Richard Buxton: Diving not in Spurs' blood, so they must cut it out
The Lilywhites must root out diving or risk ruining their fine standing
Tottenham often prided themselves on doing things the right way, and still do.
In tactics as well as transfers, they have set a standard to which most elite clubs have attempted to emulate.
Yesterday morning (Singapore time), however, a newly acquired and unwanted reputation for Mauricio Pochettino's side in their late 2-2 draw with Liverpool emerged through the aftermath of 90 minutes of spell-binding football.
What should have been a meeting between the English Premier League's two most entertaining sides, spearheaded by forerunners for this season's Golden Boot, descended into a 10-minute frenzy which painted the Lilywhites an uglier shade of colour.
Antics which preceded their smash-and-grab point at Anfield were unbecoming of the vibrant and consummate side that Pochettino has cultivated over the previous four seasons, not to mention massively out-of-step with Spurs' own impeccable, long standing.
Danny Blanchflower once famously declared that football is about glory; about doing things "in style and with a flourish".
The late White Hart Lane icon would not have recognised his former club in the scenes which unfolded during the second half of their Merseyside visit.
Chants which reverberated across Anfield at the final whistle held up an ugly mirror to the north Londoners.
They were "cheats", to themselves as much as the game itself.
Winning at all costs is one thing, but Spurs took the easy and cynical option far too often.
From Dele Alli throwing himself to the floor and Erik Lamela going down easily under pressure from Virgil van Dijk to win a soft-yet-correct second penalty for the visitors, Pochettino's players offered a huge disservice to their manager's commitment to purism.
The Argentinian's pursuit of perfection is why he has not, so far, jumped ship in favour of fighting fires elsewhere in Europe's top-five leagues.
A side resorting to the lowest common denominator might be a tipping point should the likes of Real Madrid come calling.
Alli, in particular, has continually undermined Pochettino more than most.
Simulation is fast becoming the England midfielder's Achilles heel far more than a penchant for rash challenges.
His manager has regularly implored his young protege to curb his party piece.
Stamping out the frequency of such cheap tricks from a team which remains among Europe's most dynamic and talented must now become a priority for the Spurs boss.
Pochettino was once touted as a future Manchester United manager by Sir Alex Ferguson.
The old master can now provide a platform on which he can continue to build in the English capital, particularly in taking down players with a penchant for the dark arts.
In 2012, Ferguson took Ashley Young to task after his reputation for going to ground at will became a major talking point rather than a sideshow for a fortnight too many.
The winger's punishment was an omission from the following week's game against Everton.
That 4-4 draw arguably cost United the EPL title in a battle for supremacy with Manchester City, which went right down to the literal final seconds of that campaign but Young ultimately heeded that message for the remainder of his time under Ferguson's watch.
Others that irked Old Trafford's modern godfather also learnt the error of their ways, with even Cristiano Ronaldo becoming more mindful of his diving tendencies as he evolved into one of the finest players of his generation.
The time has come for Pochettino, and others in the EPL, to follow Ferguson's lead.