It’s all change with England at the moment. This weekend will see the Three Lions under the command of their third manager in as many months.
Nevertheless, despite all the chopping and changing, the squad has remained largely the same. One such player holding his place in the side has proven Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli.
However, despite this deserved show of faith, the 20-year-old’s shooting has been somewhat erratic in training. In fact, one of the Spurs player’s most embarrassing misses was so shocking that Joe Hart couldn’t contain himself.
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Amongst all the chaos and embarrassment of Euro 2016, Alli was one of the few players who could hold his head high. Even so, the midfielder couldn’t produce a piece of magic when his side most needed it against Iceland.
Despite this, many expected Spurs and Alli to struggle this season and fail in their attempts to recreate the title charge that headlined their 2015-16 campaign.
It hasn’t taken them long to tackle this premise though and a stunning 2-0 victory over Manchester City cemented this. Alli was in glittering form and even got himself on the scoresheet with what proved the damning strike for City.
Consequently, the 20-year-old’s inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s first ever England squad was something of a no-brainer. Furthermore, it’s highly likely that the youngster will feature in tomorrow’s starting XI to face minnows Malta.
For all of Alli’s talent though, his shooting has always proven his Achilles heel in key moments.
While his ‘Goal of the Season’ against Crystal Palace and smart finish versus City last weekend suggests the contrary, he’s had his fair share of missed opportunities.
This, clearly, has spilt over into training also. Ahead of England’s latest World Cup qualifier, Alli missed a glaring opportunity in a shooting exercise filmed and uploaded to YouTube by the FA.
Latching onto a cross from the right flank with his left foot, the 20-year-old could only fire wide with the goal at his mercy from just six yards out. Moreover, the wayward strike hit the unsuspecting Tom Heaton on the sidelines.
The miss and unlikely Heaton catch prompted a brilliant reaction from Hart also, who simply couldn’t contain his laughter. Alli’s gaffe can be seen at the very start of the video below and from a separate angle at 1:40.
In terms of missing open goals though, Alli is somewhat of an expert. In light of this recent error, it’d be rude not to remind ourselves of that high-profile miss away to Stoke City last term:
So, it’s fair to say that Alli has some work to do ahead of the Three Lions’ latest clash. That being said, against a side such as Malta, the Spurs midfielder will have plenty of chances with which to bag his second England goal.
If Gareth Southgate’s men can cause their opponents a sufficient amount of trouble, it could be a rout, even with open goal misses in tandem.
Do you think Dele Alli should start for England this weekend? Have YOUR say in the comment box below