Frank Lampard said Dele Alli needed “tough love” and learned some honest truths to get back to his best.
The Everton manager has let Alli know he needs to give 100 per cent in training every day after seeing some mixed performances at Finch Farm and said it is key to fulfilling his potential.
Alli is likely to start as a striker for Everton against Chelsea on Saturday in the absence of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin but has only started one game for them since joining from Tottenham in January.
Lampard believes a man-of-the-match comeback appearance in May’s comeback win over Crystal Palace, which ensured Everton’s survival, is a testament to what Alli can do when his mindset is right.
He said: “The first thing Dele has to do is find some consistency in his training and that’s what I’ve talked about. I firmly believe in training every day at a level that is there to improve you, or your happiness, or however you choose to view it.
“For me full fur in training is non-negotiable and I think Dele needs to understand that that’s important for me and for him and in pre-season I’ve seen that but I think he still needs to stay up patient to some extent about the squad we have but he still has to approach every game like he did in the second half at Crystal Palace where he came on and scored. When he scores, he has a talent that is different from other players in the squad and can help us a lot.”
Lampard is trying to be understanding and tough on Alli as he tries to unravel the mystery of how a player who scored 22 goals in 2016-17 has only scored three and two respectively in the last two seasons.
He added: “I think it’s sometimes support and sometimes it’s tough love because there are things that you need to hear sometimes that are serious things that you need to do to get the best out of yourself. Dele or any player that is. And of course we will always support them because they are young men.
“If I had heard those numbers [about his goalscoring] and didn’t know the player and saw 20 goals, 20 goals, five goals, two goals or whatever, I would go, we have to find a solution for that. There has to be something physical or mental, so I think it’s important that he has a support mechanism.”
Alli has not scored in the Premier League since last August and has not scored in open play since January 2020 and Lampard believes work at the training ground is key to ending his drought.
He added: “It’s possible to work with him to become a goalscorer and finish. Everyone’s a little bit different but I’ve had a career where I just knew that working through the week is the only thing that helps you score goals at the weekend and that’s where Dele absolutely needs to focus on his training because It just repeats what you do on the weekend.
“He has an instinct to get into goal positions and we have to try to find ways to put him in those positions and probably give him the confidence back as well to show the level of his goals that he has shown.
“That’s why I brought him to the club. We all knew the position, at the same time we also knew if we could get him to the sweet spot where he was, then he was a huge asset to us so it’s a clean slate on many levels for this season and for everyone Clear all.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/dele-alli-everton-frank-lampard-chelsea-b2138372.html Frank Lampard believes ‘tough love’ is key to unlocking the best of Dele Alli at Everton