Dele Alli ‘miles off it’ on debut as Everton slump to defeat at Newcastle United

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The 25-year-old deadline day signing from Tottenham Hotspur replaced Demarai Gray early on but struggled to make an impact.

Everton fans would be forgiven for wondering exactly what Dele Alli did during their 3-1 Premier League defeat at Newcastle United on Tuesday night.

The former Spurs midfielder joined the action earlier than anticipated, replacing the injured Demarai Gray after just 25 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Alli struggled to exert any influence on Everton’s attacking play, and despite taking the lead through a Jamaal Lascelles own-goal the Toffees conceded instantly and could not complain with the final result.

It was Alli who was carelessly dispossessed by Newcastle’s Joe Willock for the second goal - the ball working it’s way wide before Allan Saint-Maximin’s deflected cross found Ryan Fraser.

And he struggled to make up for that mistake with a performance lacking in sharpness, energy or creativity.

Alli’s debut by numbers

Alli was introduced to the game on 25 minutes, meaning he racked up a total 65 minutes on his debut at St James’ Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In just over an hour he managed a total of 47 touches, five of which were in Newcastle’s box - the most by any Everton player.

Those 47 touches amounted to 13 successful passes from 22 attempts - a pass accuracy of just 59% - while he only made two passes into the final third and no passes into the opposition penalty area.

Worryingly, Alli lost possession 18 times during the game, the joint most of any Toffees player alongside Allan, and crucially one was for Fraser’s goal.

The former England international made four successful pressures from 16 attempts - a success rate of just 25% - completing two tackles and one interception.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Reaction to Dele Alli’s performance

Getty Images

The overall opinion on Alli’s debut is that it was underwhelming.

Chris Sutton was on co-commentary duty on BT Sport, and he wasn’t happy with the midfielder in the lead up to Newcastle’s second.

He said: “How sloppy was Dele Alli?

“He gave the ball away. You look at his recovery run, not good enough.”

Sutton took to Twitter after the game, adding: “Frank Lampard has a big job on at Everton just keeping them up. Dele Alli looked miles off it.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Everton manager Frank Lampard was slightly more positive in his analysis of both Alli and fellow debutant Donny van de Beek after the game.

He told the Everton website: “Good to get minutes but we haven’t got loads of minutes, but good for them.

“I thought they both showed elements of their game that are going to benefit us.

“Longer term they’ll get better because they’ll settle into the cub, settle into their teammates and they’ll both offer a lot.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Difficult games for them but I’m pleased they got their minutes and they’ll keep improving for us.”

A chance to make amends

The Toffees host Leeds United on Saturday and Alli will have a chance to turn around the narrative quickly with a good performance against a side in and around the relegation scrap.

Gray’s injury means he is a doubt for the weekend and Lampard may opt to give Alli his first taste of Goodison Park action.

But if Newcastle’s energy and dynamism passed him by, a game against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds will be far from a controlled affair.

Alli will have an important few days at Finch Farm trying to regain the sharpness that he was bought to produce.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.