Nuno speaks ahead of Tottenham game against Crystal Palace
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Dele Alli has been brilliant for Tottenham so far this season, but comes into the new campaign off the back of a difficult spell under former manager Jose Mourinho. Alli has recently opened up about details from last year and touches on his struggles after falling out of favour at Tottenham, losing his place in the first-team as a result.
Jose Mourinho’s love affair with Tottenham didn’t last very long and ended on an acrimonious note. The man who was brought in to win Spurs a trophy was sacked just the week before a cup final after 17 months in charge.
Alli has had his own rocky relationship with the Tottenham starting XI, and went from being one of Mourinho’s regulars to becoming an outcast.
However, the midfielder has looked back to his best this season under Nuno Espirito Santo and has played every single Premier League minute so far during the new campaign.
He now looks to be back at the peak of his fitness, but this didn’t appear to be the case under Mourinho.
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Alli recently opened up about to Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport about his struggles last season and his ambitions moving forward,
And the Englishman has admitted that his fitness and performance levels dropped under Mourinho.
The midfielder said: “I didn’t feel I was where I should be. I’ve always prided myself on my fitness levels, long distance and being able to maintain stamina for a long time.
“I knew It’s something I needed to improve on coming off the end of last season, I wanted to make sure coming into the new season I was fit and ready to go.”
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Alli also hinted that he and the rest of the squad weren’t performing to the right level under Mourinho, which was clear to see after a poor run of form leading up to the Portuguese manager’s sacking.
The 25-year-old said: “I wanted to prove to myself and I know my performance levels have been below par and that’s not good enough.
“When a new manager comes in it’s exciting but obviously it’s off the back of a bad run of form or the team not doing so well, so it gives the team a boost.”
Tottenham have started well under Nuno and were the only team with a 100 per cent record heading in to the recent international break.
It is no surprise then that Alli felt compelled to speak about the positive changes that the new boss has made to the team and to him personally.
“It’s been about us, what we’re going to do and how we are going to set up rather than worrying about the opposition,” he added.
“With Mourinho there was a lot of meetings analysing the opposition.”
The midfielder also commented on how he is being utilised better under Espirito Santo: “The formation we are playing at the moment allows me to be more free as a box-to-box.
“I like to be the engine of the team, not just scoring goals but getting back and defending too.”
The atmosphere certainly felt hostile towards the conclusion of Mourinho’s reign, and Alli was one of the players frozen out by the Portuguese tactician.
With the appointment of Espirito Santo and sporting director Fabrio Paratici, Spurs are very much in transition once more and Tottenham appear to be finding their feet again.
Alli is expected to be an integral part of Nuno’s plans moving forward and Tottenham fans will be keen to see him return to his best form after failing to live up to his high expectations set back at the original White Hart Lane.
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