Dele Alli’s Play Demands Continued Selection by Roy Hodgson

Jul 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli (20) reacts during the second half of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick
Jul 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli (20) reacts during the second half of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick /

Dele Alli’s masterful performance against France today will force Roy Hodgson to do something very much against his nature. His brilliant performance will force the England manager to side with youth over experience and play Alli prominently in his midfield moving forward.

Alli was simply sublime for the Three Lions at Wembley. He scored England’s first goal and his interception in midfield and subsequent pass to Raheem Sterling were key in Wayne Rooney’s scoring strike. He didn’t just avoid looking out of his depth, he showed his superstar potential. On a day where many thought they were getting a glimpse at England’s future, Alli showed that they were seeing England’s present.

Of course, breaking into a side ahead of schedule is nothing new for Alli. When he was acquired by Tottenham last January and then immediately loaned back to MK Dons most saw that was a sign that his acquisition was a play for Tottenham’s future. Instead, he burst into the team during the pre-season and showed manager Mauricio Pochettino that he was going to be a factor for the Spurs first time immediately.

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To Pochettino’s credit, he’s never been afraid to trust young players which makes Tottenham the perfect incubator for a young talent like Alli. Pochettino deployed him as an attacking midfielder in his first few appearances and later moved him back into the double pivot after a rash of injuries. It’s in that role where he’s thrived alongside fellow England teammate Eric Dier. He’s managed to seize his opportunity and become a must start for Tottenham every week.

Roy Hodgson is about the experience the same awakening that hit Pochettino like a tidal wave only a few short months ago. Alli’s recent play for England demands that Hodgson not only take him to Euro 2016, but also that he must feature prominently. Alli has come a long way for a player that Hodgson said shouldn’t consider himself a full England international just a few short weeks ago.

Now, Hodgson’s philosophy on integrating youth into his England setup must be thrown out the nearest window. Alli’s play has spoken (loudly) for itself and should make it impossible for Hodgson to downplay his role for the upcoming Euros. If he doesn’t take Alli and feature him moving forward it will just show Hodgson’s stubborn nature. Playing anyone over the 19-year old MK Dons product at the moment would fly in the face of what we see on the pitch.

Dele Alli has quite the history of breaking into team’s and levels of football ahead of schedule. He’s done it again by forcing his way onto the England squad. His virtuoso performance against France will force Roy Hodgson to continue to feature him with the English national team.