Football, News 2018-02-26 12:20 PM

Harry Kane has called on referees to ignore the controversy surrounding Dele Alli after the Tottenham  star was labelled a diver by former England captains Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.

 

Lineker and Shearer called Alli out on social media during the second half of Spurs’ 1-0 win yesterday, while Alli was also confronted by Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt after the final whistle.

Alli may argue that one challenge by Van Aanholt in the second half deserved a penalty, though there was no contact when he tumbled over goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey soon afterwards.

Both Kane, who scored his 150th career goal at Selhurst Park, and Eric Dier leaped to the defence of their team-mate, who finds himself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

Kane said: “Sometimes you do get a reputation but then that’s when we’ve got to trust the referees. 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 up to the ref to do his job and that’s all we can count on.

“Sometimes players dive but sometimes you can’t get out of the way, and I’ve said before, if someone makes a challenge why should you jump out of the way? It’s your opponent’s 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 refs are there to make a call on the day and you’ve just got to go with what he says.”

The flashpoint follows an incident against Liverpool this month, when Alli was booked for diving, and he also fell under the spotlight for a penalty he won against Rochdale last week.

Alli is thought to be frustrated as he believes others are not judged by the same standards: Andros Townsend lost his footing under very little pressure from Mousa Dembele at Selhurst Park, earning the Belgian a booking, but Townsend has received scant criticism. There was also little dispute at the time from the Rochdale players for the spot-kick awarded late.

Van Aanholt started the argument with Alli after the final whistle, although the 21-year-old reacted and had to be led away by Kane and Eriksen. There was also an exchange with some Palace officials near the tunnel, when Alli appeared to make a ‘1-0’ sign with his hands.

Nobody in the Spurs squad is as close to Alli as Dier, who is confident the ongoing debate will not affect his team-mate. Dier said: “I am sure they [Lineker and Shearer] probably both dived in their careers. These things happen.

“Because it’s Dele, it probably gets more attention than it deserves. Take the incident at Liverpool: I was standing right behind him and it looked like the defender was about to come and take him out. There’s a moment where you think: ‘I need to get out of the way’. That’s a difficult situation.

“One of the best things about football is that everyone has an opinion, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s opinion is right. But the great thing about Dele is that he doesn’t pay attention to it.

“All he needs to worry about is how his team-mates see him, how the manager [Mauricio Pochettino] sees him and how his family see him.”

Meanwhile, Palace debutant Aaron Wan-Bissaka praised Townsend’s influence after the academy graduate was surprisingly elevated to the starting line-up.

Wan-Bissaka had a tough afternoon and would not have played without such an extensive injury list but revealed Townsend had been a constant source of encouragement in recent weeks.

Townsend had to fight tooth and nail to become a first-teamer at Tottenham after joining the club as an eight-year-old and it seems he is keen to pass on those lessons.

Wan-Bissaka said: “He helped me a lot, and he helps the others [young players] a lot when we come training with the first team. He just kept pushing me, and told me I’d done well.

“If I made a mistake he’d keep my head up and tell me to try again and keep going, rather than shouting and moaning, and that helped a lot.”

 

 

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