Journalist asks Mourinho what he thought of Dele Alli’s return to the first-team

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Much has been made of Dele Alli in the press over the past week after the English midfielder was dropped repeatedly by Spurs head coach, Jose Mourinho.

Alli started the club’s opening Premier League fixture but was removed at half-time at home to Everton in a lacklustre performance.

Mourinho then proceeded to leave Dele out of the squad not only for the Thursday night trip to Bulgaria in the Europa League, but also away to Southampton last weekend.

Alli finally made his second appearance of the new campaign last night against Shkendija in Tottenham’s Europa League qualifier, managing around 60 minutes in North Macedonia.

It was far from a diamond performance for the midfielder and Mourinho refused to comment on his individual showing, although he did reveal that Spurs were bad for around an hour, the exact time that Dele was on the pitch.

Alli has been linked with a loan move away from the club this month, with PSG rumoured to be a potential destination (Telegraph).

Here is what Mourinho had to say when he was asked to compare Alli’s performance to Tanguy Ndombele’s (Football London): “The team didn’t play very, very well – as a team. It’s hard to individualise, it’s hard to say player A, B or C when the reality is that for one hour we didn’t play very well.

“For the last 25 or 30 minutes, the team played well. We gave intensity, accelerate the game, used the wings, we had occupation in the box, Harry not losing the ball and dropping back and linking the ball.

“The team improved very much in the last 30 minutes.”

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  1. I think it’s fair to say that much indeed has been made off the present and ongoing situation surrounding Dele Alli. So much so, I have to say I wonder exactly how much of these seemingly dramatisations and twists are little more than bloodthirsty fabrications from a media intent on milking every last possible drop of a vastly overhyped scenariothat has far less meat on it than we are truly led to believe. Much of this hype and exaggeration and bad press is I believe in all honesty an over-extended swipe at a player that stems from an overly narrow focus on a couple of elements brought to the public’s attention on the release of the recent Amazon documentary series “All or Nothing” that reflected on THFC’ ailing ’19/20 season just past. And it seems that there are those out there avidly keen to get there unscrutable pound of flesh through incessent castigation and undermining of highly talented player whose club fortunes have likewise wavered somewhat frentetically over the last couple of years. There are of course always going to be scapegoats, and the press in particular appear to love nothing better than finding a specific sourse of blame. The problem is that the longer such speculation shifts around and takes form the harder it becomes to eventually and conclusively seperate fact from fiction before a different truth emerges finally from the blurring path receeding it. I don’t believe that Dele was or is intending to move from a club in which he is both rooted and clearly loves. However as media and pundits alike continue to perpetuate such mistruths and repackage them as their own brand of ‘facts’ heads can turn and pressure mounts and histrory can quickly be rewritten going forward. Whilst I say again I don’t believe that Dele actually wants to move, I fear this constant negative, continual and vastly unwarranted specualtion may prove to much to take and this uniquely gifted and mercurial talent may be literally forced out by the momentum of it all. I for one sincerely hope that doesn’t happen, but in football it can sometimes be a cruel, and cynical place where criticism can quickly overlook merit leaving casualties mercilessly in its wake!


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