Tottenham: Midfielder told to curb aggression; Lyon defender linked; Wanyama compares new club to Celtic
Tottenham fans will be praying that Dele Alli returns from England duty unscathed, and the former MK Dons was one of their brighter performers during Saturday’s dire spectacle against Malta at Wembley. Alli got himself on the scoresheet in a routine 2-0 England win, and operated as the highest of England’s midfield three with Wayne Rooney and Jordan Henderson backing up play behind him.
With the Manchester United man moving further and further back, Ross Barkley unfancied and Jack Wilshere still finding his way back, Alli looks the man in possession of the No 10 spot for England. Today, The Sun are reporting that new Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate instructed him to stay high up the pitch to stay out of the midfield battle. Their report reads:
“Dele Alli is under orders to stay out of bother — but that will not stop him from putting a foot in.
“The tough-tackling Spurs No 10 claims he has learned his lesson after frequently falling foul of referees last season.
“Dele was under strict orders from new England boss Gareth Southgate to stay high up the Wembley pitch against Malta and not allow himself to get sucked into the midfield battle.”
There wasn’t much of a ‘midfield battle’ against Malta because the visitors sat off England and defended extremely deep. A touch of spikiness is no bad thing, and for the most part Alli keeps himself in check. The one exception may have been when he threw a punch at West Brom’s Claudio Yacob last season. Regardless of any disciplinary concerns, this higher starting position suits Alli better than a deeper, central midfield role. He is not a player that wants to get bogged down early in moves; rather, he wants to be taking the final shot or making the final pass. Learning to control aggression will come naturally as a result of experience.
Elsewhere, The Sun are also reporting that Tottenham are keeping tabs on Lyon defender Emanuel Mammana. The 20-year-old Argentinian is rated as a very promising young defender who has already been capped at senior international level. Mamman signed a three-year deal with Lyon but has a £9 million buy-out clause written into the deal, which is peanuts for Premier League clubs who are cash-rich with TV money. One would imagine that former centre back and fellow Argentine Mauricio Pochettino would have sound information on the player as well as strong contacts with his camp.
Finally, summer signing Victor Wanyama has been speaking about how life at Celtic prepared him for his move to north London. The Kenyan midfielder experienced some famous European nights at Parkhead and wants Spurs to follow the same path and qualify for the Champions League again. Wanyama joined Tottenham from Southampton for £11 million. Some were skeptical as to whether he was an upgrade on what Spurs already had in that position, but he was hugely impressive against Manchester City last time out. Wanyama said:
“Hopefully we can be in a situation where we have more Champions League nights every season.
“I think this club is up there with Celtic. It’s a big club and you can feel that in the dressing room.
“We have young players who want to work hard and who are very ambitious, which is a good thing.”
Featured Image: All rights reserved by MekyCM
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