Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has received a harsh advice from Arsenal legend Ian Wright who has warned the England international star that he must focus on getting back to his best form after a difficult start to the season. (BBC Radio 5 live)
This comes in the wake of another Dele performance that has earned more brickbats than plaudits. The midfielder was literally anonymous against Manchester City on Saturday as we slumped to a 4-1 defeat. The only notable contribution that Dele had in the game was making a dangerous tackle on Kevin de Bruyne.
The analysts were divided in their opinion if Dele must have been dismissed for that tackle, although to be fair, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the playmaker received his marching orders for that harsh tackle.
The 21-year-old has also been struggling for goals and has not found the net since scoring a brace in the historic 3-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League. That was way back at the beginning of November and his anonymity has raised the concerns among the fans.
Wright feels that Dele must concentrate on his football and not let the off-field issues downgrade his performances. The Arsenal legend was particularly worried about Dele linking with super-agent Jorge Mendes which he believes may have swayed Dele’s mind into earning a big-money move out of Tottenham.
“He has got to be focusing on football even when he is not playing football to get himself back to the level he was at.
“The other day he was like a shadow of what we know he can do. When you start getting agents like Jorge Mendes you are not getting those agent to renegotiate contacts.
“You are getting those agents to move you somewhere, move you big, so he has got to be playing at a consistent level [to show] why he would go get an agent like that.”
Is this a concern for the fans? Though it comes from an Arsenal legend, the underlying fact that Dele’s form is a worry can’t be overlooked. I would be surprised if any Tottenham fan steps up and says he isn’t worried about the midfielder’s current run.
One positive thing is that manager Mauricio Pochettino is still firmly behind Alli and believes that the youngster is not responsible for the team’s recent dip in form.
Does a break help Dele, even if it is a short one? Sometimes, players get their mojo back by sitting a match out and then reflecting back on what went wrong. I don’t mind Dele doing that against Burnley, but will he be willing to do that?
It remains to be seen.