Mauricio Pochettino recalls Michael Owen 'dive' after Dele Alli won penalty

LONDON -- The South American culture of simulation has spread to English football, according to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who still feels he was a victim of Michael Owen's play-acting in World Cup 2002.

Tottenham opened the scoring with a penalty after Dele Alli appeared to dive in Saturday's 5-0 victory over Swansea in the Premier League, and Pochettino drew parallels between the incident and his challenge on Owen, which led to David Beckham's winner from the penalty spot in Japan.

"It was 15 years ago when Owen dived," the Spurs manager said after Saturday's win at White Hart Lane. "Don't believe that English football is always fair because Owen jumped like [he was] in a swimming pool. Come on! I didn't touch him. I promise you. It's true.

"Today football is more global. It's more European football. Now we have the influence of the Latin people that try to cheat always. Maybe you were more pure 20, 25, 30 years ago, now you are like us," he laughed.

Tottenham have been awarded eight penalties this season -- four in the Premier League -- and Pochettino admitted that he had practised diving when he was a player for Argentinian club Newell's Old Boys.

However the 44-year-old insisted that he "did not like" the practice now and said practising simulation was a thing of the past.

"In Argentina, yes -- the people sometimes practise that. It's true. But many years ago. Now I don't know. But when I was a player always it was part of training to try to cheat.

"At Newell's, many, many years ago, it was part of practice. Now, of course I don't like. I don't like that."

Alli appeared to throw himself to the ground, despite minimal contact from former Spurs player Kyle Naughton, and the England midfielder had a hand in four of Spurs' five goals.

Asked if he would speak to the 20-year-old, Pochettino said: "It's too difficult to advise because you cannot recreate in the future the same situation and you cannot advise, 'Don't fall down.' It's too difficult.

"It's too difficult to work about that. Dele is how he is. I didn't talk with him and I need to speak with him to know what happened in that situation. Maybe he will say, 'OK I fell down but I didn't mean to dive but the referee believed it was a penalty.' Or it wasn't his intention... But it's difficult now."