Dele Alli defended over criticism as Tim Sherwood blasts Jose Mourinho

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Former Tottenham Hotspur head coach Tim Sherwood has blasted the continued public treatment of Dele Alli by the player’s own managers, namedropping Jose Mourinho as a culprit. Besiktas boss Senol Gunes is the latest to speak out about Alli’s shortcomings as he tries to reignite his career in Turkey.

Alli left Tottenham for Everton in a deal worth up to £40million in January but was shipped off to Besiktas this summer after failing to convince Frank Lampard. But after just one goal involvement in seven games for the Super Lig giants, manager Gunes has admitted the 26-year-old midfielder is falling ‘below expectations’.

“I couldn’t affect the players [yet], now I can easily touch them, but we haven’t touched Dele Alli yet. Let’s not discuss Dele Alli as a player, but he is below expectations in terms of efficiency,” Gunes said ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash at Galatasaray.

Sherwood took charge of the Tottenham first team for the second half of the 2013/14 season after Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking, narrowly before Alli’s time at the club. On Wednesday morning, Sherwood leapt to his defence, slamming the trend of managers slating the former England international publicly.

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He told talkSPORT: “The thing is with Dele [Alli]… When I see people criticise Dele, they don’t mind doing it in public, do they? Everyone you see with Dele, when you hear negative vibes, they’re criticising in public. Managers, I’m talking about. People who are meant to be on his side. They’re always coming out and digging him out. Jose [Mourinho] did it quite spectacularly, didn’t he? I don’t know [why managers publicly criticise him].

“Whether they just want to go public and really hope it shakes the boy into changing, I’m not sure. It’s probably not the right move. I think he needs to trust you. I think [Mauricio] Pochettino was the best manager [for it]. If you asked him, ‘who’s the best manager you ever had?’ he would say Pochettino because he treated him like a man.”

Alli is fighting for his career at Besiktas, knowing he can recover his hopes of staying at Everton or make a new start overseas if the Turkish club trigger the option to buy in his contract. But he has yet to make a positive impact under Gunes.

He could accelerate his efforts to win the Besiktas manager and supporters over with a headline-making performance against Galatasaray this weekend. They could enter the European sports with three points but face the risk of sliding down the Super Lig table in defeat.


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