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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Dele Alli 15 goals and 7 assists in 21 games, not bad for a midfielder

Regular readers, and there are thousands of you, will know I talk a lot about a player continually trying to improve himself in training, a basic requirement for Argentinean manager Mauricio Pochettino and an element of a winning mentality.

Dele Alli has such a mentality and reveals he had to change his playing style as defenders had cottoned on to ho he played, his game had to develop further for him to continue his success. Going through the motions to maintain the same level wasn't an option, it shouldn't be an option for any player at Tottenham, if it is then a transfer is looming.

In a season where the 21-year-old (22 next April) midfielder scored 22 goals and had 13 assists (18 goals and 9 assists in the Premier League) he came to the fore in the second part of the season.

August, September, October, November and December, up until the 14th,  saw him contribute 3 goals and 3 assists in 15 Premier League games.

Then he scored against Burnley, banged two goals against Southampton, Watford and Chelsea, had an assist against WBA and scored against Manchester City. That's 8 goals and 1 assist in 6 games.

Three games with nothing was followed by a goal against Stoke City, a goal and an assist against Everton, a goal against Southampton, an assist against Burnley, a goal and an assist against Swansea City, a goal against Watford, an assist against Bournemouth, a blank game, a goal against Arsenal,  two blank games, an assist against Leicester City and a goal and an assist against Hull City.

In the final 13 games, he scored 7 goals in different games and chipped in with a further 6 assists. In the final 21 games he chipped in with 15 goals and 7 assists.

“I’ve had to think a lot more about my movement. Maybe in my first season, players weren’t used to me running into the box from midfield, so they weren’t expecting it. This season, they got a little bit more used to it. 
“So I’ve had to time my runs a little bit better, and I’ve had to be a bit sharper with the way I move off defenders. I’ve had to try to judge the flight of the ball a little bit better. 
“At the start of the season I struggled a bit, perhaps because I didn’t expect players to be so used to me, so I had to change my game. I started playing a bit higher up the pitch and scoring a few more goals. 
“There are still things I need to work on to make sure next season is even better. I want to be more clinical than I was this season. I want to up my numbers again.
“With the players we’ve got here, we don’t need to go out and spend loads of money. There is a good bunch of players here. Everyone is determined, everyone works hard and there is a lot of quality in the team. 
“It is important we stick together, keep working hard and keep improving. We have to take our form from the end of this season into next season, and start even stronger. Then, if we can finish as well as we did this season, we should be OK.”

It may only be a friendly game on Friday but I'm looking forward to seeing the lads in action again and having a further look at some of the youngsters. Lesniak made a decent debut and looked comfortable following in the footsteps of Hary Winks.

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