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Dele Alli has said he “learned a lot” from working with Jose Mourinho at Tottenham last season and blames himself for his lack of game time.
After making an explosive start to his Spurs career and securing his status as one of their most influential players under Mauricio Pochettino, Alli was gradually pushed to the fringes under Mourinho.
He made only a handful of appearances in the Premier League last term before Mourinho’s sacking in April. Low on confidence and increasingly out of form, he ended up with three goals in all competitions for the season.
Things improved somewhat when Ryan Mason took over as interim manager, with Alli starting five out of six league games during his short tenure. It wasn’t enough to put him in contention for England’s Euro 2020 squad, however, with Gareth Southgate overlooking him.
Dele Alli suffered a steep decline under Jose Mourinho's management
(Image: Carl Recine/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Alli’s struggles coincided with a disappointing season for Spurs all in all, with the team eventually scraping a seventh-placed finish and qualification to the Europa Conference League. Nonetheless, Alli has refused to blame Mourinho for his difficulties.
Speaking to Goal, he said: “The only person I blame is myself. I should be performing at a level where it is difficult to not put me in the team or not play me. I don’t blame anyone but myself.
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“Working with Mourinho was a great experience and one I learned a lot from.”
With Nuno Espirito Santo announced as Tottenham’s new manager last week, Alli is hoping he can make the best possible impression. “He [Nuno] has done a great job at Wolves,” he added. “I am looking forward to speaking to him and working with him. He is a great manager and it is exciting times.
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“I want to make this year one of the best I have had. A lot of people have said I need to find the form I was in a few years ago. For me, I don’t even want to get to that, I want to go past that and reach my full potential to be the best player I can be.
“It has been a tough few years but I have been working hard and analysing what I need to do to get better.
“I have been training a lot on most days of my holiday. I didn’t feel I needed much rest, so it is just training the whole way through.
“Everyone is looking for that extra few per cent, so you have to keep up. I am feeling good and the best I have felt in a long time.”
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