England will benefit from Dele Alli living on the edge – but they need Mauricio Pochettino to guide him writes John Dillon in tonights London Evening Standard.
Dillion writes how Mauricio Pochettino was himself sent off 13 times while playing for Espanyol in Spain, and asks does that make the Spurs boss seem like the man who can ‘tame’ the often rash Dele should he even want him to?
Dele will of course miss England’s World Cup qualification clincher against Slovenia tonight after being banned for making the much talked about offensive one-finger gesture last time out against Slovakia.
The article goes on to say that it is true that international footballers should not be behaving like Alli did no matter who they’re aiming their digits.It is,however, asked that perhaps a fine alone would have been sufficient punishment. Its added that incident has contributed to the 21-year-old’s growing reputation as a troublemaker, however Dillon asks us to look at it a bit differently.
He adds that the current England team is the most “colourless and anodyne” in its history, invariably flopping at big tournaments.
The article adds that recent victories over Malta and Slovakia, were subject of derisions on social media mocking the “sheer tedium and sterility of both occasions”.
Dillon reckons that Gareth Southgates team needs some spark and that Alli has that spark, as well as a huge amount of talent, even if it sometimes gets the better of him.
If England can add a bit of that spark in Russia next summer it might help put an end to the downward spiral which saw the national team perform rather abjectly in the previous World Cup and of course Euro 2016.
It is such a tangled subject, adds Dillon,because England have had plenty of big characters in the past,but never made signficant impact and that falling back on the issue could be seen as clutching at straws.
Dillon concludes that as France, Spain and Germany possess such extravagant and seasoned talents, the English are indeed clutching at straws no matter what happens when, as expected, the World Cup place is secured.