Dele Alli opens up on infamous ‘lazy’ conversation with Jose Mourinho

Dele Alli, Spurs (Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Dele Alli, Spurs (Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dele Alli has been making the rounds around the Premier League community in the last couple of hours, as the former Tottenham Hotspur and Everton player discusses some serious topics about his career that raised many eyebrows.

The player, who last played for Turkish side Besiktas, recently sat down with former Manchester United star Gary Neville, to talk about a variety of topics on ‘The Overlap,’ including his desire to retire at 24, his addiction to sleeping pills, and more.

Moreover, Alli talked about the infamous conversation he had with controversial manager Jose Mourinho right after the Portuguese boss landed in North London.

In the Spurs’ Amazon Prime All or Nothing documentary, Mourinho called Alli ‘lazy’ during a meeting with the entire first-team squad. Alli opened up on this situation, revealing that the so-called ‘Special One’ apologized to him later, per Sean Walsh of 90min.

"“I’m glad you asked me about that. That ‘lazy’ comment, people love to bring that up. That interview on Amazon, he called me ‘lazy’. That was the day after a recovery day. A week later, he apologized to me because he’d seen me actually train and play,” Dele said.“But that wasn’t in the documentary and no one spoke up about that. In the team meeting he called me lazy, but one-on-one, I think it was on the pitch, he apologized for it.“I didn’t think anything of it at the time because I know I’m not lazy.”"

Alli wasn’t properly fit at the time, but the unaware Mourinho called him out regardless before admitting he made a big mistake.

Even so, it was clear at the time that Alli wasn’t the same player he used to be. After netting 22 goals and nine assists in 2016/17, and 15 goals and 17 assists in 2017/18, respectively, his level decreased dramatically.

He showed flashes of his brilliance during the 2018/19 season, especially in the Champions League, but other than that, the midfielder couldn’t return to his best level at Tottenham or the teams that he played for later.

In the 2022/23 season, he barely played 15 games with Besiktas between the Super Lig and Turkish Cup, scoring three goals, per Footystats.

When he broke through Tottenham’s ranks, Alli was expected to become a special player. He was followed by some European giants at the time, but he never could fulfill his potential.

Now, the future is unclear for him, but his words will help a lot of people around the world, whether they like the beautiful game or not.