Dele Alli showed character coming through ‘tough period’, says Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

The 21-year-old reminded everyone of his qualities with two brilliantly taken goals as Spurs came from behind

Miguel Delaney
Stamford Bridge
Sunday 01 April 2018 19:11
Comments
Dele Alli struck twice for Tottenham at Chelsea
Dele Alli struck twice for Tottenham at Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino says that Dele Alli has shown his character in coming through a “tough period” but says he has nothing to prove to anyone, after scoring the two killer goals in Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-1 win over Chelsea, their first victory at Stamford Bridge for 28 years.

The 21-year-old has faced criticism of late for diving, and was also dropped from the England starting XI for the recent international friendlies, but reminded everyone of his qualities with two brilliantly taken goals as Spurs came from behind. Alli celebrated the third goal as if it meant a lot, as he ran towards Tottenham’s jubilant fans.

“I’m very, very pleased for Dele,” Pochettino said. “It’s been a tough period for him, but I like his talent, his character. I’m so happy for him because he deserved it. In the end, he’s a great talent, only 21 years old, and sometimes we lose the focus on that. He’s only 21. Sometimes the expectation is too much.

“I didn’t see the celebration. But, of course, he has a strong character and personality. But I didn’t see it. He needs to show us nothing, because we trust and believe in him.

“Dele is not one to be affected if he plays or does not play. He’s so strong, with the personality. He’s a fighter, very competitive. He won’t be affected. Then we need to help him. If he doesn’t play with the national team, he needs to compete and give his best to try and win again the confidence of his manager in the national team. The only way to win the confidence and trust from your manager is doing what he did today: scoring the goals and playing like he did.

“I think it’s about the characteristics of the players. Dele’s best skill is arrive fro the second line to get the ball. I think he’s scored a lot of goals like this. Of course we have focused and tried to bring every single skill into our play, but it was a fantastic goal: control, finish, amazing.”

Alli more than made up for the absence of Harry Kane, who could only come off the bench after his recent ankle injury. Pochettino however said the striker could be back for Spurs’ next match, away to Stoke City.

“We’ll see. To play 20 minutes or 30 minutes, he was ready. We’ll never take a risk with any player. We’ll see now during the week. He’s working hard and if he has the possibility to play against Stoke.”

Reflecting on Spurs’ first win at Chelsea since 1990, Pochettino said: “Yes, but I am so happy, we are so happy for our fans after 28 years. Winning here at Stamford Bridge again is a massive thing again, for our fans and for Tottenham. But it’s still only three points. I celebrate the same as I did in the past.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in