Arsene Wenger reacts to Jose Mourinho’s decision to drop Dele Alli for Tottenham’s clash with Chelsea

Dele Alli lost his temper after being substituted during Tottenham's clash with Leipzig
Dele Alli lost his temper after being substituted during Tottenham’s clash with Leipzig (Picture: Getty)

Arsene Wenger believes there could be some tension between Jose Mourinho and Dele Alli after the latter was dropped for Tottenham’s clash with Chelsea.

Alli struggled to make an impact against Leipzig on Wednesday night and was replaced by Erik Lamela shortly after Timo Werner’s goal in the Champions League last-16 first leg.

The England star reacted furiously in the Spurs dugout, throwing his water bottle and one of his boots down in fury before putting his head in his hands.

After the match, Mourinho insisted Alli was an angry at himself rather than his manager’s decision to substitute him, diffusing talk of a possible rift between the two of them.

Alli lost his place after his outburst at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Alli lost his place after his tantrum at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Picture: Getty)

However, Alli found himself starting on the bench at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, despite Mourinho being seriously short of options in attack.

‘It looks like there’s some unrest there,’ former Arsenal head coach Wenger told beIN SPORTS.

‘When Dele Alli came out last time he didn’t like it. Is he punished or not?

‘I would still say the game is too big just to punish him for that because you can have a discussion after the game and say, “Look, I don’t tolerate that. If you do that again I’ll keep you out”.


‘But if it is a big game, you want to sort the problem out before the game.

‘He might have gone really for pace. I’m not sure that Steven Bergwijn will play second striker.

‘Maybe he will play him on the flank and only play Lucas Moura through the middle so that could explain why Dele Alli doesn’t play.’

Ahead of the match, Mourinho was less than impressed when asked to explain the reason for Alli’s absence from his starting XI.

‘I’m not sure if you ask every Premier League manager when some player stays out if you do the same question to every one of them,’ hit back at BT Sport reporter Des Kelly.

‘It looks to me that for other managers it’s normal to leave out any player they want and it looks like with me any time I make a decision of this type it’s always a big story around it.

‘So I prefer not to answer.’

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