Alli adapted effortlessly to England's top flight, earning an England call-up after just seven Premier League appearances - ending 2015/16 with 10 league goals and nine assists. His sbo128
goal involvement soared last season, scoring 18 league goals and claiming another nine assists. However, he has struggled to maintain that exponential goal rate this term, with eight goals and 11 assists from 31 games. That decline, coupled with being ousted from the England starting line-up for recent friendly matches against the sbo128
Netherlands and Italy, increased scrutiny for performances perceived to be below par. But Alli hit back at critics. "Every player is different [in dealing with criticism], I think it's all about your focus, what your focus is. Some people might focus a lot on what people are saying about them, which can take the focus away from the football. It can impact you. "I've never worried too much about what people think. If you have sbo128
confidence in yourself, you know yourself, better than anyone, when you have that, what other people say, automatically you are numb to it." His first touch in professional football, as a 16-year-old for MK Dons, epitomises that natural confidence: a back-heel pass in an FA Cup tie against Cambridge City. His second professional appearance was in the return leg - he scored a long-range screamer. At 18, he nutmegged Real Madrid's Luka Modric in a pre-season friendly for Tottenham.