Mourinho described Tottenham’s lineup as a puzzle, but where is the position suitable for Ali?
The Premier League lost to Everton in the first game. Ali was replaced after halftime. Since then, he has lost the 18-man squad for two games against Plovdiv Lokomotiv and Southampton, but Tottenham won two consecutive victories.
After defeating the Saints 5-2 in an away game, Mourinho pointed out that he wanted a balanced lineup and Ali was just one of the many offensive options he had. According to media reports, a number of clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final last season, are very interested in signing Ali this summer.
Bale, who returned on loan from Real Madrid, not only made headlines, but also gave Mourinho another offensive option. Madman said that he is still looking for another striker, and Bell is likely to form the starting trident with Sun Xingmin and Kane.
In addition, Lamela, Lucas Jr. and Belvin will compete with Ali for a main position, and these three players have been praised by Mourinho before. Looking further back, Lo Celso and Gedson-Fernandez are also within the consideration of Mourinho, although the latter can also be a guest right back.
此外，拉梅拉（Lamela），小卢卡斯（Lucas Jr.）和贝尔文（Belvin）将与阿里（Ali）争夺一个主要职位，而这三名球员之前都曾受到穆里尼奥的称赞。再往后看，卢·塞尔索（Lo Celso）和格德森·费尔南德斯（Gedson-Fernandez）也在穆里尼奥的考虑范围内，尽管后者也可以成为客人。
When asked on Sunday whether Ali can enter the "balanced lineup" he aims to build, Mourinho said he can enter and does not need to be sacrificed. However, it is clear that despite the cruel schedule and the need for rotation for Tottenham, the aforementioned players will still be Mourinho's preferred choice.
In the recently released Tottenham’s documentary "Desperate" last season, Ali criticized the team’s tactics, while Mourinho criticized him for being “lazy” in training. In addition, he was recently excluded from the lineup. All these clearly show that Ali Work hard in order to put yourself higher.
All of this is far from what Pochettino said about him two and a half years ago. It was a battle between Tottenham and Bournemouth. Ali scored to end a 16-game scoring drought. Po Shu praised him as the best 21-year-old player in world football.
Pochettino was puzzled by the criticism that Ali had received and linked his performance to his age. At the time, since Ali made his Premier League debut, no U22 player in the top five European leagues has scored more goals and assists in the same period.
Ali's outstanding performance in Tottenham's first season has also raised expectations of him. In fact, even now, his performance is still being compared with those incredible early stars.
Ali joined Tottenham from Milton Keynes at the age of 18.
Mourinho said that when he coached Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson was excited by Ali’s potential and encouraged him to take Ali to Old Trafford.
However, the decline inevitably occurred. In the next two Premier League seasons, Ali only had 13 goals and 7 assists. He has missed the England team, let alone ranked among the 11 starting players. When Mourinho first arrived, his state once rebounded, with 4 goals and 3 assists in the first 5 games, but such a good state did not last long, and from now on, it has been a long time ago. .
Ali will not be 25 years old until April next year. He is still young, and time is on his side. But the key question is, how will he respond to this challenge? In other words, where will he face the challenge?
Tottenham insisted that Ali is not for sale and will not rent him out. In the current economic environment, almost no club can afford Ali's transfer fee, allowing him to get rid of his contract with Tottenham that expires in 2024. Ali must convince Mourinho that he can, as always, make his own contribution in accordance with the coach's requirements.
The Europa League with Shukendijie may be his first step back. This is not the most important contest, but it is crucial for Ali. However, as Bell's return has raised North London's expectations and ambitions, Ali must also regain the state inspired by Pochettino a few years ago. Ali needs to prove that he has his place in the Tottenham puzzle.
Just a few years ago, Ali was the spokesperson for the new generation of England, but after several injuries, his state has declined in recent seasons.
From an average point of view, despite the reduction in playing time in the past two seasons, Ali’s scoring rate last season was the highest since the 2016-17 season-this is due to Mourinho’s outstanding performance at the beginning of his tenure. which performed.
Analyzing Ali's average 90-minute data in recent seasons from the figure below, the only noteworthy data decline is the number of opportunities created and the number of assists, which are consistent with Ali's declining number of shots. So, this is a debate about the chicken or the egg.
Despite a 5-2 victory over Southampton on Sunday, Tottenham’s goals and opportunities have been declining for three consecutive seasons-the latter reflects Ali’s decline.
Ali originally served as an offensive midfielder in the 4231 formation, but in the 2018-19 season, Pochettino arranged his position further, which resulted in him creating fewer opportunities.
The heat map below shows that although Ali almost always appeared on the offensive line last season, he has more involvement on the defensive end-indicating that Mourinho may require him to return more defenses.
In the outstanding 2017-18 season, Ali often cooperated with left-back Ben Davis, but in recent seasons, the Wales international has been asked to play more conservatively.
Without assisting defenders, Ali increasingly passed the ball inward or back to his central defender. From this point of view, the newly joined offensive defender Reggie Ron may benefit Ali.
The pass direction sonar diagram below shows how Ali used the left rib channel to exert greater influence three years ago. He passed the ball to the inside less frequently, but he used running to attract the defense, thus releasing others. Location of space.
Last season, Ali tried more direct forward passes, but the pass success rate was lower, and the left rib channel was rarely used, and the proportion of back passes increased.
Mourinho seems to want to "reset" Ali and to instill his determination to keep him in shape, just as he did during his early peak and a strong recovery in the second half of last year.
Another option is to reinvigorate the former golden boy of England by renting out. After Mourinho has rearranged all the pieces, Ali will return, and Tottenham will become more balanced.