Mauricio Pochettino has defended Dele Alli after the Tottenham midfielder was heavily criticised for his performance against Liverpool last weekend.
Alli played the full 90 minutes against the Reds but had a nominal impact on the game, which earned him heavy criticism from Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness.
The 23-year-old burst onto the scene during the 2016/2017 Premier League season, scoring 18 goals and assisting a further nine. Since then, and particularly in the past two years, Alli has failed to live up to these heights, only managing five goals in the league last campaign.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has urged everyone to remember how young Dele Alli is, as the Spurs midfielder attempts to regain his form.— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 1, 2019
"We need to remember that Dele is still so young and the demand and the pressure on him is massive," the Argentinian said, as reported by The Sun.
“Everyone expects big things from him but he’s only 23 years old. Ok, he’s now dropped a little bit but we need to help and back him.”
Pochettino was also quick to deny that Alli's desire had waned after the midfielder signed a £150,000-a-week six-year deal in October 2018.
"No, his mentality is good. At some point the level drops for every single talented young player," the Spurs boss said in the same interview.
The 47-year-old was also asked more widely about the standard of television punditry in the UK, to which Pochettino gave a scathing review.
“Would I be a pundit? Today, no. You never know what will happen but I respect the manager and players too much," the former Southampton boss began.
“Also when you give your opinion people inside the club are laughing because you don’t have all the facts.
“It is easy to talk from outside. We were talking the other day about the film A Few Good Men — ‘You want the truth, you can’t handle the truth!’
“I respect every opinion but cannot pay too much attention.”