Peter Crouch showed some sympathy for Tottenham’s Dele Alli after he visually showed his frustration on the Champions League stage.
The 23-year-old was substituted off by Spurs boss Jose Mourinho on Wednesday night in the second-half and threw a tantrum on the bench as his emotions got the better of him.
Spurs ended up losing 1-0 at home to German side RB Leipzig in the first leg of a last-16 Champions League tie, which means they have plenty of work to do in the away fixture.
Crouch recognised that Alli was in a horrible situation battling against an impressive Leipzig opponent and feels the way the game went would have got under his skin.
With both Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son sidelined through injury, Alli was pushed forward into a more central forward role next to Lucas Moura.
The England international didn’t have too much to shout about in the final third despite his work-rate and ended up being replaced.
“Dele Alli we saw his frustration but I’ve played in that role myself when you’re chasing shadows and you’re just trying to get round midfielders and back into shape,” Crouch told BT Sport 2 (10:25pm, 19 February).
“You feel like you’re doing more defensively than you are offensively and I think that’s where his frustration came from.”
Alli didn’t enjoy too much success playing in what was effectively a striker role in midweek, but he tried his best and did a job for the team.
He enjoyed a real boost when Mourinho initially walked through the door and it appeared like he had recaptured his old form, but the English playmaker has lost the spark again recently.
There is no doubt that he’s a super talent that needs to raise his game to help cope with the injury blows and he will be required for the second leg against Leipzig, but using him in a midfield role makes more sense,
Mourinho should stick with him this weekend for the Premier League showdown with Chelsea and they have the incentive that they jump up to fourth in the table with a win.