Tottenham Hotspur’s ‘second XI’ put in another pathetic display as they were beaten by Dutch outfit Vitesse in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday evening.
Nuno Santo left the bulk of his first-team stars back in north London but it is now a decision that looks rather questionable in hindsight as Spurs slipped to third in Group G.
The home side’s Maximillian Wittek converted from the edge of the box in the 78th minute to condemn the Lilywhites to their first defeat in the competition.
Whilst the likes of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Tanguy Ndombele rested, the Portuguese head coach still had some senior professionals in the starting line-up, including Dele Alli, Harry Winks and Giovani Lo Celso.
The latter took plenty of pelters on social media for his performance but at least he was one of the more influential members of the lineup, having recorded the most touches (108) and key passes (one).
Alli, however, was disappointing yet again. It’s no wonder he has been dropped from Nuno’s Premier League starting XI ever since that opening 45 minutes against Arsenal in their north London derby defeat.
As per SofaScore, the Englishman was Spurs’ lowest-rated player (5.8), a stark comparison from the Argentine (7.0), who was their second-best player on the night.
This suggests that he was far from an influence in the middle and if anything, he was lightweight and one of the reasons why Vitesse fired off over double the number of shots at goal than Tottenham.
Alli was certainly lacklustre in the attack, having failed to record a successful dribble from two attempts, nor did he have a shot on target or create a key chance.
‘Dele Alli disappears’ is how the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick described the display from the £27m-rated star. ‘Back at no.10 but hard to remember a meaningful contribution in the attacking third until a late run and shot, which deflected into the goalkeeper’s arms,’ he also wrote.
On the above evidence, Alli badly failed his manager yet again and it could be quite some time before we see him back in the starting XI, and that would certainly be very justified going by that performance.