Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has revealed concerns over injuries this past year and his impressions on manager Nuno Espirito Santo since his term at the club began.
At one point one of the brightest stars in English football, Alli raced to 50 Premier League goals in 153 appearances, beating some of the league’s most talented stars to the mark, including Eden Hazard and Steven Gerrard.
The 25-year-old however, fell out of favour at Tottenham under former boss Jose Mourinho last season, after a string of hamstring injuries kept him out of the side, and he struggled to find his way back.
The midfielder expressed his concerns over his fitness in a recent Spurs match day programme.
“I think, last season, my fitness levels dropped more than I would have wanted them to, obviously due to not playing and stuff,” he said (via Football London).
Alli felt he needed to restore his fitness to regain favour within the Spurs ranks, and decided to undergo a training camp in Dubai in order to do so.
“Fitness is big for me. In the summer I was working a lot. I knew I needed to improve on my fitness from last season so it’s something I took seriously, and I want to build my strength back up and get fitter,” he admitted.
“I felt like, with the amount I played last season, fitness is something I lost a lot of.”
The midfielder expressed his discomfiture at his previous situation, but has worked hard to try to put his career back on track.
“Last season was difficult, but it showed me a completely different side to myself as a person, and I came out of it well. I just have to stay focused now, keep working hard and keep doing my best for the team.”
Alli is back in favour at Spurs
Alli has had a slight position change under Nuno, playing in a deeper role in a midfield three, rather than just behind the striker, a role which he is relishing and was familiar with while at MK Dons.
“Number eight is a position I enjoy playing. It’s not something that’s new to me though, when I signed here, I had never played in the number 10 role. So, for me, it is quite natural to play there, and I enjoy being there,” he said.
He has hailed his new boss and thinks despite unease within the squad amid his arrival – and a recent run of bad results – he has done exceptionally.
“He’s done a brilliant job. We all came into training for pre-season not knowing exactly what to expect with a new manager coming in,” Alli said.
“Normally, when a new manager arrives, it’s exciting, but it’s usually off the back of a bad run of form or the team not doing well. It gives the team a boost and it’s a new way of thinking, of looking at the game, different tactics.”
However, with the hard work the squad has been putting in, according to Alli, the improvement is clear to see.
“He’s steadied the ship though and at the same time, he’s got a clear way forward. We worked hard in pre-season and things are going well. It’s still very early on, he’s done a great job so far, but it’s a long season, so we have to keep on improving,” he said.
The club will be hoping to improve on their mediocre 7th place finish in the league last season, where they currently reside in the Premier League.
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