Dele Alli exhibits character of Southgate’s England

本帖由 Jedi2018-07-10 发布。版面名称:Arena 51

  1. Jedi

    Jedi Danny Blanchflower

    Dele Alli exhibits character of Southgate’s England

    The midfielder has endured growing pains on the pitch, and some off, and faced difficulties but overcome them, writes Henry Winter

    Alli scored his first World Cup goal in the quarter-final against SwedenEDDIE KEOGH FOR THE FA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
    The Times, July 10 2018, 12:01am
    So the good people of Leek are striding down the high street, singing Vindaloo, there is a mad rush for the ballot for the big screen in Hyde Park, London, and a school in Jarrow has changed its break bell to Three Lions. It seems the only area of English calm is a serene enclave on the Gulf of Finland, where Dele Alli was smiling after training yesterday as he prepared for tomorrow’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia. “I don’t really ever get nervous anyway,” Dele laughs.

    Dele (his preferred name) embodies the true character of Gareth Southgate’s squad, having started out at a Football League club, MK Dons, endured growing pains on the pitch, and some off, facing difficulties and overcoming them. This fortitude is one reason why people back home have so taken to this honest, humble group of individuals. It has been no chauffeur drive to the top.

    League One toughened Dele. “There are a lot of different paths you can take to getting to the England senior team, a lot of the boys have played together in the younger age groups, or played against each other in League One or Championship,” he reflects. “We all get on really well, we don’t take anything for granted, we know how much of a privilege it is to be here. Watching the videos, seeing how all the people back in England are supporting us, makes it even more special to us.”

    Dele’s road to Moscow is also a story of helping hands, starting with the likes of Dan Micciche in the MK Dons academy. “I had Dan at a young age where it can make or break someone’s career,” the 22-year-old says. “He helped me a lot through a lot of tough times, not only on the field but off it as well. I was turning up late for training and he was always understanding. Physically, when you’re younger and you go through different stages, puberty, everyone develops at different ages.” He found himself being bullied in academy games. “I was a lot smaller then than a lot of the other guys in my team.”

    Micciche reshaped him as a player. “I wanted to be the goalscorer and stay up top but slowly he moved me back and into the central midfield role, and helped me with my passing.” Karl Robinson, the manager, accelerated that process on promoting Dele to the first team.

    So here are some pictures of Dele, starting with Robinson’s office at Stadium MK, early afternoon, Thursday, January 16, 2014. Dele knocks politely and enters. Robinson introduces the England Under-18 international to this reporter as a player “who’s got the lot”, and Alli does not seem fazed by the remark, nor Robinson’s comment that he will play for England. The 17-year-old had an aura and a determination that all who met him at that age knew he would fly high. Dele’s talent, nutmegging opponents or scooping the ball over their heads, brought regular inquiries from Liverpool.

    Photogenic and with an easy charm, Dele could have had his head turned, could have fallen in with the wrong people. His mother’s lifestyle was not conducive to Dele’s desire for a professional environment and he became close to a family he met through the MK Dons academy, the Hickfords, who began looking after him. That is a huge decision for a youngster to take, moving out of his mother’s home, and in with another family, an early demonstration of the substance of character now defining Southgate’s squad. These players are strong people.

    Alli steers a header past Robin Olsen to give England a two-goal lead against SwedenTIMES PHOTOGRAPHER BRADLEY ORMESHER
    Now picture this: July 8, 2018, Repino. Dele emerges from a small supermarket and is surrounded by Russian selfie-seekers, including one lady who apparently wants to rub him on the shoulder for good luck. Dele deals with it all graciously.

    “Hopefully I can be a good role model. If you haven’t got the right people around you it’s very easy to get carried away with it all and change as a person. The people around me, being at Tottenham with [Mauricio] Pochettino, they wouldn’t ever let me get carried away. Your own pride as well. You want to be the best person you can possibly be, thinking where you’ve come from.

    “When I was younger, if I wanted a picture of someone I’d hope they wouldn’t be rude. I didn’t really ask too many people because I was in Milton Keynes and you don’t see too many people walking around who you would ask that question.” He recalls being ten and ball-boying for the first team. “I’d ask the players if I could have their T-shirts and they were always really nice. I liked Jason Puncheon. Dean Lewington was really talkative and that’s why he’s always been a club legend.”

    Pictures of Dele: August 26, 2014, Stadium MK, Capital One Cup, and Milton Keynes have just embarrassed Manchester United 4-0, Dele giving a fine box-to-box performance. “Me and Danny Welbeck have a joke about it because I asked him for his shirt,” he says. “We speak about it now. He wouldn’t give it to me. I think he wanted to keep that shirt but he was polite about it.’’

    The clamour among bigger clubs to give Dele a new shirt intensified. He thought shrewdly about his career. “I wanted it to be the right place, I didn’t want to rush it, and I spoke to Karl,” he explains. “Sometimes you can be a bit intimidated by managers, and to have a manager that you can be so open with is exactly what I wanted. I wanted to step up again, go to a higher level and keep improving.”

