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Barkley's no diver, insists Everton manager Martinez

By Carl Markham

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is adamant that Ross Barkley is not a 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 throwing himself down on purpose after he hit the deck in the first half of the 2-1 Barclays 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 Barkley is not the sort of player to try to "buy a decision" and says it is understandable the 20-year-old England international might end up on the turf while attempting to avoid some of the "rough treatment" he has to endure in matches.

Asked at his press conference to preview this evening's Europa League Group H match at Wolfsburg whether he had spoken to Barkley about diving, Martinez said: "Not at all - I don't think it (Saturday's incident) 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. I don't think he looks for those sort of decisions. He wasn't trying to buy a decision.

"It is an incident from the game that you can understand - when you see his legs after the game, you understand the rough treatment he gets.

"It was just a reaction. The whole situation has been blown out of proportion."

The Football Association has, meanwhile, announced that Everton and West Ham have been charged for 'failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion' on Saturday.

There was a melee after Everton's James McCarthy tackled Morgan Amalfitano, with a large number of Hammers players confronting the Republic of Ireland international.

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