Mourinho not to blame for my Tottenham form, insists Dele Alli

Martin Macdonald
Dele Alli to PSG – why it could happen in January

Tottenham star Dele Alli insists that he only has himself to blame for his downturn in form over the past year for the North London club.

Despite enjoying a decent run of form when Jose Mourinho initially took over as Spurs boss in December of 2019, Alli subsequently fell out of favour with the Portuguese manager, and was even left out of a number of matchday squads completely in 2020/21.

Last season, he started just 16 matches in all competitions, with seven of those coming in the Europa League. Overall, he played just 1417 minutes of football.

Alli’s lack of playing time catalysed rumours about his future with Spurs, with PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino reportedly keen to bring him to Paris on a loan deal in the January transfer window.

That move didn't materialise and Alli ended up featuring more after Ryan Mason took over from Mourinho on a temporary basis.

Some fans and pundits have suggested that Mourinho treated Alli unfairly, but the player says that is not the case.

“The only person I blame is myself," he told Goal.

"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.

"Working with Mourinho was a great experience and one I learned a lot from.”

The only person I blame is myself

New manager, new chance for Alli

After a long search, Tottenham finally confirmed former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager last week.

His appointment will present Alli with a fresh start to refind his best form at the club, and he has been working hard in pre-season, posting videos and pictures or his workout regime on social media.

He is, naturally, eager to impress Nuno.

“He [Nuno] has done a great job at Wolves," Alli continued.

"I am looking forward to speaking to him and working with him. He is a great manager and it is exciting times.

“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.”