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Dele Alli must learn from his mistakes

Monday 12th February 2018

Dele Alli - a young man with enough talent to make an entire country proud. Alli is among the lucky few who reached a career peak in their early twenties. It’s facile to sing praises when talking about the incredibly-gifted midfielder, still, his penchant for exhibiting an odd naughty behaviour could put an unwanted anchor on his smooth-sailing career.

It’s easier to hide a goldfish than hide a highly-gifted footballer. Their talent eventually stands them out. In places like the United Kingdom where scouts aplenty work night and day to find the next football superstar, there’s always an eye out for that goldfish. Such was the case with Alli. In 2007, he was spotted by MK Dons coaches, while playing for his local side, City Colts. At the time the young man was just 11.

Opportunities came, Alli took them with panache. Before leaving MK Dons in 2015, he had helped them win promotion to the Championship and won an award for himself; League One Young Player of the Year. He would later win the Premier League version of that award in 2016. Alli, 21, is an integral cog in a Tottenham Hotspur team who are among the Premier League’s best. 

Blessed with such immense quality, it’s no surprise Alli has been linked to Spanish heavyweights, Real Madrid. If the young Englishman can maintain a cool head, you get the feeling he’ll suitably replace Luka Modric at the Bernabeu; but that’s a big IF. Dele has repeatedly allowed his poor attitude get the better of him. It’s done nothing but pull him back every time. 

Alli won’t be classified as the reckless Gareth Barry-like midfielder who has more bookings than flight tickets; the Spurs number 20 has picked up just one career red card. On the contrary, the affinity for childish mistakes both on and off the pitch is Alli’s biggest bane. 

Sometime in April 2016 in a game between Spurs and West Brom, Alli lashed out at West Brom midfielder, Claudio Yacob, striking the Argentine in the stomach. That off-the-ball incident ended Alli’s season following a three-game ban. His teeming fans got an expected apology but it didn’t bleach the leopard spots. 

Last year, while on international duty with England, Alli found himself in hot water as he was captured raising the middle finger. The midfielder maintained it was a salute to teammate Kyle Walker; FIFA was not interested, children were watching and the attacking midfielder deserved a fine. £3,852. The English FA wouldn't condone it either; a one-game ban was dished. 

On a number of occasions, Alli has been accused of needlessly trying to cheat despite possessing enough talent to effortlessly tear opponents apart. 

Recently, the England star had to call in his lawyers after his iCloud account got hacked and a nasty sex-tape involving him surfaced on the internet. Social media is blaming the hack on Liverpool fans who were incensed by the youngster’s dive against their team in Spurs 2-2 draw at Anfield. Should Alli really be keeping such videos? 

Cheating, rashness and misguided aggression are all part of Dele Alli’s make-up. They lead to needless mistakes that derail the progress of a footballer gifted with a special talent.

We won’t blame youthful exuberance forever. Alan Shearer agrees.

"It's all right saying he's (Alli) 21 but there has to come a time when we stop saying that. He has to learn now” 

Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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