ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger has taken a pop at Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli ahead of Saturday’s north London derby clash.
Arsenal take on Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday (12.30pm) and will be hoping to secure back-to-back wins against their rivals.
The Gunners ran out 2-0 winners at the Emirates earlier in the season and Arsene Wenger has already begun the mind games ahead of the weekend showdown.
Making reference to Spurs’ two penalties in their dramatic 2-2 draw with Liverpool, the Frenchman insisted simulation should have no place in the sport.
And in a thinly-veiled dig at Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Wenger claimed English players had now become the ‘masters’ of diving in the Premier League.
“We have to get the diving out of the game,” Wenger said.
“I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it.
“But I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now.”
Wenger’s counterpart Mauricio Pochettino appeared to defend diving following Spurs’ draw with Liverpool last weekend.
Alli was booked for simulation in the match but the Tottenham boss insisted “tricking your opponent” was all part of the game.
However, Wenger insisted he would never encourage his players to win penalties by attempting to deceive the referee.
“I am convinced that he wanted to say that tricking your opponent is to say that you have to be clever,” he added.
“How far was it an apology for diving? I’m not sure at all. I don’t think he would.
“In my personal case I don’t encourage them to dive at all.
“Sometimes you want your players to be intelligent, they have played a little bit with the rules, they make more of it on the penalty case.
“Every striker will do that. They extend, a little bit, the rules.
“Where is it and how far can you go? That is down to the referees and I think that sometimes, at normal speed, it is very difficult to determine.
“Most of the time, when a player is going to the goalkeeper, they push the ball away from goal.
“I think they had a good rule in England when I arrived here.
“When the striker pushes the ball away from the goal, they didn’t give penalties because the only resource the striker has after is to look for a penalty.
“In many cases it’s like that now, the guy goes and if the goalkeeper has their hands off, the striker leaves a leg as long as he can to make sure that the goalkeeper touches him. But that’s not really a penalty.”