Well, it could’ve been worse.
UEFA has decided that Dele Alli will serve a regular three-game suspension for his sending off against Gent in the Europa League. Dele was shown a red card for a brutal tackle on Gent’s Brecht Dejaegere.
BREAKING: Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli to serve three-game European ban for red card in Europa League draw against Gent #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) March 24, 2017
UEFA had the option to add games to Dele’s ban, if they thought the tackle was egregious enough to warrant it. But instead, it will only be another three-game ban for Spurs’ 20-year-old talent. Dele was also suspended for three games last season after striking West Brom’s Claudio Yacob on April 26th.
Whether Spurs are in the Champions League or the Europa League next season, they’ll have to do without Dele for the first three matches of the group stage.
The infamous tackle significantly hampered Spurs’ efforts to advance against Gent. If Mauricio Pochettino’s men had 11 men for the full length of the game, they looked to be playing well enough to move on. After the match, Dele apologized and said he felt “horrible” about the play.
It’s something that happens in soccer; an impulsive reaction results in a red card. Dele’s reputation for having a hot streak isn’t unfair, but he had behaved quite well this season until this incident.
Here’s hoping Dele continues to learn from his mistakes, and will stay cool the next time he’s in a similar situation.