Redknapp dismisses claims that Bale dives

Tottenham boss has defended the Wales international after suggestions that he overreacted to win a penalty for his side in the 5-2 defeat against Arsenal last weekend
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has denied suggestions that Gareth Bale dives.

The Welshman came under scrutiny last week after falling down under the challenge of Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to earn his side a penalty in the north London derby.

However, Redknapp insists the only reason why the winger is accused of simulation is because opponents struggle to deal with his pace and quick change of direction.

"I don't think he dives," he told reporters.

"I haven't spoken to him about it and there is no need to. He gets kicked from pillar to post most Saturdays."

Redknapp also says Bale, like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, has to acknowledge that he will be on the receiving end of "rough treatment" from opposition players.

He added: "I think you will find there is an awful lot of players who have been booked for chopping him down with cynical challenges this year, rather than him going down under no challenge.

"He takes some rough treatment, he gets chopped down an awful lot because he runs so quick and he changes direction so quickly.

"He has to accept it. The great players do like Messi and Ronaldo.

"I watch Spanish football every week and Messi gets chopped down and kicked but he gets up and gets on with it. He never misses a game.

"Gareth is a great young player with a fantastic future and he has to accept that.

"It doesn't worry me. He is 6ft tall and is built like Ronaldo. He is strong. He can take it."