Dele Alli’s performance against Burnley was at first glance unremarkable, but if we look at the job he was clearly asked to do, then José Mourinho can’t have had any complaints. The role Dele was given was that of a defensive midfielder.
If we look at the 24-year-old’s heat map, and the averaged position, then we get a sense of things. So, no, we didn’t get anything dynamic from Dele, but we perhaps got a glimpse of something I’d place greater value upon, discipline.
Passing accuracy up, total successful actions up, not very sexy, but I take a view we’ve had plenty of cosmetic stuff, and something of substance is not just overdue but extremely welcome.
If Mourinho can harness the goof-ball business of nutmegs, and encourage a more substantial footballer to emerge, then maybe a more rounded player can come out the other end of all this. Flicks and tricks alone are not going to be enough. This was only 28-minutes, but it was one that evidenced that he is capable of getting his act together.