EDDIE Howe does not believe a reputation for diving can be judged by a player’s nationality.

The Cherries boss was speaking following comments by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who claimed English players "might be the masters" of simulation.

The subject hit the headlines following England star Dele Alli's caution for diving as Tottenham drew at Liverpool on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s north London derby, Wenger said: “We have to get the diving out of the game.

“I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and might even be the masters now."

Quizzed on whether he felt English players were divers, Howe replied: “I don’t think you can label it at foreign players or English players. There will be isolated incidents.

“My personal opinion is I don’t think we have a big problem with diving in this country or in this league. I have always said that.

“It’s really good this season that the authorities are taking a stand against it and trying to give retrospective punishment if they believe the referee has made a mistake and been caught by someone diving to win a penalty or an advantage.

“The changes are subtle and I think that is happening throughout the players’ minds. They are now more aware of what they have to do and their responsibilities in that sense.”

Howe named eight English players in his starting XI for his team’s 2-1 victory over Stoke City last time out.

Norwegian international Joshua King received a caution from referee Paul Tierney for simulation just before the hour mark.

Substitute King’s actions were described as “shocking” by England legend Gary Lineker on Match of the Day.

Pundit Danny Murphy added: “I don’t like seeing that from any player, it’s not acceptable.”

Boss Howe insisted he would never encourage a player to purposely hit the deck.

“I have never complimented a player for diving,” he added.

“I have a difficult enough job refereeing training sessions where there are contentious decisions.

“You have to try to figure out ‘has he dived or was there a genuine touch?’ It’s a tough job for referees and I find that myself. It’s certainly not something we encourage here.”