Dele Alli caused outrage in Tottenham's 5-0 demolition of Swansea on Saturday when England's latest golden boy appeared to engage in the least British of all football's practices - diving.
Mauricio Pochettino insisted he didn't see the incident properly when he was interviewed post-match, and could not say if his young charge had 'simulated'.
However, As quoted in the Guardian, the Argentine gave a rather muddled and unapologetic answer to the overall notion of diving.
“You cannot advise: ‘Don’t fall down or…’ It’s too difficult to work about that. Dele is how he is. I haven’t spoken to him and I need to speak with him to know what happened in that situation.
"Maybe, he will say: ‘OK, I fell down and I didn’t mean to dive but the referee believed it was a penalty.’ Or, it wasn’t his intention. But it’s difficult [to speak about it] now.”
Pochettino also couldn't resist citing a personal example of how the notion of English 'honesty' is nothing but a myth in the modern game, reminiscing on the time Michael Owen went down under minimum contact from the now Spurs boss in England's 1-0 World Cup 2002 victory over Argentina in Japan.
“It was 15 years or so ago when Owen dived,” Pochettino said.
“Don’t believe that English football is always fair play because Owen jumped like [he was] in a swimming pool. Come on. I didn’t touch him. I promise you. It’s true.”
“Now, we have the influence of the Latin people that try to cheat, always,” Pochettino said. “Maybe, you were more pure 20, 25, 30 years ago. Now you are like us!”
Pochettino right to highlight that English players have been diving for years. Not many look like they practise as hard as Dele Alli, though— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) December 5, 2016
The former Espanyol boss also made a rather candid confession in the interview, admitting that in Argentina, players practised diving, although it is not something he advocates as a manager himself.
“The people sometimes practise that [diving]. It’s true. But many years ago. Now, I don’t know. But when I was a player, it was part of training to try to cheat. Yes, [it was] at Newell’s. Estudiantes, if you remember… Many, many years ago. It was part of practice.”