Dele Alli concedes it's time for Tottenham to start delivering silverware

Spurs have won many admirers during Mauricio Pochettino's four-year reign but it is more than a decade since their last honour

John Wardle
Sunday 12 August 2018 14:08
Dele Alli in action for Tottenham against Newcastle on Saturday
Dele Alli in action for Tottenham against Newcastle on Saturday

Dele Alli has admitted it's time for Mauricio Pochettino's much-vaunted side to start adding some long-awaited silverware to Tottenham's trophy cabinet.

Spurs have won many admirers during the Argentinian's four-year reign, where they have not finished outside the top five in the Premier League and finished runner-up in 2017. However, it is more than a decade since their last honour, when they lifted the League Cup under Juande Ramos, and Alli concedes that long wait must be brought to an end sooner rather than later if this current generation of Spurs stars are to fulfil their undoubted potential.

The England midfielder said: "Ever since I've been here we feel as though we've improved as a squad but we want to start winning things now. We keep coming close, but it's getting to the point where we've got to start winning trophies. That's the next step."

Alli helped to ensure Tottenham made the best possible start to the new season, finding the net with a first-half header to add to Jan Vertonghen's opener as Pochettino's side rode their luck somewhat to record successive opening day wins at St James' Park.

The goalscorers were among five starters to have featured for their respective country in the World Cup semi-finals in Russia a little over a month ago. Harry Kane's wait for a Premier League goal in August stretched towards 1,000 minutes, but otherwise there were few signs of rustiness from so many key performers who had returned to pre-season training less than a week earlier.

"There's no real feeling of tiredness," Alli added. "We feel like we've had a good amount of time off to rest up and it's good to get straight back into it." After such little down-time for so many of their key players, in addition to the lack of a single summer arrival, Tottenham could face issues with long-term fatigue later in the campaign but Alli added: "It's great to be back. We're very ambitious as a squad and we want to achieve things and go as far as we can."

How Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, a man who has taken parsimony to new levels in 11 years on Tyneside, must marvel at the way Pochettino's side went about their business in the wake of spending not a penny on in-coming transfers in the recently-closed window. For their part, Newcastle made a near £20m profit despite bringing in seven new faces, but were undone by Tottenham's post-World Cup feel-good factor.

"Winning the World Cup brought a lot of positive energy," Hugo Lloris, the Tottenham skipper who helped France to become World Champions 29 days ago, said. The Spurs keeper added: "Hopefully we can take that energy into the season because it's really good to be here with the team on the back of such a special win for my country.

Alli insists there is no sense of tiredness in the Tottenham camp

"You always need a week to switch off after a big tournament like the World Cup, because you finish tired both mentally and physically but you feed off the satisfaction of winning the biggest trophy ever a footballer can win."

Newcastle deserved a point, and were briefly level when Joselu was allowed space to head Matt Ritchie's cross into the bottom corner. However, they were undermined by some uncharacteristically sloppy work at the back, then without luck as Mo Diame and substitute Salomon Rondon hit the frame of the goal in the increasingly frantic, but ultimately fruitless search for an equaliser.

A potentially serious knee injury suffered by DeAndre Yedlin could have further unwanted ramifications for a defence already shorn of the services of Florian Lejeune for the majority of the campaign. Most Newcastle supporters, including hundreds who staged a pre-match anti-Ashley protest outside a nearby branch of Sports Direct would happily take a repeat of last season's near-miraculous 10th-place finish given the underwhelming nature of this summer recruitment.

"If we play with this type of mentality for the rest of the season, we will be okay," manager Rafa Benitez insisted, donning his latest brave face. Newcastle travel to Cardiff next, and the Spaniard added: "Most people would have said we'd lose against Tottenham but at least you have the feeling you can do better against the next team. We will stick together and remain positive."

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