One of the early storylines in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2021-22 season is the resurgence of Dele Alli. The 25-year-old has looked like his former self over this handful of fixtures under new manager Nuno Espírito Santo.
Alli recently spoke to Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport (via Express), where the midfielder discussed the reason for his struggles last season. Alli revealed that his fitness and production levels dropped under former manager Jose Mourinho.
“I didn’t feel I was where I should be. I’ve always prided myself on my fitness levels, long-distance, and being able to maintain stamina for a long time,” Alli said.
“I knew It’s something I needed to improve on coming off the end of last season; I wanted to make sure coming into the new season I was fit and ready to go.”
The midfielder then added that the Tottenham squad wasn’t performing at its top-level under Mourinho, resulting in a poor run of form leading to the Portuguese tactician’s sacking last season.
“I wanted to prove to myself, and I know my performance levels have been below par, and that’s not good enough,” Alli said.
“When a new manager comes in, it’s exciting, but obviously it’s off the back of a bad run of form or the team not doing so well, so it gives the team a boost.”
Alli ended the interview by stating what’s different under Nuno as opposed to Mourinho. The midfielder added that they’re looking to impose the style they want to play with their new manager rather than focusing on what the opposition will play.
“It’s been about us, what we’re going to do and how we are going to set up rather than worrying about the opposition,” Alli said. “With Mourinho, there was a lot of meetings analyzing the opposition.”
“The formation we are playing at the moment allows me to be more free as a box-to-box.”
Tottenham and Alli didn’t look good this weekend against Crystal Palace and will look to bounce back against Chelsea FC next week.