Gary Neville and Roy Keane believe Dele Alli’s performance against Liverpoolon Sunday was further proof that the midfielder has regressed significantly as a player over the past couple of years.Alli struggled to have any impact in the game as goals from Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah saw the Reds come from behind to beat his Tottenham team at Anfield. And Neville and fellow pundits, Roy Keane, Graeme Souness and Jamie Carragher, were far from impressed with the Englishman.
‘Very very poor,’ said Keane. ‘He’s a great example to a lot of footballers out there if you lose your hunger. Spurs were carrying three of four players. He’s lost that hunger, today non-existent.’ ‘He needs to hear those words because I think he can take it’, Neville responded. ‘It’s not like he’s always had it on a plate, he’s come from the lower leagues. But he’s half the player [he was].’
Souness concurred, saying: ‘I thought he was going to be a star. I think he’s a classic case of someone who’s in his armchair. They gave him a four/five year contract, and look what’s happened. He’s taken his eye off the ball but he’s a shadow of himself. Got to learn the game.’Carragher also feels a change in position has had a negative impact on Alii’s career.
‘When he was at his best he was playing as a second striker. I’ve never seen Dele Alli as some great player on the ball. He got goals. We shouldn’t forget the position he was playing. He’s still got to do a lot more. He was about being aggressive a lot.’
‘A lot of that comes down to desire,’ Keane added. ‘He was nasty, played on the edge. Today, non-existent for a year or two. Unless you’ve got the hunger. If he’s a model of some sort, he does have to look in the mirror…’Neville put the final nail in the coffin, stating: ‘He would always tackle, always work hard, run past the striker… today he was passive. He’s a good kid. I just thought it epitomised where Tottenham have been.’