PALACE boss Ian Holloway says he was "saddened" and "offended" by claims Wilfried Zaha is a cheat after the winger was given a yellow card for an alleged dive at Stoke City on Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old looked to have been clipped inside the box, but referee Anthony Taylor saw different, and Holloway, who was furious with the decision, says it's about time something is done about it – especially in the Premier League.
"There was only one thing that saddened me and that's the referee dishing out a yellow card to my player, who beat someone and got caught, and I had to take him off because his ankle was hurting – did he make that up as well?", he said following the 4-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium.
"I've been labelled a cheat, and Wilfried Zaha's been labelled a cheat. That referee was so quick to make a decision and he says he was close enough and he sees it week in, week out in the Premier League, where people do cheat and dive.
"Both of us have been labelled a cheat - I know he's not.
"I was called a cheat because the referee has told my player that he dived. And if I see any of my players dive, I'll fine them – and they don't dive.
"In the Premier League, I see people diving and cheating to get things. My player was given a yellow card and it wasn't at all. If you look at it, he was actually caught so that's what's ruined it for me.
"Some people need to realise when someone flicks it past someone and they do get brought down, you shouldn't brandish a yellow card and call someone a cheat."
Holloway also believes it's about time people started to openly admit if a player has dived instead of using another term to describe that particular action in the game.
He said: "Simulation? What a load of rubbish. Why don't you say it how it is – they're cheating.
"I have never met a referee yet who hasn't made a mistake. I don't think they make as many as others but I think he made a mistake against us.
"That hurts me. That offends me. Wilfried is not like that and he hasn't got that cynical side which is everywhere in the Premier League – it's everywhere.
"And until we start to clamping down on it, the game is in jeopardy I think.
"That's the honest truth, and if you look at that, Wilf was upset. And after that, he did give a penalty; and he got that one right.
"The Stoke fans thought he dived again. Seriously? Our fans sing 'he's just too good for you', because how many people does he beat?"
Meanwhile, after the game on Tuesday, the media further questioned the current situation surrounding Zaha's future at Palace, which Holloway didn't take too kindly to.
"He might be out for about six months to stop you (the media) talking about him all the time – he's going to be out for months and months," he said sarcastically.
And at that particular moment, Holloway's mobile phone started ringing.
"Ah, that's probably Arsene Wenger now! Well, knowing the media, it would be him calling.
"Why should I give a straight answer because I'm sick and tired of reading about him. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
"How many hours and days until the end of this stupid, pathetic transfer window that forces people to do things – it's not very good.
"And there's a mad rush in January. So, all the media wait until there's a mad rush and they start speculating who's done any good in the window and you're all talking about them before it closes.
"How boring is it? Let's turn over and see some real life. Why do people put speculation on things when it hasn't happened yet?
"If it happens, great, we'll tell you about it. In the meantime, what about the rest of my team?
"If the media had an accurate story, it wouldn't be bad, would it? I know they're trying to do their job but at the end of the day, what is speculation?"