Rio Ferdinand and Nigel de Jong have offered differing opinions on Dele Alli after the Tottenham Hotspur star questioned his side’s mentality after Spurs suffered a Champions League exit to German side RB Leipzig.
Spurs were battered 3-0 by RB Leipzig on Tuesday night thanks to a brace from Marcel Sabitzer and Emil Forsberg’s late effort. It saw an injury-ravaged Spurs lose 4-0 on aggregate to the German side, falling at just the last 16 stage.
Alli, who was used as a makeshift striker by Mourinho, failed to get involved as much as he normally does. It has seen supporters and pundits alike question Tottenham’s failure to sign a new striker, while Odion Ighalo impresses at Manchester United.
After the match, a despondant Alli questioned his side’s mentality after the heavy 3-0 defeat – not naming a single player but blaming the collective mentality of the entire side.
“It was the mentality. We were second for a lot of balls,” Alli said, as per the Standard. “You saw at the start we were bright, then we concede the goals and our mentality wasn’t strong enough. You can’t blame one person and I’m not going to single out anyone. It was the whole team, it’s not down to one player to stop goals.”
Now one of the elder players in the Spurs side, Alli has been tasked with taking the pressure of Spurs’ struggles on his shoulders in their bid to at least finish in the top five places of the Premier League. They currently sit in eighth.
Rio Ferdinand applauded the England star on Twitter for his comments, while de Jong do not think Alli’s comments are excuse enough for Spurs’ poor display while working on BeIN Sports.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) March 11, 2020
De Jong: “My mentality is always set to win games. Show that your work ethic is second to none. When he says the mentality is not there, that is not on the coach. It’s on you as a senior player to push the younger players to have that menality.”