Saturday, July 24, 2021

Dele Alli blames himself and not Mourinho for decline

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jul 2021

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Dele Alli insists he does not blame Jose Mourinho for his decline in form that has left him struggling for game time at Tottenham and out of contention for England selection.

The 25-year-old, who joined Spurs back in 2015, was rarely involved in key matches prior to Mourinho being sacked in April and was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain that would have reunited him with Mauricio Pochettino.

Alli played five times for England at World Cup 2018 but his lack of match action and reduced production meant he was not a candidate for Euro 2020 selection.

Mourinho was often questioned for his decision to rarely use Alli even as Spurs struggled to a seventh-place finish.

But the player insists he does not blame his former boss, who has clashed with multiple players, for his fall from prominence over recent years.

“The only person I blame is myself,” Alli said to Goal.

“I should be performing at a level where it is difficult to not put me in the team or not play me. 

“I don’t blame anyone but myself. Working with Mourinho was a great experience and one I learned a lot from.

“It has been a tough few years but I have been working hard and analysing what I need to do to get better.

“I have been training a lot on most days of my holiday. I didn’t feel I needed much rest, so it is just training the whole way through.”

After a protracted search for a manager to replace Mourinho, Spurs eventually landed on ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

Having been brought back as a regular starter when Ryan Mason took temporary charge towards the end of last year, Alli is relishing a fresh start.

The playmaker added: “He [Nuno] has done a great job at Wolves.

“I am looking forward to speaking to him and working with him. He is a great manager and it is exciting times.

“I want to make this year one of the best I have had. A lot of people have said I need to find the form I was in a few years ago. 

“For me, I don’t even want to get to that, I want to go past that and reach my full potential to be the best player I can be.

“Everyone is looking for that extra few per cent, so you have to keep up. I am feeling good and the best I have felt in a long time.”

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