Tottenham star midfielder Dele Alli has told Sky Sports that he isn't at all concerned with the criticism that has been coming his way this season.
The England international has been in the news for less-than-proper reasons as of late, with his attitude, discipline and supposed penchant for diving in the box coming to the fore in the media. However, he claims he has grown numb to it as he knows himself better than anyone.
"He is 21. If you compare him with normal people on the street who are 21, they are still living at home with their parents, they are still at university doing stupid things"— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 30, 2018
Is Dele Alli being put under too much pressure? https://t.co/vf0RqdBXo7 pic.twitter.com/ZDMQzkjcSh
"There are a lot of opinions, people say a lot in the media and online, but I'm numb to it now," he said.
"Growing up, you have to fight every day, coming into the Premier League you have to fight for your place in the team, and same as an international.
"Every player is different [in dealing with criticism], I think it's all about your focus, what your focus is. Some people might focus a lot on what people are saying about them, which can take the focus away from the football. It can impact you.
"But for me, I've never worried too much about what people think. If you have confidence in yourself, you know yourself, better than anyone, when you have that, what other people say, automatically you are numb to it."
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The player also explained why the game has become more difficult for him, pointing out that opposition players are more threatened by him and play him a lot harder, limiting space and going into tackles more often.
"I don't think I've changed. The game is always changing, every game is unpredictable," he said. "The way people deal with me in games is different; there are a lot more tackles. I found myself in a lot of space last year, and now when I get in the box I feel people are a lot more concerned about me, and marking me."