Tottenham Hotspur have endured a difficult 2016 and, having seen their push for the Premier League title fall apart at the back-end of last season, the Lilywhites have struggled to establish themselves as contenders for the top-four once again and suffered an early exit from the Champions League.
Despite winning four of their last five in all competitions, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have endured a decline in form over the recent months and it’s led to frustrations for players, supporters and pundits.
Dele Alli has been one of those being drawn into criticism and the England ace will probably not be too content with his own performances but former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas has suggested the issue is Tottenham and not the midfielder.
Quoted by The Evening Standard, Jenas suggested the burden of being crowned PFA Young Player of the Year last season may have increased the pressure upon Alli’s shoulders.
“I did struggle a little bit. My issue was more within myself. I needed to do more in terms of fitness and work rate because you’ve got so many players looking at you saying ‘I want to be you, I want to take your place’. It makes life very difficult.”
“But I think he’s [Alli] being harsh on himself. I think it’s more of a Spurs issue – I don’t think the team is playing as well. I think he’s doing alright and if he puts away half of the chances that he misses, which he’s been very self critical about, we could be talking about Dele Alli on eight or nine goals already.”
Sat three points above Manchester United but now just one point off Arsenal, Pochettino’s side will hope to secure a spot within the top-four heading into the New Year and will have to overcome Southampton to do so.
The first six weeks of 2017 will also be testing for the North London outfit, as they face Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool during that period.