Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that he had a quick conversation with Dele Alli after the attacking midfielder was accused of diving against Crystal Palace.
The Spurs attacker is undoubtedly talented but has attracted criticism due to perceived simulation over recent weeks and months.
The Tottenham manager has stated that he wants Alli to make headlines for all the right reasons and stated that he talked to the youngster about the situation after the 1-0 win at Selhurst Park.
“After the Palace game we had a short chat about this situation,” Goal quote Pochettino as saying.
“He is an easy target for other fans as it is easy to complain about or accuse Dele. He is very focused on trying to improve, we are focused on trying to help him. He is a great player, a great kid and a very competitive guy who wants to win.
“He is an amazing player with an amazing personality and of course he is always in focus, as [Wayne] Rooney was.
“I am happy with him and all players need to improve in different areas, not only in football. In these types of situations, it is about being clever. Don’t be the focus for these types of situations. Be the focus for scoring great goals.”
While opposition fans and pundits seem to be champing at the bit to single out Alli for criticism, the Tottenham forward deserves praise for his performances of late.
It has been widely accepted that the England international has not replicated the excellent showings of last season in 2017-18, with the versatile attacker guilty of inconsistency and struggling to make an impact at times.
However, against Palace, Alli’s endeavour, effort and quality were on show and the former MK Dons man was a rare positive from an otherwise abject Tottenham performance.
If the Spurs man can continue to make positive contribution on the pitch and look to rekindle the performances that have made him a star in recent years, criticism over perceived diving will surely fade into insignificance.