The 30 minute man

Dele Alli: A star-shaped peg in an unusually shaped hole

NB Full Article by Football whispers, with graphs here:

After an impressive first season at White Hart Lane, the midfielder improved in 2015/16. He scored 18 goals and registered seven assists to cement himself as one of the world’s brightest young players.

But in 2017/18 he failed to hit the same heights and dropped back to the level of his debut season at Spurs. So what happened?

For a start, it’s worth mentioning that scoring nine and assisting ten goals – as he did last term and did the reverse in 2015/16 – is an impressive feat. Very few players manage it per season and there are four Premier League campaigns where nobody managed it at all.

So for Alli to get close not once, not twice, but three times in a row, at such a young age, shows what kind of a talent he is. But let’s investigate that drop-off…

The drop-off and a change in role

So why did Alli’s goal output halve from 2016/17 to 2017/18? Basically, he stopped hitting the target as much.

His rate of shots which tested the opposition goalkeeper dropped from 47 per cent to 25 per cent between the two seasons.

The number of chances he was getting per game stayed roughly the same – as well as the quality of them – it’s just that he lost that special ability to find the back of the net.

In terms of his all-round game, Alli played similarly in the two years, as seen by his Football Whispers player persona radar, which looks at how a team or person’s plays stylistically.

But the current campaign, one which has been disrupted by a persistent hamstring injury, is going slightly differently.

Alli hasn’t claimed an assist this term and the numbers suggest that, when he returns to the side, that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

The amount of shots he’s setting up has dropped from 1.6 per 90 minutes last season to 0.5 per 90. Instead, the 22-year-old seems to have taken on extra responsibility in attack and in defence, leaving out the creativity in the middle.

Alli’s defensive activity has absolutely leaped this season, more than double what it has been in the past two campaigns with 4.96 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes.

His touches inside the opposition box have also jumped, from just under five per 90 minutes in those previous years but nearly seven per 90 this campaign. He’s even receiving more passes inside the box than Harry Kane.

It’s a curious role and not one many players are probably tasked with which, in turn is perhaps why the public enthusiasm around him has died. How are we supposed to measure success in this role that we’ve not really seen before?

The fact that he’s making fewer shot assists and not taking any more shots than last season, despite getting more touches in the opponents’ box, doesn’t seem like a sign of success.

He’s still an important part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side moving the ball up the pitch, but Alli is one of the players where end product is supposed to come from.

With Kane struggling earlier in the season, Spurs fans could reasonably have hoped that the 22-year-old would step up and fill some of that void.

But whether Alli gets back to the eye-catching heights of the past few years, 2016/17 in particular, will depend on whether Pochettino continues to play him in this role.

Such a heavy defensive responsibility, be it relentless pressing or more conventional defensive work, won’t make attacking end product any easier to come by.

But defending is a thankless task, for the most part, and perhaps we should all recognise the task that the midfielder has had to perform this season.

There’s still a lot of time in the campaign and his career for Alli to get back to his best. He’s shown that he can do it before and, if given the opportunity, he’ll be able to do it again.

Author: Flat Oeuf

A blog dedicated to aficionados of the chicken badge of Tottenham Hotspur FC, unashamedly revelling in the agony and ecstasy of every moment of every matter who finds themselves fortunate enough, in any given season, to be the stewards, manager or players of the best club in the world. COYFS!

  • Flat Oeuf 31/10/2018 at 7:15 am

    Morning Oeufers, this is a first for me and not something I intend to be a regular but I thought the above article on Dele was excellent – it had pictures and everyfink – so I decided to reproduce it.
    Trouble is all the links and graphs went funny so I’ve put the text here and added the link to the original near the top, which I highly recommend you take a gander at to get the full experience.
    Cheers you bunch of lovely peoples.

  • Wasdanspurs 31/10/2018 at 7:18 am

    Cheers, Flat. Not clicked through yet but the text was well worth a read.

  • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 7:55 am

    Nice one Flatster, interesting to see how he shoe horns those stats into just 30 mins per match.

  • GDawg 31/10/2018 at 9:16 am

    The boy is class and encouragingly he seems to have resolved his petulant tendencies. He will rise again

  • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 9:41 am

    Would he have signed this new contract if there were uncertainty about Poch staying? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t bloody know, but wish I did.

    • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 9:49 am

      Not sure Poch would or could give him any guarantees on his staying. I’m very doubtful if Real will get him this time but they could stick the Solari guy in until the end of the season and then go for him then at which time the seeds of discontent that might be growing in Poch atm could be getting stronger. I’d imagine Dele is the sort of confidant guy that thinks he’ll succeed whoever comes in so although he’d probably prefer Poch he wouldn’t see a new manager as a big problem.

  • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 9:42 am

    Blice noggin, Flatchest Oeufman.

  • chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 9:58 am

    Another bloeug? Noice, you are spoiling us Flatterer…

    More touches in the box AND more defensive tackles? How does that happen? I’d have thought the two factors were antagonistic. Hey ho, what do I know? Just that Spurs carry more threat when the lad is on the pitch.

    Who is broadcasting the Cash’n’Carry Cup tonight?

    • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 10:06 am

      Not sure if anyone is, it’s not on Sky.

      • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 10:50 am


        • UnkleTaff 31/10/2018 at 11:06 am

          Radio 5 coverage is almost certainly going to be Chelsea v Derby as well…

          • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 11:13 am

            Maybe Talkshite. Although I detest the channel.

            • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 12:07 pm

              Correct, it’s on there.

            • Mystic arnold 31/10/2018 at 1:16 pm

              Try r radio London if you live localy

              • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 1:37 pm

                Nope. I’m not in the South East.

  • UnkleTaff 31/10/2018 at 10:14 am

    New contract?


    All that’s done is add a few million to his inevitable sale price.


    • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 10:42 am

      Well, a few millions pays for 1% of the new stadium.

      • DAVID 31/10/2018 at 11:08 am

        It’s a funny old World.
        If players contracts are allowed to run down its due to the owners negligence, if extended contracts are signed it’s so the club can cash in on transfer fees.
        Damned if you do, damned if you don’t .

  • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 11:06 am

    Has anyone read the Telegraph report that the new stadium won’t be available until February now?

    • DAVID 31/10/2018 at 11:11 am

      Not seen it but wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t get to play there till the start of next season.
      In hindsight, this was probably always a 2 year project.

      • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 11:15 am

        Time to wheel out an old adage.

        ‘More haste, less speed.’

        • Hartley 31/10/2018 at 12:08 pm

          You beat me to it..

          • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 12:09 pm

            I was hasty.

            • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 31/10/2018 at 12:28 pm

              Whats an adage..I mean Im 71….is that an adage?

  • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 31/10/2018 at 11:19 am

    Im convinced two things are happening with Dele. I think Poch is getting him to do a lot of inside work. Its probably giving him more structure but its also giving us less creativity and goals. The other think is he is maturing away from the punk he was. He is more conservative now with his play. I think it will all turn out good with Dele as he takes control and creativity works a lot better when you have some control.Its less random and chaotic

  • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 11:19 am

    League cup trivia: since winning in 2008, Spurs have lost all five of their London derbies in this cup competition.

    • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 11:44 am

      League cup trivia- the league cup has been seen as trivial in the past, but this season we should triveryhard.

      • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 31/10/2018 at 11:55 am

        The Champions League is trivial,there is no pursuit

      • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 12:03 pm

        The League Cup is entry level silverware, but it would be winning all the same. So long as it didn’t herald the dismantling of the team as in 2008.

  • 89Spurs 👁 31/10/2018 at 12:38 pm

    Keep these bloeugs coming, a good read, seems a bit of TBH,
    knocking the lad, but he has got a bit of skill and class about his play. Not been that fit this season, I think that he will improve as the season progresses, once he can spend ninety minutes on the pitch.

  • HD 🇺🇸 31/10/2018 at 1:02 pm

    Footballwhispers. Pfft. I tried whispering sweet footballwhispers in the Mrs. ear and she threw me out of the room.

    • Ronwol196061 31/10/2018 at 1:06 pm

      There are no Navy cards HD only red ones

    • Fatty B 31/10/2018 at 1:12 pm

      Were you in the doctor’s waiting room at the time?

