Mauricio Pochettino has evidently had quite enough of being asked about Dele Alli’s dive.
The 20-year-old won a penalty for the opening goal against Swansea with his theatrics, and it’s sadly overshadowed his otherwise brilliant performance against the Premier League’s basement club.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, Pochettino’s response to reporters was the textbook “didn’t see it”.
However, this is an issue close to the Tottenham manager’s own heart.
Long before he was one of Europe’s up-and-coming managers, he was playing for Argentina and coming up against the likes of England’s pesky Michael Owen.
Owen’s famous ‘dive’ 15 years ago is still clearly a subject which hits a little too close to home, and Pochettino has now hilariously called him out on it.
More specifically, he’s called out the whole of English football, and he’s not having their ‘holier-than-thou’ approach to foreign players.
“It was 15 years or so ago when Owen dived,” he said, per the Guardian.
“Don’t believe that English football is always fair play because Owen jumped like [he was] in a swimming pool. Come on. I didn’t touch him. I promise you. It’s true.”
While Owen would probably rather he hadn’t brought that up, the Lilywhites boss does make a fair point, and it’s impossible to deny it’s a feature of the game that has now crept into the Premier League.
It’s also unclear whether Alli actually meant to dive or whether he simply fell; it initially looked as if Jon Moss was about to book him for simulation, before he pointed to the spot.
“You cannot advise: ‘Don’t fall down or…’ It’s too difficult to work about that,” Pochettino added.
“Dele is how he is. I haven’t spoken to him and I need to speak with him to know what happened in that situation. Maybe, he will say: ‘OK, I fell down and I didn’t mean to dive but the referee believed it was a penalty.’ Or, it wasn’t his intention. But it’s difficult [to speak about it] now.”