Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino says Dele Alli 'is still a kid' and too much is expected of him
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 30/03/18 10:35am
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Dele Alli is being put under too much pressure and has "full confidence" in the England midfielder.
Alli, who Pochettino recently called the best player in the world for his age, has struggled to hit the heights of the last two seasons on a consistent basis this time around.
He played just 22 minutes of England's two friendlies against Holland and Italy, leading to Gareth Southgate to suggest his starting place at the World Cup was far from certain.
But Pochettino believes his midfielder gets unfair criticism for someone who is still only 21.
The Spurs boss said: "I have full confidence in him and his talent and because I know him - he is a great kid and a very good person.
"But he is young. He is 21. If you compare with normal people on the street who are 21, they are still living at home with their parents, they are still at university doing stupid things.
"Sometimes we expect too much and we put too much pressure on 21-year-old players. Sometimes we forget and treat them like 40-year-old men.
"It's not like this. We need to be focused on him being still a kid. It's a lot of pressure on his shoulders and not always can he act how the people and the society expect. That is so important to understand.
"We are going to help him because he is a talented player and a great kid. And he has done a lot for us and the club.
"The problem is that in the last two seasons, he was unbelievable, amazing.
"Younger players always have ups and downs. Expectation was massive because he was always increasing his level and improving and improving.
"This season the expectation was massive, maybe too high. For me, he is one of the most talented players in Europe."
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