Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has stated that midfielder Dele Alli ‘needs to improve’ after he endured a difficult night in Greece.
Spurs threw away a two-goal lead and were forced to settle for a point in their Champions League Group B opener in Greece on Wednesday night.
The 23-year-old, who struggled with injuries at the start of the season, made his first start of the campaign.
Pochettino said after the match that he was very disappointed with his side’s overall performance. He was more upset with his team during the first half, saying his players didn’t respect the game plan. He also gave his opinion on Alli’s performance.
“I think he was injured and he needed to be back. We are going to help and try to find the best level that he needs to start to be the same as he was,” said Pochettino as quoted by Football London.
“Today was a tough game, when the collective performance wasn’t the same and for sure it wasn’t a great game, but overall I am happy with his performance. Of course we know well, and he knows, that he needs to improve but he only needs time now.”
Alli had made only one substitute appearance this season prior to this game. Therefore, his average performance could be excused for the fact that he hasn’t played much so far.
However, Alli, who is on £100k-per-week wages at Spurs, is a key player for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, and a big season is waiting for him. His form had dipped last season as compared to his previous two seasons, and there is a general feeling that Son Heung-min has overtaken him as the club’s most important player after Harry Kane.
Alli is a world-class player and on his day he can be a nemesis for any top team in the world. But, at the same time, he needs to stay fit and rediscover the goalscoring form that made him such an exciting player to watch.