Garth Crooks hails 'fragile' Tottenham star after win v Newcastle (not Walker-Peters)
By Danny Wright
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has named Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld in his team of the week for their performances in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Newcastle.
England international Alli was on the scoresheet for Spurs while his team-mate Alderweireld put in his usual steadfast display in Mauricio Pochettino’s back four at St. James’ Park.
Crooks reserved special praise for Spurs star Alli, who looked to have been targeted by Newcastle players throughout the entire match.
Jonjo Shelvey was shown a straight red card for what appeared to be a stamp on the usually short-tempered Tottenham midfielder.
Crooks believes that Alli is usually “emotionally fragile” but thinks that he may have now turned a new leaf with his attitude towards the game.
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“Within minutes of the game beginning at St James’ Park, it was obvious to me that Newcastle had targeted Dele Alli,” said Crooks on the BBC Sport website.
“I can understand the reasons why, because the Tottenham player has the ability to hurt teams. He is emotionally fragile and still has a lot of growing up to do, and he can be easily riled – or so I thought. Instead, Alli’s conduct was so professional that I was beginning to wonder if he had lost some of his menace.”
Alli was arguably one of the best players in the league last season as Tottenham managed to secure their highest ever finish in the Premier League by ending as runners-up to champions Chelsea.
Last term’s young player of the year wasn’t the only youthful talent on show for Spurs on Sunday as Kyle Walker-Peters earned his senior debut in Mauricio Pochettino’s side at right-back.
Although the full-back was picked out as one of the top performers by many, Crooks opted to pick Kyle Walker in his team of the week over him, who perhaps would have been starting Tottenham had he not left for Manchester City earlier this summer.
In other Tottenham news, Micky Hazard is one of the ex-professionals reserving special praise for Walker-Peters.