It’s all about choices

by Fred Kavanagh

As Dele Alli contemplates his next move off the pitch, Fred Kavanagh believes its his talking on it that will take him to the next true level.

The loveable rogue is quickly heading towards a major crossroads in his career and he shows no sign of stopping. As the owner of one of the most prized signatures in world football, the major players of the management game are licking their lips at the dotted line.

But coming away from that, a reminder is needed that there’s still a lot of work for Dele Alli to do and I would hazard a guess and say that it won’t be coming from one of his soon to be agents. The reality of it is that the talking will be done on the football pitch no matter what his entourage of PR and marketing magicians say. Tottenham should continue to be his prime focus.

Over his brief two and a bit year stint he has wowed the crowds at White Hart Lane above and beyond what anyone expected when the news of his signing emerged. He has given us moments of ecstasy through rugged determination coupled with virtuosic brilliance. Arsenal, Palace and Chelsea just to name a few occasions. But these moments can’t be dined on for long, particularly when his value, rightly or wrongly, appear to be inflating by the week.

He has given us moments of ecstasy through rugged determination coupled with virtuosic brilliance

In recent weeks not all seems quite right with the young man as he has cut a bit of a sulky figure. It isn’t just him though. The ‘issues’ at Wembley continue in the league and dropping points against lower league opposition will rile anyone associated. Just ask everyone who was at Swansea last Saturday. His cupping of the ear three days later wouldn’t have done him any favours either. Yet its moment like these where you ask your main men to pull their socks up and drag us through these rocky times. It’s what sets the greats from the elites. Now I don’t for one minute believe Dele Alli won’t get there, but he will have to learn to take the rough with the smooth.

It’s all happening for him at a very early age and you could argue this season could be one of his most valuable learning curves. A season away from home will naturally bring up issues but that doesn’t change his talent on the pitch. Play your way through it. Fight, struggle and leave everything on the pitch. The rewards could be great. On one hand, a potential huge money move to one of the biggest clubs in the world. Or in an ideal world, welcome Tottenham into a new part of their illustrious history with a strong, united team ready to challenge for everything under the sun. Create your own history.

The recent news doesn’t take many by surprise though. After all its his unpredictable temperament that has endeared himself so much to the Tottenham faithful. It had been a long time since we had a player that knew when to leave his foot in just that extra second longer. Jibe at opposition players when needed and even sometimes when it’s not. The opening day of this season, away at Newcastle, was Dele Alli at his very best yet infuriating if you’re on the receiving end. The reason why the news seems to have sparked such a reaction is maybe because we feel close to being on the receiving end. Vulnerable to what potentially lies ahead.

The opening day of this season, away at Newcastle, was Dele Alli at his very best yet infuriating if you’re on the receiving end

It’s not necessary to hit the panic button though. I’d have C***bell tattooed on my chest if Levy decided to sell up in January, no matter whose representing him. And although a move next summer seems inevitable at this moment in time, I don’t feel his talent is in the ‘irreplaceable’ bracket yet. He’s played an integral part in our recent rise towards the summit but it hasn’t been a lone mission by any stretch of the imagination. Like the players gone before under Pochettino’s reign, I strongly feel it’s the man at the helm that holds the key to our future success. His learning under Pochettino isn’t finished yet and another couple of seasons would do far more for his career than breaking a British transfer record. It’s the optimist in me that feels Dele knows this as well. On the surface, he doesn’t appear to be blinded by the lights.

Pochettino has come out and said he won’t comment on his future regarding his agent unless it is instigated by Dele himself. He will continue to be the boss regarding matters on the pitch, after all it is there where it counts most. And at 21, Dele Alli shouldn’t hide from that reality. Contemplate the long term for more than a second. It’ll be choices like these that could define his legacy and not just at Spurs.


Fred Kavanagh


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