In the build-up to Saturday’s much-anticipated North London Derby, much of the attention in the press has been around Arsene Wenger’s comments about Tottenham players and diving.
The Arsenal manager appears to have taken a dig at Dele Alli and Harry Kane, with the pair accused of playacting in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool last Sunday.
While Alli was booked for simulation in the game at Anfield and should stamp this out of his game, Wenger needs to think twice before targeting Tottenham players with these remarks.
Arsenal’s players are just as guilty, and more so, of playacting than their Spurs equivalents.
A classic example was Alexis Sanchez falling to the ground spectacularly in the first Derby of the season, winning a free-kick after an innocuous ‘challenge’ from Davinson Sanchez.
Arsenal capitalised from this playacting as Shkodran Mustafi scored from the resulting free-kick, but Wenger more than likely will not have seen the incident.
The Frenchman’s comments will surely not wind up the Tottenham players as much as they have the fans, but the veteran manager most likely has another motive.
Arsenal have lost a few high-profile penalties this season and his comments, specifically with Alli in mind as the Tottenham attacker gains a reputation for diving, will be in an attempt to influence referee Anthony Taylor.
Pointless comments ahead of the Derby have been swatted aside by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, as Wenger resorts to mind-games knowing his side are coming up against a superior opponent.
White Heart Lane has been developed from one man’s love of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. It is designed to be a forum of news, opinions, reaction and comment from this Spurs fan and the multitude of Tottenham supporters around the world.