football

Tottenham star Dele Alli's private Jose Mourinho meeting was beginning of sad Spurs demise


“A player that plays in that position is a player that has to link and create, not create problems for his own team.” Those were the words of Jose Mourinho on Wednesday night in the wake of Tottenham’s 3-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win at Stoke. The Portuguese was furious with Dele Alli, who threw a tantrum after he was subbed, for a nonchalant flick that cost Tottenham possession and saw Stoke equalise.

It will hardly have done Alli’s chances of turning things around in north London any good as he ponders his future ahead of the January transfer window.

Alli made his feelings clear after he was withdrawn from proceedings by Mourinho.

Their rocky relationship has taken yet another turn for the worse and with Mauricio Pochettino in line to become Paris Saint-Germain boss, Alli looks set to say goodbye to Spurs.

Yet if we rewind the clock to Mourinho’s early days in charge of Tottenham, Alli looked like a firm favourite.

When addressing the Tottenham squad during a team meeting following his first few training sessions, Mourinho said animatedly: “Fast ball, fast ball and in the space.

“Okay, I understood already, where’s Dele? I understood already that you are a f***ing lazy guy in training.”

“It is something to analyse yourself for you to realise why your career has been MK Dons, Tottenham, national team… bang!

“Then, when you reached the top, why do you have these little ups and downs.”

Mourinho then went on to question Alli’s attitude and professionalism off the field, in an attempt to unlock his star quality.

“I don’t know if it is to do with your lifestyle – if in one period you were an amazing professional but in another period you felt you had become a party boy,” Mourinho continued.

“I have no idea – only you can know that. I am 56 now and yesterday I was 20. Time flies. One day I think you will regret it if you don’t reach what you can reach.

“I am not expecting you to be the man of the match every game. I am not expecting you to score goals every game. I want just to tell you that you will regret it.

“You should demand more from yourself. It should not be me demanding more from you.

“Nobody else. You. You should demand more from yourself.”

While Alli came back fighting in the first half of last season, the attacking midfielder soon relapsed and once again struggled for form.

He was hooked at half-time of Tottenham’s 1-0 opening day defeat to Everton and the writing has been on the wall for Alli ever since.

It’s been a sad demise for the 24-year-old, who is still adored by Spurs supporters, yet he may now benefit from a change of surroundings with PSG expected to launch a fourth loan offer for the England international at the turn of the year.





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