Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-2 demolition of Everton at Goodison Park was great fun, but if you’re looking for the cloud inside that silver lining, here it is: Dele Alli was substituted off at halftime with what was described by the match commentators as a hamstring issue.
Just before halftime, Dele was taken down by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford as Dele rushed in to try and notch his second goal of the match. The offside flag had gone up, and the challenge was a harsh one — basically a scissor tackle. Dele stumbled and looked a little shaken up after the incident. He didn’t return for the second half.
After the match, Mauricio Pochettino tried to downplay the incident, but was cagy as to how serious Dele’s issue might be and didn’t want to blame the Pickford incident for the substitution.
“I didn’t see. I am very curious to see the action. I think it wasn’t a great action. I don’t want to say nothing as I didn’t see on the video, but for some comment, I think was a tough action. I don’t want to say anything.
“No [he isn’t badly hurt]. We will see if it’s an issue. I think he’s tired. We hope it’s not a big issue.”
That could be accurate, or it could be Pochettino Code for “Dele’s going to miss a month.” If it’s the latter, it’s potentially super bad, as Dele has been one of Spurs’ best players this season, and they are much, MUCH better when he is on the pitch. After today’s win, Tottenham are now 27-6-0 in matches where Dele scores. If he’s out for any length of time, it further perpetuates the midfield injury crisis that Spurs are already suffering through. And that’s not great.
We’ll have to wait for further updates, but hopefully this won’t stop the Christmas cheer. Spurs’ next match is Wednesday, a Boxing Day clash with Bournemouth at Wembley.