Football News

Dele Alli ‘blamed himself’ for Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs sacking

By Harry Edwards

Published: 11:10, 26 November 2019

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has admitted he blamed himself for Mauricio Pochettino’s departure.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham last Tuesday after a poor start to the 2019/20 campaign, less than six months after leading the club to the Champions League final.

He was replaced by Jose Mourinho almost immediately and Tottenham have began life under the Portuguese in fine fashion, beating West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium.

Dele Alli’s guilt: Five things to know…

  • Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham last Tuesday.
  • Spurs had endured a poor start to the 2019/20 campaign, sitting 14th in the Premier League at the time of Pochettino’s departure.
  • Dele Alli has admitted he initially felt some blame over the news.
  • Alli scored just three goals and recorded six assists in 35 games under Pochettino in 2019.
  • Pochettino was replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Alli was instrumental in that win, recording an assist for Son Heung-min’s opener before having a big role in Lucas doubling Tottenham’s lead.

The Englishman received a lot of praise for his performance after experiencing a poor run of form in 2019, which has seen him drop out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

And the midfielder has admitted he felt some blame for Pochettino’s departure.

“I would be lying if I said when it first happened… you just blame yourself, you are sad and don’t look at the big picture,” he told reporters.

“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 per cent and sometimes it does not work out. The chairman made his decision.

“Now as players we have a new manager and we owe the club a lot and we have to start winning games again.”

Tottenham will be looking to continue their improvements under Mourinho when they welcome Olympiacos to north London on Tuesday for their Champions League clash.

Mourinho’s men can secure qualification with a win, but will also reach the last-16 if Red Star Belgrade fail to beat Bayern Munich.

Jose Mourinho on Spurs’ slow start to the season

Alli reveals meeting with Pochettino after Argentinian’s departure

Alli had a special connection with Pochettino having been brought in during the Argentinian’s first year in charge of Tottenham – though he would not feature until the 2015/16 campaign.

Since then, the Englishman has grown into a fine midfielder, despite the recent downturn in form. And Alli has admitted he went to visit Pochettino after his sacking, intending to stay in touch with the Argentinian.

“Being here for nearly five years he has seen me grow as a person and helped me a lot,” he added.

“I came here as an 18-year-old, new to it all and I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs here but he’s helped me through it all. I can’t thank him enough.

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“I felt it was important as soon as I saw the news. I was very upset but I tried to get in contact with him and the next day I went to see him.

“It was just a conversation between two friends. He has helped me through a lot – I’ve seen him more than I see my own family in the last five years, so it was very tough.

“But this is football and things change all the time so we know what we have to do. We have a job to do, we have to move forward. But 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.”