Jos Mourinho Must Abandon Current Tottenham System for the Sake of Dele Alli

At what point do we begin to feel sorry for Dele Alli? 

The Tottenham Hotspur star lumbered awkwardly around the pitch and squandered chance after chance - while looking as content as José Mourinho when he woke up bald in his barber's chair. 

Dele Alli

Spurs suffered a stunning 3-2 defeat at home to ​Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon, and frankly, they got just about what they deserved. Spurs were limp from top to bottom, and they were easily second best in front of their home supporters. 

At the peak of the side stood Alli, a false nine whose role was to bring Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura into play at every opportunity, while doing the typical duties of a classic centre-forward. 

Only, Alli isn't a centre-forward. He's not a striker, a false-nine or a classic Duncan Ferguson-type bulldozer. And it showed - agonisingly so. 

The first requirement for any forward is a ruthless edge. Unfortunately, Alli is the complete opposite of that. The guy is ruthful. Full of ruth. 

The 23-year-old demonstrated this aptly during the first ​Spurs goal, fluffing the simplest of tasks when inside the six-yard box with the whole goal to aim at. He got lucky with this tame attempt, as Bergwijn was on hand to mop up and give the hosts the lead.  

Alli was not so fortunate later in the match, missing two great headed opportunities which could have put the result beyond a resilient Wolves in a fiercely contested battle.

Dele Alli

So he may not be clinical, but he can improve the game of those around him, right? 

Well - no. 

The former MK Dons man did play his part in ​Serge Aurier's strike, rolling the ball to the Ivorian who slammed an effort home from the edge of the penalty area. But that should come as no surprise. Alli thrives on picking the ball up in space and looking for a fellow teammate to thread a pass towards - after all, that's his job as an attacking midfielder. 

And a damn good one, too. 

But his opportunities to make such movements became increasingly scarce as the game progressed, and he was reduced to trying to pull long balls out of the sky with very little support around him. 

​Alli is a strapping lad, but in no way does he possess the physical attributes required to fend off challenges from Willy Boly or Conor Coady. That's just not in his makeup. 

The midfielder cut a frustrated figure throughout the match, unable to stamp his mark as he so wished, and he was forced to perform the thankless task of 'Mourinho's sole striker'. Overall, it was another disappointing day at the office for Alli, who continues to struggle to live up to the hype that surrounded him when he first broke into the Spurs side. 

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But whilst those on social media are quick to point the finger at Alli for his seemingly disinterested or below-par performances, one truth should be echoed around the Tottenham Hotspur stadium louder than any criticism. 


​Dele Alli is not a striker. 

No matter how much Mourinho tries to mould him into his human battering ram, Alli is not the man for the job. He knows it. The entire Spurs fanbase knows it. And Mourinho himself probably knows it. 

And if the Lilywhites continue down this road, they will almost certainly miss out on Champions League football next year - despite the best efforts of those stumbling around them. Mourinho faces a difficult choice: play Alli in his natural position, or put him out of his evident misery as a forward and give him a rest. 

This experiment conclusively isn't working. 

But after all, the Portuguese boss has his hands tied, right? It's difficult to field a fully-functioning team without a single striker in your entire squad. 

A penny for Troy Parrott's thoughts, then. 


Source : 90min