      • HD 🇺🇸 31/10/2018 at 1:17 pm

        Hah! 😬

  • Northern Spur 31/10/2018 at 1:22 pm

    Radio 5 coverage is almost certainly going to be Chelsea v Derby as well…

    I believe Radio 5 SportsExtra (digital) is broadcasting our game.

    • Ronwol1960-61🕎⚽🎷🎥 31/10/2018 at 1:34 pm

      Any tournament where there is no coverage is not worth winning. Can you imagine an open air bus going down the Tottenham High road with the team and the trophy and nobody knows about it

      • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 1:40 pm

        It’s a sad indictment of the modern game.

        • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 1:42 pm

          I shall write a letter to Amazon. Please buy the rights and have the Amazon Cup on ppv.

      • Sexy Beast 31/10/2018 at 2:19 pm

        Only at Tottenham could I believe something like that could happen 👀
        Got home at 12.30 am after the game Monday 😡

    • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 1:39 pm

      Gawd bless yer guv’nor. That channel doesn’t get much exercise outside test matches.

  • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 1:46 pm

    Northern Spur is correct, the Spurs game is on Radio Five Extra coverage scheduled from 7pm. (Just checked their web page.)

  • Ufluckinplic 31/10/2018 at 2:06 pm

    We have DM’s that do the defensive side. Let him close down the opposition further up the field and allow his creativity free reign.

  • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 2:07 pm

    Presumably if there are no TV rights to tonight’s game, the match can legally be recorded by someone present and highlights posters on YouTube?

    • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 2:09 pm


    • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 2:22 pm

      According to Sports Donk they are showing it in the VIP section tonight.

      • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 2:23 pm

        If of course you have Sports Donk.

      • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 2:23 pm

        Very impatient patient.

  • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 2:35 pm

    Redknapp, who managed Spurs for three-and-a-half seasons between 2008 and 2012, has now destroyed Neville in a response after taking exception to his comments.

    Speaking on Alan Brazil’s Breakfast show on talkSPORT [Wednesday, 09:11], Redknapp said: “His comments I thought were an absolute disgrace. I can only speak about the three-and-a-half years that I managed the club, and we weren’t gutless, we weren’t spineless, we weren’t pathetic.”

    Asked by Brazil what message he would like to send to Neville, Redknapp said: “Listen, I’ve got the raving hump. I’ve got to be honest with you, I really wouldn’t want to speak to him to be true. I’ve got the raving needle with him – I think he’s totally out of order, I really do.

    “His opinion in this case is totally wrong, totally out of order, and I think its a disgrace to talk as he has without having a look and seeing what that team did there.”

    But Harry, Neville is only voicing his honest opinion. HE HAS NO AGENDA, IT’S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM WANTING OUR POCH AS MANURE MANAGER.

    • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 2:49 pm

      Neville is Mr Hanky.

  • merrance 31/10/2018 at 2:43 pm

    On this side of the water espn+ is showing our 2nd cup final win tonight this season against the pikey primark posse.. 3.45pm eastern Trump time

    • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 2:47 pm

      Ah! So some enterprising soul might put up a stream on Reddit then. Excellent.

  • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 3:13 pm

    Neville is Mr Hanky.

    Actually, Gary Neville is a bigger shit than Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo.

  • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 3:44 pm

    Neville said, “Tottenham for 30 years of our lives were spineless and soft, flaky, rubbish, you could be 2-0 down against them and think you would win 5-2. That’s just the way they were. You knew that one little bump during the game and they would fall over it.

    “Now we have the toughest, robust, most resilient Tottenham team that we have seen and we shouldn’t get tired of them and saying they have to do this…”
    Might be controversial here, and I don’t agree with the over zealous language used, but tbh I think he’s made a valid point. Since the late 80s we have been soft and ‘spursy’ a lot of the time. But since Poch has arrived we’ve grown some bollox, which is what he alludes to at the end. So imo, using the general tenet of the statement I think he’s not far off the truth. Shoot me now.

    • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 4:04 pm

      I don’t mind that so much rAndy, and I agree, he is correct.
      I don’t like the Poch baiting at all though, another comment yesterday…
      ‘It feels to me that he has laid the first foundations for a move away from the club and started to prepare the ground.’
      If other managers/players etc started talking up other teams managers leaving there’d be uproar, he’s in a position in his Sky job where he gets a lot of attention and is obviously Manure biased, so I don’t feel it’s fair for him to discuss this kinda thing. He’s not a journalist who can at least pretend to have a neutral opinion, he’s pro-Manure in every way, and it’s obvious what he’s trying to do.
      That’s my tuppence worth. Feed the birds.

      • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 4:26 pm

        I agree FoF.
        There are no pro-Spurs punters on any channel.

        Jenas has forgotten he ever played for us. And we have forgotten him.
        Alan Brazil? FFS.
        Lineker is Leicester.
        Redknapp. Spammer.

        We need a pundit!

        • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 4:28 pm

          Mabbutt. But he’s too much of a decent gentleman to be a pundit.

          • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 4:56 pm

            When there’s a vacancy, you could apply, then!😍😍

            • Merrance 31/10/2018 at 5:29 pm

              I nominate Hartley

              • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 5:31 pm

                Gets my vote, I’d give good money to see him sort out Jim White.

      • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 4:28 pm

        If it wasn’t for the Poch comment tother day about this being his lowest point since arrival then would tend to agree. But and its a big butt, he’s paid to have a view rather than being an anodine Brooking. Dont think he mentioned Manure as such so atm the Real job seems much more likely. Its a natural assumption, Poch isn’t happy and he could go somewhere and win much more than he is likely to do with us, at least in the short term. Plus Real are apparently offering twice his wages. I’d pose that in any other business most peeps would be nailed on to move. Neville is just voicing the obvious. Still love ya.

        • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 4:46 pm

          Backatcha baby xx

  • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t often recommend stuff…
    But if you have had a hard day or fancy a bit of a brain fade, have a listen to “Cigarettes after Sex”.
    Give it a chance…but only when you are knackered!

    • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 4:33 pm

      And a bit of “Milk and alcohol”.

      • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 4:34 pm

        If you are that way inclined.

        • wasdanspurs 31/10/2018 at 6:42 pm

          I do like a bit of Cigarettes after Sex, Bruxie, but you’re right – you have to be in a brain-fade mood. If you’ve not listened to Typhoon, you might like them too. Their latest album has the same sort of feel as K – I prefer the one before that, though – White Lighter. Well worth a listen, I think.

    • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 4:33 pm

      • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 4:44 pm


  • foeorfreund 31/10/2018 at 4:38 pm

    Do you guys remember me mentioning that Poch had a pre-match interview with Geoff Shreeves on Monday, denying that he is unhappy, and saying he is fully committed?
    I managed to find it on the Sky Sports Live feed as per below link, scroll down to 19.36…

    I find it amazing that the Guardian piece was hashed and rehashed by every sports media outlet you can think of, but there isn’t one mention anywhere about his comments to Geoff Shreeves, not even on the Sky Sports site.

    Media super keen to pick up on any sign of discontent, but not so keen to report when that is rebuffed.
    I shouldn’t expect anything less, I suppose.

    • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 4:41 pm

      I find it amazing that rags like the Telegraph and Guardian become clones of the Sun & Mirror when it comes to footy.
      They both have so-called intelligent readers…
      So why do they do it?

    • Chauvelin 31/10/2018 at 5:00 pm

      Do you really find it amazing? I find it par for the course.

      • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 5:01 pm

        I don’t buy newspapers.

        That’ll show ’em!

  • Fatty B 31/10/2018 at 5:27 pm

    Haha. You mean bloeugs which weren’t written by “one of own”?
    Actually, isn’t it about time you wrote a blog?

    • Fatty B 31/10/2018 at 5:29 pm

      I posted that in response to 89er’s comm3nt about 6 hours ago.

  • Fatty B 31/10/2018 at 5:32 pm

    Where’s pre match Dan when you need him? Come on Dan, pull your finger out and write us a blog (wash your hands first).

    • wasdanspurs 31/10/2018 at 6:44 pm

      I don’t wash my hands before cup games. League games only for me. Sorry.

