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Everton's Martinez insists Barkley is no diver

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has denied claims that Ross Barkley is a diver.

The talented youngster was accused of simulation during the weekend's 2-1 win over West Ham United at Goodison Park with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce suggesting he fell easily to win a free-kick which led to his side's opening goal.

However, Martinez has played down suggestions that the 20-year old England midfielder attempted to dive when under slight pressure from Kevin Nolan and stated that Barkley actually deals well with the close-checking treatment he regularly receives.

"Not at all - I don't think it (Saturday's incident) was a dive as such," said Martinez.

"When you are a player like Ross Barkley and you are getting so many knocks and kicks during the game, the only thing he did was anticipate a tackle that didn't arrive - he tried to get out of the way.

"I don't think he looks for those sort of decisions. He wasn't trying to buy a decision.

"It is an incident from the game that you can understand - when you see his legs after the game, you understand the rough treatment he gets.

"It was just a reaction. The whole situation has been blown out of proportion."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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