DELE ALLI has taken huge strides forward this season. The 19-year-old midfielder has been a revelation in a Tottenham side who are right in the thick of the title race.
He’s already scored a contender for goal of the season and has every chance of being part of England’s Euro 2016 squad.
But there’s another side of Alli’s game that’s not so savoury and he was extremely fortunate it didn’t cost him a red card against Fiorentina earlier in the week.
As the Daily Mail reported:
“Tottenham midfielder Dele was fortunate not to be sent off in his side’s 1-1 draw with Fiorentina in the Europa League round of 32 tie first-leg, according to BT Sport’s panel of pundits.
“The England international was booked on the half-hour mark at the Stadio Artemio Franchi after he kicked La Viola’s Nenad Tomovic while the defender was on the floor.
“Replays appeared to show that Alli made no effort to jump over Tomovic, who had cleared the ball into touch, and instead caught him with his boot.”
Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman said in his post-match analysis:
“It was as clear as day and he should have got a red card actually. He certainly would have got a red card in the Premier League.”
Fellow pundit and ex-Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jeans added:
“The more he keeps doing it, the more the refs are going be looking out for it. It’s something he needs to cut out from his game.’”
Indeed, this is not the first time that Alli has been called out on his poor discipline. Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew accused the teenager of stamping on Yohan Cabaye in Spurs’ 3-1 win over the Eagles in January.
All, however, defended his reputation, saying:
“I like to express myself and that is not something I will look to change. Do you need an aggressive streak to thrive? You could say that.
“A lot of the great players have that mentality. I want to be the best I can and if that’s what I need to do it, that’s what I do.”
However, there’s a clear line between being a hard man and an act of thuggery and Alli would be well advised to concentrate on the positive aspects of his game.
Tottenham fans, is this ‘aggressive streak’ something you’d like to see Alli eradicate from his game or would that make him a less effective player?