EPL

Mason unsure if 'excellent' Alli can force way into England's Euro plans

By Sports Desk May 16, 2021

Ryan Mason was reluctant to suggest Dele Alli could force his way into England's Euro 2020 plans despite an impressive showing in Tottenham's 2-0 win over Wolves.

Alli produced an energetic performance as Spurs kept their slim Champions League qualification hopes alive with a routine victory on Sunday.

He hit the woodwork on the rebound after Harry Kane had seen an effort tipped onto the post from the midfielder's throughball.

Alli may have a tough time earning a place in Gareth Southgate's squad for the Euros, which starts next month, with England not short of midfield options.

Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish have enjoyed excellent seasons and will almost certainly feature for the Three Lions.

Jordan Henderson will hope to recover in time from groin surgery to be involved, while Jesse Lingard, Declan Rice and Kalvin Philips are all likely to be in the mix following strong seasons.

Alli may also have a hard time jumping Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham in the queue, but Mason was pleased to see Alli press his case regardless of Southgate's thinking.

"I can't speak in terms of what Gareth is thinking. I don't know on that, but for me Dele was excellent," Mason told a media conference.

"I don't really like singling out players but it's hard not to because I'm sure everyone felt it.

"He ran, he competed, he pressed, he created opportunities. I'm sure he's disappointed not to get a goal himself. It was an excellent number 10 performance, I'm really, really pleased."

Even more instrumental than Alli was Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who set up the opening goal for Kane and then made the points safe in the second half.

Hojbjerg scored and assisted in a Premier League game for the first time on his 145th appearance in the division, and was the first Dane to do so since Christian Eriksen in April 2019 against Crystal Palace.

"Pierre has had a very good season for this football club," interim manager Mason added.

"I'm not too sure what he's doing in the six-yard box to be perfectly honest, but he felt it was right and that came from an excellent piece of play from Reggy [Sergio Reguilon] as well.

"The desire never to give up and to compete for every single ball and that's what can happen, you can create chances from that.

"So very pleasing performance from Pierre. Not just his goal and assist but overall I thought he helped the team, and everyone collectively was very good today."

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