Dele Alli has acquired a bad reputation in recent weeks. The English midfielder has been labelled a diver and a cheat in the weeks ever since Tottenham’s draw against Liverpool. It is clear to everyone that Alli has a tendency to go down easily. He also loses his temper in certain situations. However, the witch hunt that seems to portray him as the paragon of everything wrong with English football is bizarre and, quite frankly, suspect.
The Media’s Obsession With Dele Alli
Dele Alli and Social Media
The latest in these alleged dives came against Crystal Palace on Sunday. An off-balance Alli fell before contact was made against Wayne Hennesey. Many have argued that this was cheating. Meanwhile, others have defended him saying there wasn’t enough room to jump and the alternative was to injure the Palace goalkeeper. No one has come up with a definitive answer and it all rests on if Alli appealed for it or not. Twitter went into meltdown. Everyone with a camera shoved their families out of the way so that they could get in front of the television and record the incident. Then they all agreed on what a dirty cheat Dele Alli is.
That very same afternoon, Jack Wilshere clearly dived on three occasions. Wilshere is older and more experienced than Alli and is also English. It came as a surprise that there wasn’t the same blood lust when Wilshere went over and rolled around trying to get an opponent sent off. This incident came in a cup final and had a higher viewing audience. It is strange there wasn’t a similar reaction. Wilshere’s on and off-field conduct isn’t comparable to Alli’s. Even Alli’s temper is better than Wilshere’s. Wilshere probably squares up to an opponent once every two games. However, when Alli does it he’s disciplined but when it’s Wilshere then it’s passion.
From spitting on taxi drivers, to hijacking the Arsenal FA Cup trophy parade to yell profanities on two occasions, to harassing woman on nights out, it is strange that he hasn’t a similar hatred to Dele Alli or Raheem Sterling or even Sadio Berahino. It’s almost like those three have something in common that Wilshere does not have.
Anti-Spurs Bias or Something More Sinister
To label the English media as racist would be silly. Some aspects, like The Sun, have their racial biases, however it is not prevalent. It is more likely an anti-Tottenham bias as they’ve upset the perceived ‘natural order’ in English football. Ironically enough, Tottenham being media darlings is another stick used by rival fans to attack Tottenham with. These people do not think it’s weird that none of the top teams beaten by Spurs this season were player and the media decided that every single one simply had an off game and Tottenham just got lucky, this is all in between the media selling half the squad and manager to Real Madrid.
It is worrying to see a section of Liverpool fans harass Patrice Evra while chanting the name of the man who racially abused him then pick up the papers on Monday to see Dele Alli is a diver as the main headline. This is quickly becoming a common trend among more perceived reputable outlets.