Dele Alli has admitted that his first response to Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking at Tottenham was to blame himself, reminiscing about the ‘amazing journeys’ he shared with the Argentine.
Alli arrived early in Pochettino’s tenure, coming in from MK Dons for a fee of around £5m in January 2015, going back on loan to Milton Keynes for the rest of that season but bursting into the first team at White Hart Lane early in the following campaign.
The midfielder became a key part of Spurs’ midfield and England’s World Cup semi-final side in the years that followed, and admitted that he was sad when Pochettino was fired last week.
“When it first happened, you just blame yourself,” Alli said, quoted by The Telegraph. “You are sad and don’t look at the big picture. We have had some amazing journeys together, we have all grown together, all the players and coaching staff.
“We have achieved a lot in terms of where we have come from. We are thankful to them, you can’t help but feel you are a bit to blame. I gave 110% and sometimes it does not work out. The chairman made his decision. Now as players we have a new manager, we owe the club a lot and we have to start winning games again.”
The England midfielder continued: “I’ve seen him more than I’ve see my own family in the last five years, so it was very tough.
#thfc Dele on Mourinho’s “Dele’s brother” comment: “It actually the first thing he said to me. It was funny. It was nice for someone to say it [criticism] to my face rather than behind my back.”
— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 25, 2019
“For sure, he is someone I’m going to stay in contact with. It will be different because he’s not the manager, but he’s an amazing person and helped me so much throughout my career – not just in football but in life as well.”
Tottenham are back in action under new manager Jose Mourinho against Olympiacos in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
For more from Chris Deeley, find him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209!