Press conference

'We have to get diving out of the game'

Ahead of the north London derby, Mauricio Pochettino's comments about diving have provoked a lot of discussion.

Arsene Wenger was asked about what the Tottenham manager had to say, and this is what he had to say:

on what he makes of Pochettino’s comments that tricking your opposition is part of the game…
I am convinced that he wanted to say that tricking your opponent is to say that you have to be clever. How far was it an apology for diving? I’m not sure at all. I don’t think he would. In my personal case? No. We have to get the diving out of the game. 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.

on whether he actively tells our players not to dive…
I don’t tell my players to dive.

on if he tells them not to dive also…
Yes, I don’t encourage them to dive at all. But if you look at the situation, I think when sometimes you do not want to provoke a dive as well. 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, I must say. On that front, as much as I can be harsh with the referees, on that front I am quite tolerant with the referees because when you watch a game live it is very difficult at 100 per cent pace to distinguish whether it is a dive or not. 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 in England. 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.