Dele: “Nobody wants to be labelled a cheat”

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Dele Alli has had his say on his critics amid accusations of diving.He was recently hailed as the best 21-year-old in world football by Mauricio Pochettino, however some critics have branded him a cheat following two bookings for simulation this season.

Alli also received further criticism for an alleged dive in our 1-0 win at Crystal Palace last month, although he did not pick up a yellow card on that occasion.Speaking to The Telegraph, Alli admitted that he resented questions about his honesty as a player, while he moved to defend his decision to go to ground at Selhurst Park despite the lack of contact from goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Alli said: ‘Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat. It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action.

He added: “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different.That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust.

He went on to say: “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me”

He added: “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.”

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