Pochettino wants Alli to find his inner 'devil' again

Tottenham manager defends midfielder, insisting he will return to form

 Tottenham’s Dele Alli in action against Watford FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 19th. Photograph:  Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Tottenham’s Dele Alli in action against Watford FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 19th. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

 

Mauricio Pochettino has backed Dele Alli to come good and looks forward to the England international being “a bit naughty” on the pitch.

Alli is one of many Tottenham players who have underperformed this season but the 23-year-old was singled out by Sky pundits for criticism after last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool. Spurs sit 11th in the Premier League and Pochettino has backed the player brought in from Milton Keynes four years ago to help the club climb the table.

“We know very well that Dele is going to be back,” he said. “His mentality is good. Always you need time to recover the feelings and performance after a tough period. The most difficult thing is to know how long it will take to be again at your best. As long as you are consistent and working hard, you are going to arrive again though, because the quality is there. The only thing is, the competition do not wait.”

Criticised

Pochettino drew comparison to an earlier period in Alli’s career where the player came under criticism for, among other things, giving the bird to his England team-mate Kyle Walker.

Talking about the “devil” in his player, the manager said: “It’s still there inside of him. If you go back, we all criticised him. But I said I liked this Dele Alli, because sometimes players being a bit naughty makes that difference. The devil is going to appear again. I don’t know when. But for sure it will.”

Pochettino brushed off criticism of Alli from pundits and said he would never become one. “Sometimes you get upset when you read or you listen but when you are mature you understand that that is the business: if you go to the TV you need to say something,” he said.

– Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.