  • Northeern Spur 31/10/2018 at 5:34 pm

    Not much pre-match chat so far today. I’m intrigued to see who Poch will select. I bet Sissoko is rested.
    BTW, got myself a Wolves ticket this morning.It’s one of only a few ‘elite’ away grounds I’ve not been to + I’m looking forward to looking down on the pitch where Martin Chivers set us on course for our first Uefa cup win in 1972.

    • SpurAndy 🥧🍒 31/10/2018 at 5:42 pm

      Kids tonight, if they’re back from their Halloween trick or treating in time.

  • HD 🇺🇸 31/10/2018 at 5:42 pm

    I want to see Foyth play today. Actually, I can’t see him play because there is no coverage over here (in Palm Springs, CA.) I will watch him play via commentary. Pfft.

  • Bruxie 31/10/2018 at 5:45 pm

    That’s the priority in my opinion.

    Let’s have a look at the kids.

    FA Cup if you want silverware.

    • HD 🇺🇸 31/10/2018 at 5:50 pm

      Yes sir, I totally agree.

  • Caspurs 31/10/2018 at 6:16 pm


    I agree FoF.
    There are no pro-Spurs punters on any channel.

    Jenas has forgotten he ever played for us. And we have forgotten him.
    Alan Brazil? FFS.
    Lineker is Leicester.
    Redknapp. Spammer.

    We need a pundit!


    • 89Spurs 👁 31/10/2018 at 6:30 pm

      What a well spoken player, who has a good academic background, and is at present in the first team squad. I would suggest he might be a better pundit than his play at the moment.
      Except for one tackle recently.
      Eric Dier ?

      • Caspurs 31/10/2018 at 6:33 pm

        It’ll never work, he’s far too enigmatic.. ; p

      • 89Spurs 👁 31/10/2018 at 6:34 pm


  • UnkleTaff 31/10/2018 at 6:25 pm

    Reddit currently list five streams for tonight’s game, so fingers crossed one of them comes up trumps:

    • 89Spurs 👁 31/10/2018 at 6:44 pm

      Nice one Taff, how are your woods doing? I’m playing in the indoor leagues, and not doing very well at all. Played three, lost three at the moment, can only improve.

      • UnkleTaff 31/10/2018 at 6:51 pm

        We’re currently doing something of a Watford at the moment — we won our first three but are now on a five-game winless run (two draws and three defeats).

        On Monday I had to watch from the sidelines as my teammates contrived to throw away a 12-4 lead by dropping eight shots in the last three ends. We still drew but it felt like a defeat. That hurt me far more than the Spurs game did later on that day.

  • HD 🇺🇸 31/10/2018 at 7:03 pm

    Gazzaniga, Aurier, Sanchez, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Wanyama, Winks, Eriksen (C), Son, Dele, Llorente

    • UnkleTaff 31/10/2018 at 7:04 pm

      That’ll do.

    • HD 🇺🇸 31/10/2018 at 7:04 pm

      That should do it.

      • 89Spurs 👁 31/10/2018 at 7:07 pm

        Let’s hope so!

    • Fatty B 31/10/2018 at 7:10 pm

      I was expecting a 0-4 till I saw that. Now I’ll go 0-6.

  • SeattleSpursGuy 31/10/2018 at 7:09 pm

    Spammers are going with: Adrian; Fredericks, Ogbonna, Diop, Masuaku; Rice, Obiang; Diangana, Anderson, Antonio; Hernandez.

    We’ll smash ’em to little pikey bits.

  • Caspurs 31/10/2018 at 7:11 pm

    It’s a state aid Bloeugins..

  • Fatty B 31/10/2018 at 7:16 pm

    Northeern Spur
    Not much pre-match chat so far today. I’m intrigued to see who Poch will select. I bet Sissoko is rested.
    BTW, got myself a Wolves ticket this morning.It’s one of only a few ‘elite’ away grounds I’ve not been to + I’m looking forward to looking down on the pitch where Martin Chivers set us on course for our first Uefa cup win in 1972.

    Good for you, big lad! Hope the lads don’t let you down.

  • mystic arnold 31/10/2018 at 7:37 pm

    Just wired up the door knocker to the national grid to deter the twick or treet brats now for another horror show on radio London

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