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Dele Alli accepts FA charge, likely banned for rest of season


Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images

It looks like Dele Alli's debut Premier League season is very likely over. One day after he was charged with violent conduct by the FA for his role in an altercation with West Brom's Yacob, the English sport media is reporting that Alli has accepted the charge levied against him and will very likely be suspended for the rest of the season.

The actual punishment levied against him has not been formally announced but usually charges of violent conduct result in a three-match ban, which would mean Alli will miss the remainder of Spurs' season.

We can argue about the nature of this incident and whether it really constitutes "violent conduct" until the cows come home, but in the end this is both a fair and expected outcome. A lot of Spurs fans are saying that various West Brom players including Yacob spent much of the first part of the match winding Alli up, but it doesn't matter. Replay clearly shows that Alli threw a punch at Yacob (after getting hip-checked earlier in the play), and Alli has to know that this is a ban-worthy offense if he's caught. If official Mike Jones had seen it it probably would've resulted in a yellow card and that would've been the end of it. But he didn't, and it's within the FA's purview to review incidents of this nature and make retroactive charges.

It sucks, but them's the rules.

Losing Alli will hurt, but it may not be catastrophic. The natural replacement for Alli in Spurs' lineup is Son Heung-Min, and actually I'm kind of intrigued by the prospect of seeing a lineup that features Eriksen, Sonny, and Lamela behind Harry Kane. Someone will certainly correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think we've seen that very often, if at all.

The bigger concern is if Eric Dier can't go. There has been absolutely zero news about Dier's injury after he was subbed off with what looked like a head injury in the second half. Three matches without Dele Alli isn't great, but it's survivable. Three matches without Dele Alli and Eric Dier makes me significantly more worried.