English Premier League
Bournemouth vs Tottenham Hotspur
Oct 22 (Sat), 7.30pm (Mas)
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has described Dele Alli as “a wild horse” that cannot be tamed.
Spurs would go into their match against Bournemouth with 18 points and the chance to advance to the top of the table, as leaders Manchester City and second-placed Arsenal play later in the weekend. Alli, who scored a goal against Bayer Leverkusen mid-week, will spearhead the attack during the visit to Dean Court.
Still, his temperament had been called into question last season after he was given a three-match ban for punching West Brom’s Claudio Yacob. He was also lucky to escape punishment when he made headlines for kicking Fiorentina defender Nenad Tomovic in a Europa League fixture.
However, the 20-year-old England International has impressed thus far this term, and was booked just once from 14 games.
“He is a big talent but he was a bit wild,” said Pochettino. “Now he is more domesticated. You can’t lose that side – it might make him a special player. It is like when you have a wild horse and you need to put it in a box and domesticate it, no?”
“It is all a process with the younger lads to be more mature, with more experience, now more focused on playing football. He is special, a great guy. We have a very good relationship. He is a very emotional person and we all love him.”
Pochettino is also not concerned with Alli’s misses against Leverkusen, as the midfielder himself, too, admitted his need to be “clinical” in front of goal.
“If we are talking about scoring every chance, maybe we are talking about a Marco Van Basten or a Gabriel Batistuta, a striker. Not an offensive midfielder (like Alli),” he countered.
“I think he works hard, he presses, he scores, he creates chances. I think it is unbelievable all the effort he makes in every game. There is nothing to say about Alli, I am more than happy with him.”
Bournemouth (1) – (3) Tottenham