Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has vowed to help out-of-form star-man Dele Alli return to his best after yet another underwhelming display during his side's 4-1 humbling at the hands of Manchester City on Saturday evening.
A second-half striker from Kevin De Bruyne and a Raheem Sterling brace late on in addition to Ilkay Gundogan's opener made for grim reading for everyone connected with Spurs, who only left the Etihad Stadium with a stoppage-time Christian Eriksen conciliation.
In truth, however, the difference on the scoresheet could have been much greater, with again certain players within the Lilywhites ranks not performing to the levels many have come to expect.
Tottenham have escaped critique his season with Liverpool and Arsenal taking plenty of stick. But they are miles off and look to be getting further away. Need to be better than collapsing with a couple of players missing. Spurs fans give Ozil tap, they have their own in Alli.— Duncan Wright (@dwright75) December 16, 2017
One key feature within that group is Alli, who not for the first time this season struggled to make an impact during the shellacking, with his only real contribution arguably coming via a studs-up horror tackle.
The England international entered this campaign off the back of his best yet, however so far has netted on just three occasions and assisted the same amount.
Though Pochettino refused to single out individuals following City's dominant victory, the Argentine did admit he will hold a conversation with the attacking midfielder in order to help him return to his fine form of old.
“I am not going now to talk about individual players”, the 45-year-old told his post-match press conference, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
Nearly 48 hours since Manchester City vs Tottenham, there's been barely a word about Harry Kane or Dele Alli's disgraceful play in two of the worst tackles this season. The media continues to pander to the players, managers & clubs they want to pander to. Embarrassing conduct.— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) December 18, 2017
“You can assess, people can assess. I’m going to say what I need to do and try to help him and help everyone.”
During the run up to Spurs' defeat to City, Pochettino opted to bench Alli during his side's 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion and instead awarded the starting spot to injury returnee Erik Lamela - marking the first time in a year the 21-year-old has been absent from Tottenham's starting XI in the Premier League when available.