football

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte makes worrying claim for Dele Alli as flop benched vs Chelsea


Tottenham manager Antonio Conte made a team selection claim which may concern Dele Alli ahead of his side’s crunch Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg clash against Chelsea on Wednesday. The Italian had to field a team capable of overturning a two-goal deficit to his former employers, with a place in a Wembley final on the line. 

When the team news was announced one hour prior to kick-off, Alli found himself in an all-too-familiar position. 

With Giovani Lo Celso starting in an advanced role, the former England international was once again left to settle for a spot on the bench. 

Alli has broadly failed to earn Conte’s trust since the Italian’s November appointment, and the series of cameos he has been given since have ultimately failed to put him amongst the trusted contingent. 

And that became even more apparent before kick-off on Wednesday, when Conte did not even consider Alli to be one of the options for his favoured number 10 role. 

“He [Lo Celso] has the right characteristics as a number 10, he is an offensive midfielder and I decided to take this option,” he explained.

“I had two options in that role, Giovani and Bryan Gil and I thought for this game it was better to start Giovani.”

While Lo Celso is an established European star in his own right, Conte’s comments could suggest that youngster Gil has worked his way above Alli in the pecking order. 

At 20-years-old, the Sevilla youth product has only been given flashes to impress in his debut campaign, but Spurs fans are invariably excited for what the future holds. 

Alli is not the only star who is seemingly unable to convince Conte of their worth over the past few weeks, with Tanguy Ndombele’s Spurs career also taking a hit. 

A lacklustre showing against League One Morecambe on Sunday required three late strikes for Tottenham to advance, while Alli and Ndombele were both substituted. 

Fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium became even more riled up, however, when the Frenchman walked slowly off the pitch, despite the cries of his team-mates to hurry up. 

Both players have been linked with exits this January, although no concrete interest appears to have been shown in either Alli or Ndombele.  

After Sunday’s game, the Italian claimed: “You have to be good to try to change opinion.

“If someone is disappointed with you, it’s normal.

“I was a player and it happened sometimes to me that someone was unhappy with my performance.

“This is our life. I repeat: it’s OK.”





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