English Premiership

Pochettino has Alli's back

Dele Alli (Getty Images)
Dele Alli (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli's kick at an opponent in Thursday's Europa League stalemate with Fiorentina shows the talented youngster still has a lot to learn, manager Mauricio Pochettino has said.

The 19-year-old was booked for a foul on Nenad Tomovic in the 1-1 draw in Italy and was lucky not to receive a red card for catching the Fiorentina defender with a boot while he was on the ground.

Alli's touch and vision have lit up the Premier League this season, no more so than when he scored a goal-of-the-season contender against Crystal Palace in January, but this is not the first time his impetuosity has been criticised.

The booking against Fiorentina was Alli's ninth in all competitions for Spurs and Pochettino indicated the time had come to speak to the player about his conduct.

"We need to try to teach him," the manager said.

"He is a young player and he has a lot to learn about elite football."

Alli moved to Spurs from Championship side (second-tier) Milton Keynes Dons last February and while he is pushing for a place in the England squad at the European Championships in the summer, Pochettino said his education was far from complete.

"It is his first season in the Premier League at Tottenham. He came from League One, he needs to learn a lot," the Argentine said.