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Tottenham news: Eric Dier hits back against latest Dele Alli diving claims

ERIC DIER has backed Dele Alli over his latest diving controversy and accused critics Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer of being hypocrits.

Alli, booked twice already this season for simulation and then accused by Rochdale of diving in Spurs’ FA Cup fifth-round clash with the League One side last week, was at the centre of another storm on Sunday.

The Tottenham forward went down under a challenge from Palace defender Patrick Van Aanholt at Selhurst Park and claimed a spot-kick. It looked like he had a case, but his opponent was infuriated. The pair squared up to each other at the time and had words at the end of the match.

Palace fans were further infuriated when Alli went down theatrically over goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey a few minutes later in another claim waved away by referee Kevin Friend.

Former England strikers Lineker and Shearer both attacked Alli on social media, Lineker labelling him ‘Divey Alli’ and saying: “Needs to work on his technique. Seems to consistently anticipate contact rather than wait for it.” Shearer described the second incident as “a blatant dive”.

After the game, won 1-0 by Tottenham with Harry Kane’s last-minute header, manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted Alli had become a target because of his reputation.

And Alli’s Spurs and England team-mate Dier hit back at Lineker and Shearer, saying: “I don’t think Dele dived. I’m sure they probably both dived in their careers.

“Obviously, because it’s Dele, 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 a sense of ‘I need to get out of the way’. If the opponent then stops, it’s difficult.”

Dier revealed Alli is ignoring all the flak and just getting on with his game.

“That’s the great thing about Dele,” he added. “I don’t think he pays any attention to it and 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. The rest really is irrelevant.

“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, 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 – the manager, our team-mates and our family. What anyone else says should really bother us.”

Kane, whose lifted Spurs lying two points above Chelsea in fourth place, also weighed on Alli’s behalf.

“It’s hard when people watch football and they don’t really understand. Sometimes players dive but sometimes you can’t get out of the way,” he said.

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“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, but the referee is 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 then that’s when we’ve got to trust the refs. They can’t let that affect them. 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.”

Source: www.express.co.uk

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