Dele Alli: "How I studied Gerrard"
Bamidele Jermaine Alli, commonly referred to as Dele Alli, or just Dele is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League Club Tottenham Hotspur and the England national team. Dele Alli was born on 11th April 1996.
Admiration for Gerrard
Dele is a huge fan of Steven Gerrard. Dele says,” Gerrard was one of the best midfielders in the world when I was growing up and his overall technique was world-class”. To this day we haven't seen many players strike the ball as well as Gerrard. Plus his range of passing and shooting from distance was incredible. But the main reason Dele admires him so much is because of Gerrard's character. It didn't matter how big the game was, Gerrard never seemed to get phased.
Similarities with Gerrard
Dele thinks him and Gerrard are similar in the sense that both of them enjoy every side of the game. Gerrard loved linking up with his strikers but then you’d see him blocking a shot in his own box. Dele doesn’t see himself as an attacking midfielder and he thinks Gerrard was the same. The main similarity would be the attitude. Gerrard would never fear an opponent and Dele never goes into a game frightened of a player or team.
Mindset for tackling
The Premier League is a physical environment with some big players and strong tacklers. Dele says he would never back down from any challenge and he believes one needs to show the opposition that you’re not scared to go in for a tackle otherwise they’ll try to get on top of you all game. But according to Dele, one doesn’t necessarily need to run hard or sprint to succeed because every player is different.
Mindset and Pressure before going into a big game
Dele goes into every game with the same mindset, he doesn’t focus on the occasion or worry about opponents. He might study some opponents more than others, but the mindset always remains the same. The only focus is to win.
Differences noticed playing League One and Spurs
The biggest difference has to be the physicality. Defenders are bigger, stronger and quicker as compared to League One players. But the main difference is the pace of the game. A player gets much less time on the ball so the first touch needs to be on point and one needs to know where the next pass is going before you get the ball.
Importance of positioning to be a success in the No.10 role
Positioning is everything. Finding space on the field can be difficult, especially against defenses who are pushing up to the halfway line. We just need to keep moving until we find that little pocket of space between the opponent’s midfield and defence.
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