Dele Alli refuses to blame Jose Mourinho for Tottenham exile

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Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has insisted he does not blame former boss Jose Mourinho for his lack of minutes last season.

Initially billed as a key player under Mourinho, Dele’s bubble soon popped and he spent most of the 2020/21 season out in the cold. He started just two Premier League matches before Mourinho’s departure and was heavily linked with a move away before Ryan Mason took over towards the end of the season.

Mourinho didn’t hide away from his frustration towards Dele, publicly scolding the Englishman’s attitude towards training.

Despite being the subject of Mourinho’s fury, Dele insisted to Goal that he has no hard feelings towards his former boss and admitted he should have done more to win Mourinho over in the first place.

“The only person I blame is myself,” said Dele. “I should be performing at a level where it is difficult to not put me in the team or not play me. I don’t blame anyone but myself.

“Working with Mourinho was a great experience and one I learned a lot from.”

Since the season came to an end, Dele has been working with a personal team who have managed all aspects of his life, including diet and off-field activities, to get himself in the best-possible shape to meet new manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

Dele AlliDele Alli

Dele made his return under Mason / Visionhaus/Getty Images

“He [Nuno] has done a great job at Wolves,” he added. “I am looking forward to speaking to him and working with him. He is a great manager and it is exciting times.

“I want to make this year one of the best I have had. A lot of people have said I need to find the form I was in a few years ago. For me, I don’t even want to get to that, I want to go past that and reach my full potential to be the best player I can be.

“It has been a tough few years but I have been working hard and analysing what I need to do to get better.

“I have been training a lot on most days of my holiday. I didn’t feel I needed much rest, so it is just training the whole way through.

“Everyone is looking for that extra few per cent, so you have to keep up. I am feeling good and the best I have felt in a long time.”

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