Former MK Dons boss Karl Robinson has said that Roy Keane’s criticism of Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli was unfair, explaining that the England international has looked flat due to fatigue.
Keane criticised Alli for being passive following Spurs’ 2-1 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, saying that the 23-year-old has “lost that hunger” he had at a younger age.
Speaking on talkSPORT, however, ex-Dons boss Robinson – who coached Alli before the midfielder made his move to North London in 2015 – said that pundits such as Keane must look at the wider perspective when analysing the performances of players.
“You’ve got to understand that everyone is surmising here, everyone is presuming things,” the 39-year-old said. “Sometimes it can be taken out of context, people are paid to make a judgement on the game and the way it goes, but everything else is hearsay.
“I know [Alli] personally and the one thing I put down to a bit of a lack of performance is that this very young boy has played professional football since the age of 15 or 16, and he didn’t have any major injuries.
“But over the last 12 months he’s had one or two hamstring issues and a different bits and bobs, because of overplaying. I think one thing we’re all forgetting about these young England players is, when are these kids going to get time off?
“Let’s start having a look at the programme, let’s start having a look at the amount of minutes they’re playing, because I think Dele is suffering more from fatigue rather than the things he’s doing away from the game. He’s not had any time off whatsoever.”
Spurs return to action on Sunday when they are back on Merseyside to face Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park.