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Ex-Spurs boss Pleat defends Alli over dive claims

Former Tottenham boss David Pleat has denied Dele Alli is a serial diver.

Pleat insists Alli is getting fouled because of his "courage and energy".

He explained in the Daily Mail: "To make runs like this among strong defensive bodies requires courage as well as timing. Frank Lampard had it. Before him, John Wark of Ipswich and Liverpool also excelled.

"Bravery, timing and dribbling skills are all major factors that enable Dele Alli to give problems to last-ditch defenders. It's not so surprising that he gets fouled or tipped off balance when he makes these runs several times in a game. Sometimes the merest touch at close quarters can affect a player's balance.

"Was anybody that surprised, for example, when the flying Gareth Bale was the recipient of so many free-kicks?

"England need a fit and worry-free Alli, who must continue to do what he does well. He will also be more than aware of the intense scrutiny his game attracts. With the help of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, he must be wary but not lose his poaching qualities and drive. Keep getting into that box, young man."

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Paul Vegas

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