How Mourinho’s simple tinkering of Dele’s position is helping star dazzle again

first_imgIT was a tap-in, yes.Simply accepting a sitter.2 Dele Alli has been restored to his favoured No 10. role under new Spurs boss Jose MourinhoCredit: AP:Associated PressProof that sometimes you do not need to be wary of Greeks bearing gifts.But for Dele Alli, something has changed, for the better.Jose Mourinho believes he can unlock the Dele who has been absent in recent months, allowing the real player to return.And even if the England ace’s third goal of the season was the easiest he will ever score, it was indicative of the change.Mourinho has decided that to get the best out of Dele, he has to play him where he is best.Just off Harry Kane. As the effective No 10. Able to take the ball on the half-turn, play in the fleet-footed wide men and get beyond the centre forward.It was the position where Dele played in his first two seasons at Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino, campaigns that saw him score 11 goals in his breakthrough campaign and 22 for Spurs the following year.And it meant that, for perhaps the first time in 18 months, Dele is now being encouraged to simply BE in the sort of positions that allow him to capitalise on errors like that committed by Olympiakos defender Yassine Meriah.LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Saints vs Watford, Arsenal and Leicester vs Everton scores this coming weekend and win £100Pochettino, for a variety of reasons – one of them being the consistent brilliance of Heung-min Son – has played Dele deeper over the past few seasons.Perhaps his wretched luck with hamstring injuries has been a factor, too.But while Dele has made important contributions, and become a better all-round player, he has been less eye-catching.Of course, you still need to put his record into context.Still six months short of his 24th birthday, Dele has 44 Prem goals and 30 assists to his name.At the same age, Frank Lampard has scored 25 Prem goals with 21 assists, Steven Gerrard 17 goals and three assists. Dele has also made more England appearances at his age than the pair of them combined.Yet Dele at his best is the player who was so free-scoring in his first seasons at Spurs, playing off and around Kane, getting himself into those positions.He has not been doing that recently. Now it appears to be exactly what he is expected to do.Dele looks happier, with the new role allowing him to dazzle.Most Read in FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticThat flick, from a position on his backside, to help set up the second goal at West Ham.The glorious sleight of foot, stepover and tease, before his clever cross was helped into the path of Serge Aurier as Spurs went from a bedraggled mess to taking the lead against Olympiakos.Dele looks back. Good for him, Jose Mourinho and Spurs. And good for Gareth Southgate too.2Jose Mourinho asked Dele Alli ‘are you Dele or his brother-’ as he bids to get Spurs star firing againlast_img