Dele Alli will have felt pretty rotten this morning after his sending off contributed to Tottenham Hotspur’s exit from the Europa League.
The 20-year-old was shown a straight red card after a horrific tackle on Gent’s Brecht Dejaegere. Harry Redknapp wasn’t exaggerating when he said Alli’s tackle could have ended the Gent player’s career.
Alli has a reputation for losing his cool, something Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t have a problem with, but last night’s incident was simply disgraceful.
"He’s got to cut that out of his game, he’s got that streak in him,” Redknapp told BT Sport, via the Mirror.
"I love him but that tackle is horrendous. He could have finished that fella’s career.
“He’s lost his head. How the fella’s not got a broken leg I do not know, it’s a miracle."
Video: Alli's awful tackle
Spurs haven't tried to change him
Alli was banned for three matches last year after punching Claudio Yacob in a game against West Brom. Pochettino insisted at the time that he wouldn’t try to change the England international’s style, and clearly no warning has come Alli’s way.
“We cannot change him but he made a mistake, everyone can make mistakes," the Spurs’ manager said, via Sky Sports.
We can only hope that this latest incident marks a moment of realisation for a young talent who has the ability to become a superstar.
Dejaegere reveals what Alli did afterwards
He at least showed some remorse after the foul, with Dejaegere confirming that he received an apology from the Tottenham playmaker afterwards.
“Someone showed me the image at half-time and my heart was thumping for a few seconds,” Dejaegere said, via the Evening Standard. “I also felt pain in my knee. It could have been much worse, but I don’t think he meant it because he came to apologise himself.
“It was nice of him, he’s a professional. On another day, the same thing could happen to him. It is part of the job. I felt it was really hard tackle but then in the moment, you turn a switch in your head and try to focus on the game.”
Dejaegere kept playing
Incredibly, Dejaegere stayed on the pitch. But he didn’t last the entire game and was brought off early in the second half.
The Gent midfielder added: “If you play at Wembley in front of so many people, you try to carry on and that is what I did in the second half.
“But then it didn’t go well, I still felt pain, so I had to come off after 10 minutes of the second half. After the game I was also in pain, the muscles were stiff.”
Alli must learn
Toby Alderweireld is hopeful Alli will learn from the ugly incident.
“Of course he said sorry,” the Belgian defender said. “He didn’t meant to get sent off.
“Two seconds earlier he was fouled and he reacted to that, but he didn’t meant to get a red card – I know that 100 per cent. He is young and he will learn from that.”