Eric Dier and Jose Mourinho reveal how Dele reacted to being taken off at half-time


Tottenham Hotspur got off to the worst possible start in the Premier League at the weekend as they lost at home to Everton in their opening match of the season.

While there was little to separate the sides in a rather uneventful first-half, the Toffees blew the Lilywhites away in the second 45 and eventually won via a Calvert-Lewin header.

Jose Mourinho looked to make an early change at the break as he introduced Moussa Sissoko and took off Dele Alli, moving Lucas Moura up into a second striker role.

However, the Special One was never truly able to get his side into the game in the second half, despite multiple changes to personnel and tweaks to the system.

Speaking in their pre-match press conference ahead of the Europa League match against Lokomotiv Plovdiv, both Eric Dier and Jose Mourinho revealed how Dele Alli reacted to being taken off at half-time.

Mourinho said (Football London): “The change at half-time was not the first time I’ve done that in my career. I did that with Eric Dier against Olympiacos. When I do these things I always do it for the team. In some cases the option was choosing right, in others it was proven wrong. In this case it didn’t work and the team wasn’t better in the second half. That’s my job to make decisions. There is no story. There is no cases.

“Dele’s a very polite guy, very calm, I think he’s a bit introspective. When you think a lot about things, so I think the way he reacted was Dele. Was quiet, was sad but in the end after the game he was just one of many. But again, I repeat, he’s a good boy. Very, very polite and I never saw from him, in here, with myself, with the others, a strong reaction. A good boy, a really good boy.”

Dier added: “He took me off after 30 minutes [against Olympiacos]. It’s even worse! Dele’s fine. We’re big boys. Football is not a nice world. It’s all about results and performances. Dele is not the first person to be taken off at half-time. I don’t think it’s the first time he’s been taken off at half-time and it won’t be the last for any of us. It’s about how you react and move forward. Knowing Dele and his mentality, he will take it in that way and push on from there.”

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