When addressing the subject of Saturday’s fixture with Manchester City, the word most commonly used by Mauricio Pochettino was massive. A massive gap to the top, a massive three points and a massive opportunity. It is also these massive matches, according to the Tottenham manager, that bring out the best in Dele Alli.custom nfl jerseys
The England international turned 22 on Wednesday and celebrated by performing the Floss, a viral dance, on Instagram and attending a Peaky Blinders-themed party. Of greater interest to his coach, and his upcoming opponents, will be the statistics that show Alli has made a greater attacking contribution to his team than Cristiano Ronaldo did at the same age.
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During a season when Alli has been under constant scrutiny, Pochettino called the midfielder “the best 21-year-old in the world”. Now, as a 22-year-old, his manager explained why Alli’s talent was “not something you can buy at the market”.
“For me it’s a massive challenge to play Manchester City,” he said. “[For Alli] he needs a strong opposition to give his best. It’s his character. He is so competitive that when it’s easy he’s not interested. In training sessions, when you do finishing practice without any opposition, sometimes you have to say: ‘Dele, come on.’ But if you put opposition there, he will score an unbelievable goal.
“He is a bit special. Not just a special talent but a special character. That is why we are talking a lot during the whole season about Dele Alli because he is a special talent with special energy. He needs to feel the competition.”
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Alli elaborated on his manager’s thoughts, explaining why he benefits from playing against the top teams. Alli has scored nine of his 36 league goals for Spurs against the other top-six clubs, five of those in matches with Chelsea, including two at Stamford Bridge last month. His current tally against Manchester City is two.cheap custom nfl jerseys
“When you play in the Premier League against the top six, as opposed to bottom-half teams, the game is always a lot different,” Alli said after last Saturday’s fixture with Stoke. “The top six really go at it with you. Both teams want to win and there’s a lot more space. Both teams are looking to attack.cheap customized nfl jerseys