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Is Jose Mourinho treating Dele Alli harshly?

Is Jose Mourinho treating Dele Alli harshly?

It's one of football's great shames that Dele Alli is spending his days at Tottenham Hotspur as a reserve player. A man who once produced so many moments of magic, and who helped Spurs ascend to the next level in terms of challenging for trophies on a consistent basis, has been thrown upon the club's scrap heap, consigned to their Europa League starting eleven.

It was clear from when Jose Mourinho stepped through the door at the club that Alli's position in the team was in jeopardy. Anyone who watched the recent Amazon documentary about the club's 2019-20 season will know that Mourinho did not take kindly to Alli's lack of effort in training.

But despite that, the Portuguese coach brought the best out of Alli after arriving at the club to replace Mauricio Pochettino, with the Englishman hitting form as soon as Mourinho had taken over. Although Tottenham's season was not up to the standards they expect from themselves, Alli proved to be one of their most important players in the second half of the 2019-20 campaign.

So, why has Alli suddenly been left out of Mourinho's plans for the current campaign? It's clear that the manager takes issue with Alli's attitude. He has said publicly that he believes the 24-year-old is lazy in training and does not give enough to the team in terms of effort and work rate. After all, Mourinho is an extremely demanding coach, who requires every single member of the team to be pulling in the same direction and giving maximum effort to the cause.

While Spurs are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table, a point ahead of champions Liverpool, it's difficult to assert that the team is missing Alli's presence in the squad. They have handled the opening nine games of the season perfectly fine without him, seeing their odds slashed with the bet exchange, and they are the joint second-highest scorers this season, so it can hardly be said that they're missing his creativity and goalscoring threat.

But to watch Alli when he does take to the field is to witness a player who still has plenty to give. He is majestic on the ball at times, possessing the kind of feints and flicks which make a player so difficult to defend against, and nigh on impossible to predict. Granted, he is playing against sides of a much lower calibre than he would be in the Premier League, but the fact that he has got on with his job and kept his head held high in those matches is testament to his character.

It's difficult to see where Alli's career goes from here. Yes, it may be harsh of Mourinho to leave Alli out of his Premier League squads completely, but in the dog-eat-dog world that is the Premier League, difficult decisions must be made, and Mourinho is a coach who is never afraid to make a bold decision for the good of the team.

It's Alli's job to prove his manager wrong, to get his head down in training, and to keep excelling in the Europa League when he gets the chance to show his wares. He is a fine player after all, and his talent deserves game time. Whether he will find that at Spurs or not remains to be seen.

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