Dele Alli has spoken of his anguish following the defeat to Manchester United in Saturdays FA Cup semi-final. The 21- year-old star scored Tottenham’s opener and only goal of the match during a first half hour that saw Spurs dominate their opposition, looking truly at home.
The FA Cup was Spurs’ last gasp at glory following their defeats in the Champions League and Carabao Cup. It was their eighth successive semi-final defeat since last lifting the trophy in 1991. Alli has urged his teammates to pull together and ensure a top-four finish for themselves and the fans.
Dele Alli: “We can’t keep talking and saying we want to win stuff.”
He told the BBC and Spurs TV “We’re disappointed. It’s disappointing, yeah. You know we can’t keep talking and saying we want to win stuff, and keep throwing it away like that. We were 1-0 up against Man Utd, tactically we were dominant, it was going really well, and we lost 2-1.”
The stadium atmosphere for the first half an hour was truly electric, with the ‘home’ fans in full voice following what looked to be an easy first goal. Spurs dominated the play in similar manner to the home league win against their opponents.
The rain dampens Kane and Son failed to shine.
Then the clouds came in and the rain dampened the fans and the performance. Harry Kane failed to ignite once more, with many questioning his appearance in the second half. Heung Min-Son didn’t shine, and usually stalwart Mousa Dembele looked unsteady. Dele Alli said of the second half:
“One-nil up, and you know the fans singing how they were, After the fans being how they were, we shouldn’t have let that happen, we were attacking them. As soon as a team like that takes the lead it’s hard to come back.”
He added “We can’t keep doing this. We have to pick ourselves up and finish the season strongly.”
A top-four finish will have to again be the sole compensation for his sides’ impressive but trophy-less season. It almost seems unreal that a side who has had that momentous victory over Real Madrid, and only two home Premier League losses in as many seasons have, on paper, achieved nothing.
The biggest concern for fans is not the initial disappointment, it’s the worry that the best side they have had in twenty years will start to break up.
Exits for Mousa and Toby?
With exits already marked for Alderweireld, and rumours of
issues for Mousa Dembele, ergo many feel their best chances of glory have been and passed.
The opening of the glorious new stadium will be tarnished should the North Londoners lose any soldiers. Stars like midfield maestro Christian Eriksen, it is feared, will leave for higher salaries and achievement.
Dele Alli would also be a target for the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, with paycheques being significantly larger. Fans fear that the wage structure at Tottenham will again see them lose their best players. Moreover, the team, and momentum, which Pochettino has built may dissipate.
Pochettino “With me, or another.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s ambiguous comments have also alarmed the Spurs’ following. He stated that Spurs would continue to build and move forward “With me or another”. Thus leading to the obvious fears that the Argentine hero was contemplating his future in North London.
Sources close to the man and club have quickly rallied. Saying it was possibly said just in fear of his position following the defeat. Other more sceptical fans have taken the stand it was a message to Daniel Levy. Possibly indicating the wage issue may once again be the problem.
Now for Tottenham, as Dele Alli stated, that top four finish is vital on so many levels. Failure to gain Champion’s League status will financially and psychologically set Spurs back.
A shiny new stadium will be no more than a castle in the air without Pochettino and his new model army to bring home the holy grail.
After experiencing an expensive bun fight for season tickets, the long-suffering fans may well run out of patience with Daniel Levy and his policies. That is, should Spurs hit a snake instead of a ladder at the end of this season.
For the full bbc video interview click here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43853447
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 21, 2018