Dele Alli – A specialist or a Multipotentialite

In football, with 11 different roles, I wonder being a multipotenialite(skilled in multiple roles) is important or of a specialist(winger, stiker, playmaker) or leave it to destiny and at the hands of the manager as to who you become. Who can better understand the player? Player himslef isn’t? I wonder what Dele Alli thinks of his role. Currently pressing is the most prefered, admired strategy in EPL and Dele Alli fits the role of a presser very well. Will pressing be a evergreen strategy in EPL which requires players who are all specialist in their chosen roles or will it be multipotentialites or combination of both …It is but interesting to see this debate growing. There are no correct or wrong answer.

It was AC Milan’s success in Europe in the 60’s that introduced ‘Libero’ as the Italian Default and a quarter of a century later, it was AC Milan’s success in Europe that killed it off. There were efforts to move away from the libero and man-marking but they were isolated. Milan forward Nils Leidholm employed a form of ‘Zonal Marking’ with Roma, a tactic that got his side to the european cup final in 1984.Johan Cryuff pioneered ‘Total football’ and Barcelona as a club benefitted big time from it. Thus, there are strategies and context of the game which creates players and evolves like life. Pochettino prefers ‘pressing’ game and needs players who can control opponents space. Pressing is not about running and working hard ,it is about geomentry. It is about the formation, shape and relative arrangement of the players and the ball in itself.

Dele Alli, discovered with England, pure talent, not bought by oil money( like how Man city, Arsenal, Chelsea), not from footballing famliy and not from any aristocratic fraternity. His skills are not of equivalent to Messi, his power is not of to Roberto Carlos, his technical abilities aren’t of Zidane and his style is not of Beckham. But he is a true multipotentialite (give him any role, he will play his life out to prove a point). I like such players, with no pre-conceived thoughts and baggage in their minds. Just run and play. That’s the beauty of soccer isn’t. I guess that’s where the true power of Zen lies. Live and play in the moment.

Born and raised in Milton Keynes, he joined the youth system at Milton Keynes Dons aged 11 and broke into the first team five years later, during the 2012–13 season. Over the next two-and-a-half years he made 88 official appearances for the team, scoring 24 goals. He signed for Tottenham Hotspur in February 2015 for an initial fee of £5 million, being loaned back to the Dons for the remainder of the season.Since 2015, he has started most of the games with Spurs, with 60+ games , scored 21 goals, creating an impact for Spurs. The most important thing I observe is how he splits opposition, creating space and pressing opponents defence. I like this aspect of him, his pressing ability, his running and doing what exactly Poch wants.

And another invisible fact is his positional sense on the pitch and he is just 20 years of age. Unbeleivable isn’t. Is he another Bale in making ? I don’t know but one certain thing is that, he can create an impact in any role on the pitch. A true multipotentialite. He is a compound of technical excellence, dynamic pace and inspired movements. I see potentialities in him to take over the role of a centre forward in the near future.

I don’t know what form/style of play is being invented by Pochetino, but one thing is pretty evident is the manager is sensible and understand players perspective. I wish he leverages Dele Alli’s skills and provides him the right support.

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