The two-time PFA Young Player of the Year was roundly criticised for his display as Spurs let a two goal lead slip at Anfield
Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Graeme Souness have all identified Dele Alli as a key part of Tottenham’s fall from grace this season.
The three were talking after Spurs went down to a 2-1 defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool, despite a dream start.
Harry Kane scored in the second minute, but the North London side were passive afterwards and allowed Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah, from the penalty spot, to score in the second period to collect all three points.
Alli came in for stern criticism from all three pundits, with Keane characteristically forthright.
“He’s lost that hunger, and when you lose that hunger it’s hard to get it back,” the former Manchester United legend said on Sky Sports where he and the other former players appeared after the game. “Today he was non-existent, and he has been now for a year or two.
“He has been a quality soccer professional but unless you’ve got the hunger and desire to go in and train properly and try and improve, and all this off-the-field stuff that I see him getting involved in where he thinks he’s a male model of some sort, do me a favour.
“He needs to start looking in the mirror and wondering why he’s lost that hunger and where it’s all gone wrong. Take control of your own career.”
Keane’s former United team-mate Gary Neville also pulled no punches, after saying the young Alli had reminded him of his former captain at Old Trafford.
“Dele Alli, I thought was a young Roy Keane in terms of his mentality when I first started working with him with England,” Neville, who was an assistant with the Three Lions when Alli made his breakthrough with the national team, added.
Article continues below
“[Sunday’s display} has been an absolute poor version of Dele Alli. He’s been like that for 12 months and he’s got to sort himself out now because I think a lot of people think a lot of him, and I think a lot of him, but it’s not good enough and he’s got to get his mentality back. He needs to hear these words. I think he’s man enough to take it.”
Souness blamed complacency for Alli’s poor form of late.
“I thought he was going to be a star.” the Scot said. “I think he’s a classic case of someone who has got himself in his armchair. They gave him a four or five-year contract last year and look what it’s done to him.”