Curb it Dele

 

Wrote this in the morning, before our kid was charged by the FA for violent conduct.

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Dele Alli isn't the messiah. He's a very naughty boy. And I love him for it.

Okay, so I'm conflicted right now in how to react to the little incident between him and Claudio Yacob that might well end with a big ban. Three games is the standard which would make for an unceremonious hangover after deservedly earning his PFA Young Player of the year title. We all he has fire in his belly. He was no different at MK Dons and he's had prior form with us with the occasional reactionary kick and temperamental face-off. There's no doubting the fact he's going to see red one day soon. He'll need that to happen too. A case of curbing ones enthusiasm with a harsh lesson on how not to play the game. It's a reminder that growing pains hurt for a reason. You can only really mature from making mistakes and learning from them. It's the latter part of this that will be critical to his progression. He's in good hands with Mauricio Pochettino.

Alli has grown up fast. A few weeks back he was still only a teenager. Nobody expected him to have such an enthralling and competitive impact on the Premier League. He's been nothing short of fantastic. He's had a lull or two and of course the moments of fury. All things considered, he's handled the pressure well. Here's where I'm conflicted. The passion he has should never be criticised or conditioned. It does however need to be controlled. It's a fine line.

Much like David Beckham experienced, any suggestion of youthful immaturity and petulance will be punished by the elders. I'm thinking specifically about the Euros now. Opposition players will be utterly ruthless in winding up Alli if they know he's likely to react.

Now if you re-watch the incident against WBA, Yacob gave as good as he got and didn't exactly milk the situation. A case of two players clashing, pushing and shoving with the usual in-game physicality you hope to see when the stakes are high. Alli's frustration led to a sneaky jab, messy (thankfully) in its delivery. Float like a butterfly, sting like one too. It was stupid and there's not much point attempting to make allowances. Contact of any kind is hardly going to be ignored by the powers that be.

Alli was provoked. He'll have to channel the aggression in more positive ways otherwise he'll suffer for it and so will club and country.

There's no need for microscopic analysis here. Time is the learning curve. I will say this, I like the fact he has some bite to go with his undeniable quality. That he doesn't shy away from a challenge or any player that attempts to get into his personal space. He just has to be more astute about it. Let's be honest, I've enjoyed watching Alli provoke opponents this season, so it's hypocritical to not take it on the chin when it's reserved. Thankfully Jacob only took it in the ribs.

Change Dele Alli, but don't go changing too much.

 

via Club Metro