Roy Hodgson says Dele Alli’s diving reputation is undeserved

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has rubbished the notion that Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli is a diver.

Alli has been criticised for simulation at times but Hodgson – who used to manage the player at international level with England – says such talk is completely unjustified.

The latest criticism of Alli followed his winning of a penalty during last weekend’s FA Cup draw at Rochdale.

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But, as Palace prepare to host Spurs on Sunday, Hodgson said he won’t be telling his players to expect simulation from the Spurs man when he gets in the box.

Hodgson said: “We do our team talk about Tottenham and discuss their players but we certainly don’t discuss Dele Alli and diving, because I don’t think he does. Simple as that.

“He runs with the ball and gets knocked over.

“In the time I was working with him, I saw no aspects to his play or to his character that suggested cheating in any way whatsoever.

“Yes, he will get knocked over in the penalty area, he’ll get fouled.

“Some will be given as penalties and some won’t be, and when the penalty isn’t given, people will say he dived, that’s the nature of football today.

“But he’s no cheat and he doesn’t dive, that’s for sure.