Arsenal boss says not surprised by Mkhitaryan's professionalism

Tricia Pearson
February 9, 2018

Arsene Wenger has weighed in to the debate over diving following Mauricio Pochettino's comments about "tricking the opponent". But given the spotlight is firmly on Kane and Alli, his suggestion English players have overtaken their foreign counterparts when it comes to simulation is sure to fan the flames.

Having watched the Belgian defender compete for the full 90 minutes for the first time in more than three months in his 200th game in charge of the north London outfit, Pochettino steered clear of voicing his intentions as it relates to Saturday's fixture.

'I don't encourage my players to dive at all.

"I can not say if they look stronger or not than they were since their new signings".

As Bob Wilson, who had played in that 1971 team, put it: "I don't think there is a greater joy you can have as an Arsenal player than to win the championship on the ground of your nearest and greatest opponents Tottenham Hotspur". All strikers will do that.

Tottenham host Arsenal in the North London derby at Wembley Stadium on Saturday at 12.30pm.

"On that front, as much as I can be harsh with the referee, I'm quite tolerant with the referees because when you watch a game live it's very hard at 100 per cent to distinguish whether it's a dive or not". "I'm not surprised by that - to me, it's completely normal", said the manager. "Was it an apology for diving?"

"I don't put Arsenal as favourites due to their appalling away record", he said.

The Spurs boss was certainly not making excuses for his stance after being informed of Wenger's words.

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"No decision. Still no decision", Pochettino said, when asked if Alderweireld would feature. But as the old rivals prepare to meet in the Premier League for the second time this season, a different kind of change may be looming. "I've kind of had a flawless balance of that and I've just been able to go through it all with the people I love". I am working like I am going to be here forever.

The key player was Pascal Gross, the number ten who scored one and assisted another but generally dictated the tempo in the gaps left by Pablo Zabaleta - playing in central midfield for the visitors. "I love the diversity - you can find it (diving) in England, Spain or Argentina".

Arsenal have not lost at Wembley since Chelsea beat them there in the 2009 FA Cup with nine consecutive wins at the ground.

"Overall, two players integrated well into our game and they looked as if they had played for us forever".

"I am honest always", he told a pre-match news conference.

"If you look well at the history, he played only one game".

"They have won just three of their 13 Premier League away games".

Last week, with a 5-1 over Everton, and with a back four, the Arsenal manager showed he has a potentially exciting and refreshed attack ready to take on all-comers in the last third of the season.

"My family, and just the people around me in my life - you know, my friends, they take care of me, and whenever I'm too high, they bring me right down and when I'm too low, they pick me up", Pulisic said.

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