t agree with Pochettino’s assessment…

We assume then that Poch ‘congratulated’ Michael Owen when he dived over his leg at the 2002 World Cup to win a penalty?

Thought not…


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