Date: 12th October 2020 at 6:00pm
Written by:

Like most Spurs supporters, I love Dele Alli. He’s ‘Our Alli’, after all. But if I’m being honest I love him more for the way he used to play when he first played at N17 than the way he has played for the last couple of years.

It would be easy to pick a performance during his time at Spurs that would highlight the good or the bad in Dele’s game. But I’m not interested in the odd performances …. just the consistency of his performances overall. After all, every team requires consistent performances from every player.

Dele’s consistency during the first two seasons of his career at The Lane soon made him ‘our Alli’. He was adored by the masses and his reward was fame and fortune. But a couple of seasons ago the wheels dropped off in terms of his consistency to perform. What happened?

Whatever happened there is no doubt his career took a different trajectory. He is no longer a focal part of the National squad and he has played a far less significant part in the Tottenham teams for some time. Both the national coaching team and the Tottenham coaching team recognised that something was wrong. It must be obvious to Spurs supporters that his consistency went walkabout.

Dele was a very young man when he became ‘the adored one’ at Tottenham. Did he handle this public adoration well? Media reports suggest his personal life may have become more important to him than his professional life. Tabloid photos of his outings with his girlfriend was splashed across newspaper pages. He seemed to be portrayed more as living the life of a rock star than the life of a professional football star. Was this just tabloid humbug or was there an element of truth?

Dele had a great understanding with the players around him for a couple of years. The players around him now are different, the team plays differently, the demands on his performance are different, and there is a new manager. When things change so much there is often the need to change with them.

We have all enjoyed his ‘tricks and flicks’. Dele can do unusual, cheeky, unexpected things with a football. It’s beautiful and entertaining to watch. Early on they used to work with regularity. Not so much now. Perhaps he should pay less attention to being tricky and more attention to playing basic team football. There are times in football matches when it’s best to keep it simple …. to pass to a team-mate rather than go for something more spectacular. The tricks and flicks would still be there, but used as a supportive skill to his game, not as the primary skill.

Spurs supporters have not seen such flair and sublime skills since Dimitar Berbatov graced our pitch. These skills are a part of Dele’s game and a part of who he is and how he likes to express himself. They should always be part of his game …. but just a part of it.

The reality is that Dele is no longer an integral part of the National squad and neither is he one of the first names on the Tottenham team sheet. But somewhere inside Dele Alli there remains a very good footballer who could be so much better than he currently is. Sometimes a question has to be asked, and someone has to ask it, so …. how does he show us that person as a Tottenham player?

Click for the forum

35 Replies to “Regarding Bamidele Jermaine Alli”

  • I’m not making any judgements here …. just offering some questions I’m sure many of us have wondered about.

  • Hi Geoff
    I responded to this thread earlier, but it seemed to get lost. Hope the gremlins aren’t back 🙁
    Thanks for the thread yet again.
    Dele was an excellent acquisition when he first arrived at N17.
    He had a little bit of nastiness as well as an abundance of skill and some trickery.
    Around the 2018 World Cup he got injured, it seemed minor at the time but (for me) it appears to have effected his performance. Its like he’s lost that tenacity he seems to give up too easily.
    For me that world Cup lost us as a club a lot of ground the following season.
    Not just Dele, but, Tripps, Dier and even HK10 lost something not to mention Rose.
    Is it that Dele has got the money, the house, the car, the fame, the girls etc and it’s, went to his head.
    He has the ability to come back, does he want to, we see it in flashes what he is capable of.
    I hope he comes back to form and I hope it’s in a Spurs shirt.

  • There’s two questions here. The first is Dele’s attitude. The second is whether we are going to be playing with a number 10, because if we aren’t then even at his best Deli has never had the same impact in other positions. With regard to attitude he wouldn’t be the first to struggle and won’t be the last. As we speak we are watching Danny Rose’s career coming to a premature end because of his attitude problems. We don’t know the details with Dele but his performances have declined at a stage of his career when they should be improving, which suggests there is a problem. Maybe he can turn that around, the question is does he want to badly enough ? Its safe to say he doesn’t have Harry Kane’s ruthless determination to be the best player he possibly can be or his performance level wouldn’t have dropped in the first place. Even if he does though there’s the second question. Dele’s best games have been played as a 10, playing off the central striker. But Jose doesn’t seem to really play that formation much, more a 4-3-3 relying on the wide attackers to provide support for Kane. So even if he gets back to his best how many games will he play ?

  • ND/jod …. Both great comments. Only Dele can answer the questions. I guess time (and Jose) will tell.

  • To sum up…Dele got injured hamstring, 2 years ago….then too much time off.. his girlfriend ruby split up with him… so he and friends lived a wealthy single guy lifestyle. Then dele got back with ruby… and another injury after recovering. Poch left and jose arrived, and called dele out as his brother !. Lockdown 3 mths and burglary / assault added to his “laidback / party mindset” which did not go down well with jose.

    So we have new players, it is difficult for dele to be selected for 1st team based upon his previous form. As jose has said, players have to be dedicated professionals and dele not be a party boy. Dele has to turn himself back to the player he was otherwise he is out of spurs within a year.

    Personally I hope he recovers his form and behaves as a professional like HK10, sonny etc. Perhaps a chat with Bale, HK10, Joe Hart may help him. As they are a top world class player, teammate, and experienced professionals.

  • Good morning all, hope your all keeping well in these strange times.

    Geof….thankyou for another very good article, a very good read.

