Though in the end a draw was probably a fair result based on the run of play, based on how Tottenham earned their second on Sunday against Liverpool it was anything but fair—or at least that’s how most Reds fans saw it, believing Tottenham cheated their way to a level scoreline.
A few days removed from the action and former Red John Aldridge sees it that way, too, labelling Tottenham the biggest divers in the Premier League, saying neither penalty was deserved, and hitting out in particular at Dele Alli and Harry Kane—as well as the English media for largely ignoring their antics.
“Harry Kane and Dele Alli should be called out for what they are—cheats,” Aldridge said in the Irish Independent. “The referee and his linesman were conned by Kane’s tumble and it got worse when Erik Lamela fell to the ground like he had been shot in injury time and the assistant was duped into giving a second penalty.
“Referees and their assistants need to be wise to Tottenham’s antics from now on because even though they proved they are a great side with their performance at Anfield that was more than worthy of a point, they now have a reputation for being the biggest divers in the Premier League.”
Few in England, though, seem inclined to call out Alli and Kane for their diving ways, especially when compared to how willing the press tends to be to call out foreign-born players for simulation. And Aldridge thinks that’s being exacerbated by the upcoming World Cup.
Nobody in the English press wants to be the one who sends the two English Spurs stars to Russia with a reputation for cheating that could hurt England with the referees—and some may even worry that if they call the duo cheats it could see their access limited by the FA.
“I suspect you will not see too much coverage of this issue in the English newspapers,” he added, “because Kane and Alli are the stars of the England national team and with the World Cup around the corner, journalists will suck up to them and the English FA ahead of Russia 2018.”