Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists Ross Barkley is no diver and claims the incident where the Toffees midfielder went to ground in Saturday’s game against West Ham "has been blown out of proportion".
Barkley has faced accusations of diving after he hit the deck in the first half of the 2-1 Premier League home victory over the Hammers, winning his side a free-kick, even though replays showed there had been no contact on him from his nearest opponent, Kevin Nolan.
Martinez is adamant 20-year-old England international Barkley is not the sort of player to try to “buy a decision”.
Asked ahead of tonight’s Europa League Group H match at Wolfsburg (6pm, live on 3e, ITV4) whether he had spoken to Barkley about diving, Martinez said: “Not at all — I don’t think it was a dive, as such.
“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.”
Meanwhile the FA has announced that Everton and West Ham have been charged for “failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion” following their game on Saturday.
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