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Garth Crooks aims dig at Jose Mourinho as Tottenham star shines against Wolves

Garth Crooks has aimed a dig at Jose Mourinho in his BBC Sport Team of the Week column, when discussing the resurgent Dele Alli. Tottenham beat Wolves as Nuno Espirito Santo returned to Molineux. Crooks was criticial of Mourinho, asking why Nuno is getting more out of Dele at Tottenham.

Dele, 25, has returned to Tottenham fitter and stronger after spending his holidays with Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters working on his fitness. Throughout pre-season, he was excellent – even captaining Spurs. Nuno has changed his position, changing him from a 10 into a box-to-box midfielder.

Speaking in his TOTW column, Crooks criticises Mourinho for failing to get the best out Dele – with Nuno seemingly doing so. The 37-time England star won and scored a penalty, the only goal of the game against Wolves. He feels that all Mourinho needed to do, was treat Dele nicely.

“This is the second consecutive week that Alli has started and finished a game for Spurs. I wonder if Nuno Espirito Santo has done what Jose Mourinho failed to achieve and found the player again? It normally works when you treat people nicely,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

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Crooks on Dele: Nuno change saves Tottenham star’s England career

Not just because Dele is rediscovering his confidence and form in that position, but because England lack numerous options. Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice played in that role during Euro 2020, with Leeds star Phillips pushing forward. But there are not many options that can do that role.

James Ward-Prowse is an option and he has been excellent at Southampton over the last few years. But if £100k-a-week (Spotrac) Dele can get himself back into form and then the England reckoning, the 2022 World Cup is not completely out of his reach. For Spurs, having an in-form Dele is enormous.

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