Dele Alli has not found his best form yet this season, despite the fact that the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has scored three goals and created one assist in all competitions so far.
The two-time PFA Young Player of the Year has transformed from a League One player to a regular fixture in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham team.
Not only is he a crucial member of a top Premier League side, Alli is also a regular international with England.
However, there is a side of the 21-year-old that sometimes gets him into trouble on the pitch.
Alli will play no part in England’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia at Wembley this evening due to a one-match ban.
The young star was punished by FIFA for raising his middle finger during the Three Lions’ win over Slovakia last month.
John Giles, who played for Manchester United and Leeds United during his playing career, can appreciate the talent that Alli possesses, but the 76-year-old is put off by the “nasty” aspects of the midfielder’s game.
The former Republic of Ireland international has referred specifically to Alli’s dive during Spurs’ 4-0 win over Huddersfield Town last weekend.
Giles wrote in his column for the Irish Independent:
“This isn’t the first time I’ve found reason to grit my teeth where Dele Alli is concerned. He has a streak in him which is, to be blunt, nasty. At least this time Mauricio Pochettino called him out for an outrageous dive but I fear that he missed his chance to have a bigger impact on a formative mind when he failed to do so last season.
“Alli’s diving and – I won’t mince my words here – cheating have been an issue as long as he’s been in the Spurs first team and Pochettino defended him no matter what last year. It’s not just the diving. Alli has a habit of doing rash things and when I combine the two, I find a player who needs someone to tell him some harsh truths.”