In Brief

Dele Alli criticised for ‘blatant cheating’

Spurs and England midfielder was booked for diving against Huddersfield

Pundits have hit out at Dele Alli after the Tottenham and England midfielder was booked for diving in the Premier League match against Huddersfield on Saturday. 

Spurs striker Harry Kane was the star with two goals in the 4-0 victory against the Terriers, but Alli’s simulation in the 57th minute has been a major talking point. Coasting at 3-0, Alli ran into the penalty box but went looking for a penalty by diving over Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Loessi.

Alli, who will miss England’s match against Slovenia on Thursday due to a one-match ban for a middle-finger gesture, was criticised for the dive by Alan Shearer on the BBC’s Match of the Day.

Shearer said: “It’s alright saying that he is 21 years of age but there has to be a time where we stop saying that. He has to learn now. You’d think after being banned for England he would want to stay out of trouble but that was blatantly trying to cheat.”

Writing in the Daily Mail, former referee Graham Poll says that Alli needs to “remedy the situation fast”.  

Poll says: “Dele Alli has a major flaw in his game – he can’t stop cheating. There was a chance to score, there was no reason for the England player to dive, but he couldn’t resist it.

“The FA need to look at their disciplinary regulations. At the moment, they will only act and suspend a player if a dive is successful; ie the referee has been conned and a penalty, for example, has been wrongly given.

“One thing is for sure, if Alli is fouled in the last minute of a game that Spurs are trailing 1-0, his previous actions could make a referee doubt the validity of his fall.”

Following the Huddersfield game, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said he didn’t see the dive. But he was critical of Alli and said the 21-year-old must learn from his mistakes. 

“But if it was like this he needs to learn,” Pochettino told Sky Sports. “He must learn. This type of action doesn’t help him, doesn’t help the team and doesn’t help the football.

“We are talking in the last few years about fair play, about being honest. I think he is improving a lot and learning but still he must learn.”

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