Eric Dier defends Spurs team-mate Dele Alli over latest diving accusation and hits back at Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 February 2018
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Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane also offers his views on diving and calls for referees to ignore reputations and make the right decision
Eric Dier has defended his Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Dele Alli over new accusations of diving following Sunday’s victory over Crystal Palace, while Harry Kane says referees must ignore players’ reputations around simulation.
Alli was booked for diving at Anfield earlier this month, and there was then scrutiny over the spot-kick he won at Rochdale eight days ago, with the home side’s manager Keith Hill stating: “I’m led to believe he was looking for it” – although he added he didn’t blame the Spurs midfielder.
Alli then had two penalty appeals against Palace on Sunday. While he seemed to be kicked from behind by Patrick van Aanholt on the first occasion, being denied a legitimate spot-kick, he went on to tumble over onrushing goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, appearing to start falling before contact had been made.
Gary Lineker tweeted “Divey Alli”, adding the 21-year-old “needs to work on his technique. [He] seems to consistently anticipate contact rather than wait for it”.
Alan Shearer concurred, posting: “A blatant dive.” But Dier responded after the match: “I’m sure they probably both dived in their careers. These things happen. Because it’s Dele, I think it probably gets more attention than it deserves.
“It’s difficult sometimes. If you take the action in the game against Liverpool, where he got booked for diving, I was standing right behind him.
“When he’s running towards the ball, he’s taken a touch and it looks like the guy is about to come and take him out. There’s a sense of ‘I need to get out of the way’. If he (the opponent) goes and then stops, it’s difficult. That’s a difficult situation.
“The great thing about Dele is I don’t think he pays any attention to [the criticism], and I think that’s the most important thing.
“All he needs to pay attention to is how his team-mates feel and how the manager sees him and how his family see him, and the rest really is irrelevant.”
Dier continued: “One of the beautiful things about football is everyone has an opinion, but it doesn’t mean everyone’s opinion is right.
“It’s difficult because nowadays with Twitter and Instagram and every other social media outlet, and the internet, everyone has an opinion and you have to sift through it to find the right one.
“That’s why I say for every footballer, myself included, we just need to focus on the people that matter to us. I don’t think what anyone else says should really bother us.”
Kane, who scored Spurs’ late goal in the 1-0 win at Selhurst Park, is also aware of the criticism Alli has been receiving - and he believes the repeated accusations of diving are making him a target for hostile crowds.
“It’s hard when people watch football and they don’t really understand,” he said. “Sometimes players dive but sometimes you can’t get out of the way.
“I’ve said before, if someone makes a challenge why should you jump out of the way? It’s their own fault.
“When you get a reputation and when it’s happened a couple of times, the fans get on your back and things like that, but the referee’s there to make a call on the day and you’ve just got to go with what he says.
“Sometimes you do get a reputation but that’s when we’ve got to trust the refs. They can’t let that affect them, and I don’t think they do. They’ve got to see what they see on the day and make a decision from that.
“The fans might jeer or boo every time it happens but it’s down to the ref to do his job and that’s all we can count on.”
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