Jose Mourinho was pleased to be able to let everyone else rave about Dele Alli after the Tottenham attacker’s resurgence continued in Saturday’s 3-2 Premier League win over Bournemouth.
Alli, whose poor form and injuries over the last few months had seen him dropped from the England squad, has rediscovered his star quality since Mourinho arrived at the club, bagging a brace against the Cherries.
Moussa Sissoko put Spurs 3-0 up before Harry Wilson’s late double made it an uncomfortable end to the game.
Alli’s brace made it three goals in three games – as well as two assists – and he has been the figurehead of a Tottenham resurgence under the Portuguese.
Mourinho made a point of trying to reinvigorate Alli when he first arrived, teasing him about playing like his brother, and it has worked a treat.
“Dele, I don’t need to speak about,” Mourinho said.
“The best thing that can happen to a coach is when you don’t need to speak about a player because everybody speaks, all of you, fans, everybody speaks about him and speaks about him for the right reasons.
“He’s playing really, really, really well. I couldn’t ask for any more from him. He’s playing amazing, scoring goals, assisting, working, fantastic.”
Alli had struggled for much of 2019, both with injuries and a drop in form, as well as receiving some criticism about his life away from football.
Mourinho was not prepared to allow Alli’s level be so far away from his best and also moved him closer to Harry Kane on the pitch.
“I don’t know the boy, I don’t know much. I just know the qualities of the players and that was the direction where I went,” he said.
“(For) a player of such quality, it’s not possible that he’s not performing at a high level. OK, sometimes players are not in the best performance level but normally with a little bit of up and down, you need to perform according to your potential.
“Every manager has his own ideas and we’re all different. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong, but for me, Dele is not a midfield player.
“For me Dele is not a player to play positionally in midfield. He is a player to be like he is playing, close to Harry (Kane), following some dynamics that we train but a little bit of freedom to associate with attacking players.
“This I think is the best position for him.”
It was the first time Spurs had won back-to-back Premier League games since April following the victory at West Ham last week, where they also conceded two late goals having led 3-0.
Wilson’s late double skewed the scoreline at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and left Mourinho scratching his head.
“I am happy with many things, I am happy with the effort, but of course the Premier League is the Premier League, games are never finished,” he added.
“The result is a bit strange, but that is OK, that is the difficulty of the Premier League, the emotion of the Premier League.
“I can say we conceded four goals in three days at home but I prefer to say we scored seven goals at home in three days, which is fantastic.”
Bournemouth have won just one of their last eight games, though might have snatched the unlikeliest of points had it not been for a goal-saving intervention by Jan Vertonghen on Callum Wilson in the last action.
Boss Eddie Howe, who saw his side concede two goals from two long balls, said: “The key moments were the first two goals in the game.
“We have got to defend those situations better and we didn’t and we paid the ultimate price for it.
“Great effort from the lads for coming back, showing the character we needed because at 3-0 down it was a difficult moment for us.
“We did have one chance right at the end to get a point. The lads in general played well today but the first two goals killed us.”