Jamie Redknapp says Dele Alli's 'aggression and hunger' makes him stand out from the crowd

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Following his contoversial middle-finger gesture at Wembley on Monday, Dele Alli has once again found himself amidst a media storm.

While manager Gareth Southgate tried to play it down, and Alli and former Tottenham team-mate Kyle Walker claimed it was a personal joke, the incident has still not gone down well with fans and pundits alike.

It's still not clear whether the gesture actually was aimed at Walker or the referee.

However, what is for certain is that it has added to a growing list of controversies involving the Spurs midfielder, including a punch on Claudio Yacob, and a horror-tackle in a Europa League defeat to Gent last year.

With the ability that Alli undoubtedly has, he must have his temper in check, given that teams will target him to keep him quiet.

Former Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp, though, believes his desire on the pitch is what makes him stand out so much, and that he shouldn't lose it.

"Dele is a lovely kid. But he also has a devilish side which has led to moments of madness on the pitch," he started.

"Although he has to control this part of his game, we must not try to knock it out of him. He has a level of aggression and hunger that is lacking in so many young English players. For many youngsters in academies everything is handed to them on a plate but Dele has had to graft his way to the top.

England v Slovakia - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

"Of course his childish gesture on Monday set a bad example, and on another day it could have seen him sent off. With Dele, there is always the risk that he could cost England at a tournament.

"But that same streak is what drives him to conjure those moments of magic that will win matches for Tottenham and England. It is what makes him such a brilliant player."

Redknapp also went on to talk about how much the game has changed, and admitted that he would've seen more red cards himself had he been playing nowadays.

"I was no troublemaker but if I was playing now I would have been shown far more red cards," he added.


"The only time I was sent off was for Liverpool at Coventry in 1992 but there are plenty more times I should have been given my marching orders. Now, cameras capture every move you make and I would have been caught out on more than one occasion.

"There were times when the red mist would descend and you would fly into a two-footed tackle to try to get someone back. Other times I would get so frustrated that I would swear at my own supporters.

"You look back and think: ‘That’s not me, I’m not that sort of person.’ You cannot put a finger on why you behaved that way."

England Football
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