‘An awkward spiral’ – Former Spurs striker warns Pochettino over Dele Alli treatment
Former Tottenham striker Darren Bent has issued a warning to Mauricio Pochettino after suggesting that Dele Alli is unhappy playing out of position at Spurs.
With Alli primarily an attacking midfielder, Bent has put the criticisms that the 23-year-old has received for his performances down to being given an inconsistent role in the Tottenham setup.
Speaking to Football Insider, Bent feels the way that Alli is being utilised by his manager is affecting his performances in a negative way – and could create a situation that may only get worse.
He said: “With Dele Alli getting criticism, he thinks: ‘Well hold on, I’m not playing in my right position.’
“Then he’s going to moan to Pochettino saying: ‘You’re not playing me in my right position and I’m getting all this criticism.’
“It can start to be an awkward spiral that can spiral out of control.”
It is true that Alli’s versatility is called upon by Pochettino, with the midfielder playing in central and wide midfield roles at times last year – and was on the receiving end of fairly brutal criticism from Ruud Gullit following Spurs’ 1-0 defeat to Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, during which Alli was deployed in centre-midfield.
Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand seemed to suggest at the time that Alli was best playing behind the striker, saying (via Metro): “You’ve got to play Alli off the striker. He doesn’t look the same player in midfield. His best asset is running on to things, getting into the box. He’s great at that. When you drop him into midfield the dynamics and pictures change.”
So Bent may not be alone in suggesting that Alli’s best role is located in more attacking positions – though it may be important to stress that any perceived rift with Pochettino is purely the brainchild of Bent at this point.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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