EPL

Dele Alli blames himself and not Mourinho for decline

By Sports Desk July 05, 2021

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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    Tammy Abraham scored what proved to be the only goal of the game in Thursday's clash at Stadio Olimpico with a flicked finish nine minutes before half-time.

    Roma struggled in the second half as they saw less of the ball than Udinese (47.4 per cent) and were out-shot seven to two, with Rui Patricio forced into a couple of saves.

    The Giallorossi had to play the final stages a man light after Lorenzo Pellegrini was issued a second yellow card for catching Lazar Samardzic with his elbow, but they saw out their fourth victory in five league games this term.

    That includes three successive wins at Stadio Olimpico under Mourinho, who is now 41 without defeat on home soil in the Italian top flight going back to his hugely successful tenure at Inter.

    He is one short of taking the outright record in the three-points-per-win era (since 1994-95), with Allegri's previous benchmark set between September 2015 and September 2017 during his first spell in charge of Juventus.

    Mourinho was pleased to pick up all three points against Udinese and move up to fourth in the standings, but he acknowledged his side dropped off in the second half of the contest.

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    Pellegrini's contentious dismissal means that he is set to miss Sunday's Derby della Capitale showdown with bitter rivals Lazio, but Mourinho suggested he intends to appeal against the decision.

    "It was ridiculous. We had an educational meeting with the referee chiefs and the rules were explained for two hours," Mourinho said. "Then we get to the game and see a red like this.

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    "I knew there was a lot of pressure with me coming in, but I love the fans, the staff, they make me feel like family from the first day and I need to repay them," he told DAZN.

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    Spurs went through a host of prospective candidates, including Gennaro Gattuso and Antonio Conte, before Nuno Espirito Santo was appointed in June.

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    "I cannot be a different way. All my teams will have these intentions. In Rome or Shakhtar [Donetsk] in the Champions League against the biggest teams, I'm not sending out my teams to defend near their own box.

    "We have an obligation with supporters to create a spectacle, a good show. That is the obligation of the coach. I want to win every game but just winning is not enough for me. I have to be offensive and dominate the games and have an offensive midfield and show courage in the game. These are things which will die with me.

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