Exclusive: Paul Robinson claims Mourinho does not trust big-name Spurs star
Paul Robinson believes Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho cannot trust Dele Alli to put in the defensive work he demands from his players.
The former Spurs and England goalkeeper, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, claims the Portuguese boss has “put the shackles” on the 23-year-old after the injury suffered by Harry Kane.
Alli, who has 31 appearances under his belt this season, came off the bench to play just 12 minutes against Chelsea over the weekend, having shown visible frustration at being subbed off versus RB Leipzig in midweek.
Reacting to the attacking midfielder being left out of the starting XI on Saturday, Robinson says it appears Mourinho does not have faith in him to do the defensive side of the game.
“I think you look at the midfield he played – Lo Celso, Ndombele, Winks, Moura – other than Moura, Lo Celso’s got a bit of creativity but it was a very defensive midfield,” Robinson told Football Insider.
“He didn’t see Dele as the number nine, as the striker, I think he’s put the reins on Dele. He was coming into some real form, some goalscoring form, when he was playing just off Harry Kane, playing that number 10 slot, allowed to float around further forward.
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“In the last few weeks he’s put the shackles on him a little bit, made it a bit more of a defensive responsibility and the way he lined up on Saturday, with three at the back, we could all see it was a five and a four.
“He didn’t think Dele had the defensive responsibility to fit into that situation.”
Alli has scored eight goals and chipped in with four assists so far this season, although he has struck just once in the last eight Premier League games.
Spurs’ next game sees them play host to Wolves, who will visit north London after a trip to Espanyol in the Europa League.