Dele Alli to Barcelona
If you had Barcelona in the Where’s Dele Alli Off to Today According to the Tabloids sweepstake, well, then, have yourself a virtual cookie. You are one of life’s winners.
Various media outlets have been decorating their homepages with pictures of the young England midfielder in recent weeks; with the badges of some of Europe’s biggest clubs hovering just above his head, as if all he had to do was reach out and pick one.
PSG, Bayern, Manchester United. Seemingly everyone wants a piece of the action.
On this occasion, it’s the turn of the Catalan giants. Rumour has it that Luis Enrique is all geared up for a fierce— possibly violent —tug-of-war battle with their La Liga rivals, Real Madrid.
We can only assume that the Spanish leviathans were both put on high alert after Alli said nu-uh to a modest £800,000-a-week offer from the Far East.
China, is about the extent of the detail we’re given here.
One can’t help but think of Daniel Levy in all this. He’ll never let the mask slide, of course. But inside, with the numbers being mentioned, he must be throwing a veritable street party. Alli, you’ll remember, cost Tottenham £5m back in February 2015.
The Spurs chairman looks at himself in the mirror. He straightens his tie and adjusts his glasses:
‘Daniel, you old dog. You’ve done it again!’
Back to the land of the living and today is Spurs’ third round entrée into this year’s F.A Cup. The North London club face Steve Bruce’s semi-resurgent Aston Villa.
In the past, Mauricio Pochettino has been accused of taking lightly the nation’s favourite knock-out contest. Some have gone as far to say that he’s downright insulted the competition, with some of his half-baked team selections in seasons gone by. Here he is, then, attempting to quash any such accusations:
‘It’s an important competition, the FA Cup’, he said, reassuringly.
‘I’m sure we shall make some changes.’
He’s going to play the Developemnt Squad, isn’t he?