Premier League

Spurs' Pochettino says Deli Alli dive getting too much attention

Such a focus on incidents like Dele Alli's dive has Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino fearing for the future of the game.

Pochettino: We are going to kill the game by over-analysing

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino backed Dele Alli and believes there has been too much focus on the midfielder's booking for diving against Liverpool.

Dele Alli is a little nasty - Pochetino

Alli, 21, was shown a yellow card for simulation during the thrilling 2-2 draw at Anfield Sunday.

While Pochettino believes the decision was correct, the Argentinian fears for the future of the game with such attention on what he said was a "minimal issue".

"Look, it was a yellow card. It happens. The referee was right. During different games, a lot of situations like this happen," he told UK newspapers.

Liverpool FC vs Tottenham Hotspur FCTaking a tumble | Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli dives in the penalty area during the Premier League game against Liverpool.

"The problem now is that we are so sensitive about the situation, and then we are so focused on Dele Alli. It's too much sometimes. There is such a focus on this type of situation. I think it's a minimal issue.

"Look, there are a lot of positives from Dele. Of course, he's not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Of course, he is a clever boy. He is a little bit nasty.

"The problem is that, more than this type of situation, I am worried we are going to change the game that we know."

Trick vs honesty in football

Pochettino feels such a focus on diving is likely to hurt the game in the long run, saying deception was a part of football he loved.

"You believe that in England you were honest and always perfect. That is the football I was in love with when I was a child," he said.

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen celebrates with Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min after scoring their first goal against Man Utd.

"Football is about trying to trick your opponent. Yes or no? What does tactic mean? When you do some tactics, it is to try to trick the opponent.

"You say: 'Oh, I play on the right but I'm going to finish on the left'. It's a mix and I am worried that maybe we are going to kill the game."