    Pochettino really impressed him as a manager who would give young English talent a chance. So he signed on February 2, 2015, for £5 million, and immediately returned on loan to MK Dons.

    Pictures of Dele: February 9, 2015, Valley Parade, League One, MK Dons v Bradford City. “The pitch was horrible,” Dele recalls. “It was a horrible game. They were very aggressive. Every time I got the ball people would be kicking, swearing.” Dele did not hold back, despite his glamour move. He withstood some rough challenges but got stuck in and scored with a shot through the legs of a certain Jordan Pickford.

    More pictures of Dele: August 4, 2015, Audi Cup, Allianz Arena, Tottenham v Real Madrid. Dele announced himself to delighted Spurs fans by nutmegging Luka Modric. “I always enjoy a good nutmeg. I didn’t shout ‘megs’, I’ve never done that, even in training.” He runs into Modric tomorrow. “Nutmeg him again? Hopefully. I’m not going to focus on that but it would be nice. I don’t know him personally but all the guys who played with him at Tottenham said he was an unbelievable person and everyone can see how good he is as a player. He’s a worry for any team, he’s a world-class player.”

    Dele will be ready, having developed so much under Pochettino. “I owe a lot to him for the chance he gave me at Tottenham, how much faith he put in me and how much he helped me improve as a player.”
    So has Southgate, rebuilding belief after the horrors of Euro 2016 and defeat by Iceland. “You want to hide and not come out of your room. When Gareth came in he made it clear.” They had to exorcise the ghost of Nice. “When Gareth came in it was the first time we relived it.” Dr Pippa Grange, the psychologist, encouraged them to talk and move on.

    So to this picture of Dele: July 11, 2018, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Croatia v England. He will go through his lengthy pre-match routine. “I have a lot of superstitions. I do all my right leg first [strappings, sock, boot], then all my left leg.” His boots are different, nothing to do with superstition, just, “I’m a size 10 on my right and 10½ on my left.” Back to the superstitions. “I have an eight-minute ice-bath the night before. I always say the same prayer — that I score and we win. You might’ve noticed there’s tape on my knee. That’s a superstition as well. The first game here [Tunisia] was the first in ages I haven’t had it on, and I got injured, so I’m going to be keeping it on. It’s a bit crazy.”

    Then he will head out, believing England can win. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we know how talented we are, and what we want to achieve together, and we know how close we are.” A nation back home prepares to go wild again.
  2. TOTbotao

    TOTbotao Jimmy Greaves


    2018年7月10日,泰晤士报电,久久难以平静的英格兰——凌晨零点的里克街头,人潮相拥行进,高歌呐喊;为了取得半决赛在伦敦海德公园大屏幕前的一席之地,球迷们争得头破血流;杰罗区的一所学校甚至将铃声换成了《三狮军团》(ThreeLions)...... 而整个英格兰唯一波澜不惊的内心,眼下正呆在芬兰湾——我们的主角,德里-阿里,此刻在这备战着即将到来的半决赛。昨天训练后,他笑着接受了我们的采访:“我一向不太会紧张的。”




    德里一路走来不乏贵人相助,比如米尔顿凯恩斯青训营的丹-米吉奇(Dan Micciche)。“很幸运在职业生涯的关键阶段遇到了他。他曾帮我渡过各种难关,平时如果我训练迟到也不会过多指责。要知道青春期各人发育情况不同,我就比队伍里其他人要瘦弱得多。” 德里想起了自己在青年队比赛中被欺负的画面……

    是米吉奇对他进行了改造。“刚开始我就想着突前,要多进球。是他把我后移到中场,并提高了我的传球技能。” 之后才有了主教练卡尔-罗宾逊(Karl Robinson)的推波助澜,将德里提拔到一线队。随着这颗冉冉之星的升起,故事正式揭开篇章。





    “小时候,如果去找球员讨签名,我会希望他们别太粗鲁。说实话,那时值得讨签名的球员不多,毕竟我只是在米尔顿凯恩斯。”他记得自己十岁时为一线队当球童的经历:“有时我会问球员们能不能要他们的T-Shirt,他们总是很友好。我特喜欢贾森-庞昌(Jason Puncheon),另外迪安-莱文顿(Dean Lewington)是个话唠,但这可能也是为什么他成了球队传奇。”




    “场地情况很差”,德里回忆道,“比赛也糟透了,他们动作很大,我一拿球对方就又踢又骂的。”刚完成重要转会的德里没有退缩,他在对手的凶狠拦截下打入一粒进球,皮球从皮克福德(Jordan Pickford)裆下穿过。



    索斯盖特则在心理上对球队进行了提升,帮助他们走出2016年欧洲杯负于冰岛的阴影。“那时我们只想躲在房间里不出去。是加雷斯给了我们指引。”球员们必须驱走在尼斯败北的心魔。“他上任后我们感到了释放。”心理治疗师皮帕-格兰杰博士(Dr Pippa Grange)也鼓励他们开诚布公,走向新生活。



    最后编辑: 2018-07-10
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