The criticism which Dele Alli has been receiving is harsh, according to former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara.
The England international was the subject of intense scrutiny by the Sky Sports punditry panel following Tottenham’s 2-1 loss at Liverpool on Sunday where Gary Neville, Graeme Souness and Roy Keane all tore into the 23-year-old (Sky Sports).
O’Hara claimed that the midfielder initially performed well at Anfield initially but his performance was affected when he dropped into a deeper midfield role rather than playing off Harry Kane.
While the likes of Roy Keane also criticised Dele’s off-field activities, O’Hara believes that it is time for people to lay off the former MK Dons player and allow him to focus on getting fit and enjoying his football once again.
Dele has struggled with muscular issues which has seen him suffer a problem with his left hamstring on four occasions over the past two years (Guardian).
He made an impressive start to life at Tottenham in his first two seasons at the club which saw him become an England regular, but has since seen injury and a lack of form halt his progression as one of the best young players in Europe.
O’Hara told The Debate on Sky Sports PL (28/10/19 at 10:55 pm): “I don’t think it’s a lack of work rate,”
“There has been questions marks over his desire. I think that’s there. I thought he actually played quite well. He dropped into midfield and that’s when he dropped out of the game.
“The biggest thing Poch said for me there is ‘he’s a kid’. He’s 23-years-old. It’s very easy for everyone here to build him up and knock him down. He’s getting a pounding right now. I just think, leave the kid alone, let him get back to full fitness and playing without the limelight on him.
“Everyone questioning him on the field and off the field. Everything about his game is under scrutiny right now. Let him find his form and feet again. I think it’s been a little bit harsh. I have criticised him. We either keep hammering him and he falls away or we put our arm around him and build him up because he can still be a big player for England.”
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