    Right here goes with my small opinion, ND mentioned in his post “a little bit of nastiness” in Dele, that has gone for the last 2 seasons, it is part of his game attitude blah blah, but I did notice v MU when he came on during his spell there were a couple of times when that “nastiness” was coming back and I muttered to myself that’s our Deli, he is coming back.

    Basically he is a young man, so has very much the millenial attitude, me me me, he is a nipper with money to burn and an attitude of “I have made it”, JM did not like that, thus one way or another let him know that it has to go and that he has concentrate on his football/career, for me there is only one person who can help and that is Deli himself, you cannot help anyone if they do not want to help themselves.

    So lastly I say to Deli, come on young man prove all the doubter wrong and bring back the Deli we all know and love.

  • Thanks for the article Geof, the subject is likely to be one that will offer much speculation over the season.

    As I have commented a number of times (over various articles), and as Jod also points out, Dele performs at his best when played in the number 10 role just behind a striker as he did in Poch’s favoured 4231 formation. His problem is that under Jose we have moved on to different formations which don’t include his favoured role and it is very unlikely the manager is going to change this just to accommodate one specific player. He could of course change things up in a game to counteract the opposition formation changes which might allow him some game time but it’s very unlikely he is going to be a regular starter in the foreseeable future.

    There is one hope for him, that is to learn another role that would fit in with the managers preferred formations. I really don’t see him playing as one of a front three (except maybe in an emergency) even though I have thought at times he could play a similar role that we have seen from HK10 in recent times. I love his individual creativity, and the fact he can do the unexpected to wrong foot defenders, but if he is to have a future at Spurs he will probably have to learn to play a deeper role as a box to box midfielder but I don’t think he currently has the skills, power, or determination to win the ball back in the centre of the pitch but does already have the ability to carry the ball forward and find a defence splitting pass.

    All this said, as block 108 points out, Dele has been subject to many distractions in his private life and also to what appears to be/have been a niggling injury which will have affected his performances. It remains to be seen if he can re-focus on his footballing career and re-invent himself as a player that can embrace a different role that would give him more playing opportunities. I really hope so but if it’s not to be then we have to accept moving him on for a decent fee which could be re-invested in squad improvements in other areas of the pitch. At the end of the day sentimentality won’t bring success – however much we would all like it to!

  • Hi folks
    Trust you are all keeping well.
    Re Dele and attitude, and, how Mourinho wants him to respond.
    I’m now thinking about Rose and how he has behaved.
    I’m wondering was Poch the right guy to manage these players.
    Was his management style so different that it allowed players too much leeway opinion and player power, and when it became a problem it was too late to reel them back in.
    I think Walker was starting to become a problem but was transferred before it became an issue.
    I may be wrong but in some agreement with PY re “snowflake” Milennials however I think the me, me generation started with kids born in the mid 80’s its just got worse.
    Just my opinion, probably rubbish.

  • Just a thought……if Poch takes over at Manu how would we feel about selling him Dele for a stupidly high price and re-investing the money in defence?

  • TQ …. That works for me …. but only at the end of this season if Dele does not establish himself in the team.

  • Niall D, like you I had an earlier comment on this thread that never showed up. VC, like Dele, has seen better days and may never return to its form.

    Anyway, no loss to have lost my comments. Other commenters have said much of what I said. I’ll be surprised if Dele ever comes whole again. Success went to his head, it seems, and I haven’t seen anything from him that suggest sufficient inner strength to get the best out of himself.
    Hope I’m wrong about that.

  • Just watched the England v Turkey U21 match, Skipp had a game to forget, caught dwelling on the ball too many times, Sessegnon played well though. The Turks had a 17 year old at LCB who looked a very good prospect, kept Hudson-Odoi quiet all night.

  • Off Topic
    From what I’m reading it looks like England are taking their usual good care of HK10. (not)
    I hate these international matches during the season.
    This’ll be him injured with some sort of strain out for 4 or 5 weeks Achilles or Hammy.
    At least we may have someone in Vinni to cover if this happens.
    TK good point about
    Dele and inner strength.
    But as PY alluded to, there was a bit of the old” leave the boot in”Dele at Manu.
    Hopefully like N’Dom he has turned a corner.

  • ND …. I don’t think any of us want Kane to play on Wednesday but he could just as easily get a strain against WHU and be out for 5 weeks …. or against any other team. Who knows. But if Kane wants to play for his country (and I’m sure he does) that’s his call. It’s all part of football and whatever happens is up to the football gods.

  • Just checked the upcoming fixtures. We play our next games on …. Sunday, Friday, Tuesday, Friday, Monday, Friday. I wonder what people do at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon these days!

  • TQ2Spurs – Watched the same game. Agree with you but to be fair most of the England team had a game to forget.

  • Hi Jod…..yes, it wasn’t exactly inspiring was it! Our goalie was about the only player to perform well, isn’t he the young guy who played out of his skin against us for Bournemouth a while back?

  • There needs to be a re-think by the FA over selling the rights to England games to subscription channels, it is disgraceful that tonights game can only be seen live by fans if you have an expensive subscription to Sky Sports, I have the Now TV Sky Sports app on my phone but still won’t be able to view it. In addition to this ITV who have a highlights program aren’t showing this until 11.40pm by which time most people will be in bed asleep!

    At a time when matches generally are being made available to fans as they are unable to attend games it is a disgrace to treat England fans in this way and is just another example of the greed that permeates the game at higher level.

  • Geof… had me scratching my head over the fixture days you listed until I realised the evening games are early morning the following day for you! 🙂

Comments are closed.