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Pochettino says Dele Alli "has a lot to learn" after controversial kick


Clive Rose/Getty Images

If you missed it, Dele Alli was a bit of a naughty boy during Tottenham Hotspur's 1-1 Europa League draw with Fiorentina. Midway through the first half, after getting tangled up with La Viola defender Nenad Tomovic, Alli appeared to casually kick Tomovic in the stomach as his momentum carried him over the Fiorentina player.

His manager Mauricio Pochettino, channeling his inner Arsene Wenger, said he didn't see the incident, but implied that Alli has a little growing up to do.

"We need to look at the video and try to teach him. He is a young player and he has a lot to learn about elite football. It is his first season in the Premier League at Tottenham.

He came from League One, he needs to learn a lot, still learn. But I didn't see (the incident). Some people say 'yes', say 'no', so I don't know."

Let's have a look at what happened:

Yeah, that's not so good, Dele. Alli was pretty throughly deserving of a yellow card and that kind of petulance might have been enough to see him sent off with another official on another day. He's pretty fortunate that he wasn't sent to the showers after that.

We've talked before about how Alli can be, well, a bit of a jacka** on the pitch. He's one of those players that will just put a toe across the line to wind people up and dare the officials to do something about it. This would be further evidence of that. Alli's still one of those players that will piss everyone the heck off except Tottenham fans, and while it's fun and great to have a player like that because it gives your club an edge, it's also a double-edged sword.

There's no evidence suggesting that Alli will be reprimanded by Pochettino or the club in any way (yet), but yikes.