The Lilywhites have continued to prosper under manager Mauricio Pochettino since the Argentine’s appointment in 2014, and are in contention to secure successive top-four Premier League finishes after running Leicester close for top spot last term.
Spurs currently sit second in the standings, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea. But a superb display against the table-toppers in January – featuring two goals from Alli – denied the Blues a record 14th Premier League victory on the spin, and the youngster says no team can live with Tottenham when they are at full strength.
Speaking exclusively in the April 2017 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, the cover star says: “When we are on form and playing well, I don’t think there’s anyone in the Premier League that can beat us. There are no boundaries; there’s nothing we can’t do if we play as well as we know we can. It’s important that we’re ambitious. We know where we should be, and we know what we can do as a team.”
Spurs haven't fared quite as well in Europe, however, failing to reach the last 16 of the Champions League following defeats to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen at temporary home Wembley. Ensuring the team qualifies for the tournament once again next season is paramount according to the midfielder, who regards repeated appearances in Europe's elite cup competition as a key part of the team’s development – as well as his own.
“Obviously everyone wants to be there,” he says. “There’s tough competition in the Prem but we fancy ourselves against anyone, so it’ll be disappointing if we don’t get back in there. We want to be up there with the best teams in the world, but to do that we have to be in the Champions League, playing against them.”
To do that, the Londoners will have to overcome their Wembley ‘hoodoo’ while their new White Hart Lane home continues to take shape. Last Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Gent means Spurs have won just one of their last eight encounters at the national stadium, and they face playing an entire season there from August.
Dele insists that the players only have themselves to blame for their under-par performances in Europe in 2016/17, which left many of them ‘kicking themselves’.
“A lot of people were saying ‘the Wembley factor’ had a negative effect on us, but as a team we can’t look anywhere else,” he says.
“All of those fans turned up and we simply didn’t put in the performances that we knew we should have done. We’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t do better. We are confident in our ability as a team and we probably expected to go a bit further.
“As a kid, everyone wants to play in the Champions League. I used to listen to that music on television when I was growing up, so to hear it at Wembley felt unreal.”
Read the full interview with Dele Alli in the April 2017 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. Featuring some of the best young players in the world, we also meet up with Bayern Munich whiz kid Joshua Kimmich on his birthday and check in with Borussia Dortmund youngsters Christian Pulisic, Julian Weigl, Raphael Guerreiro, Ousmane Dembele and Alexander Isak. Plus, we speak to Ademola Lookman about making the jump from League One Charlton to Premier League Everton, profile 18-year-old Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma – who’s already the heir to namesake Buffon as Italy’s No.1 – and wonder whether Ravel Morrison will ever fulfil his potential. Elsewhere, Newcastle Enfield entertain Sunderland RCA in the ‘other Tyne-Wear derby’, Colchester keeper Dean Brill reveals the unglamorous reality of a deadline-day transfer and we go One-on-One with Damien Duff. Order it now, then subscribe!
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1