BBC pundit Trevor Sinclair criticises Pochettino for playing Dele Alli against Arsenal

Trevor Sinclair has urged Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to rest Dele Alli.

Pundit Trevor Sinclair has told BBC Sport's Match of the Day 2 Extra that he thinks Mauricio Pochettino needs to rest Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli.

Spurs drew 2-2 with Arsenal on Saturday afternoon, as after Aaron Ramsey put the Gunners ahead and Francis Coquelin had been sent off, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane both struck to Tottenham in front, only for Alexis Sanchez to rescue a point for the ten-man Gunners.

The result left Tottenham five points adrift of league leaders Leicester after the Foxes beat Watford 1-0 later on Saturday evening, as Spurs' title challenge took a major dent over the weekend.

Manager Pochettino was criticised after the game for his substitutions, but pundit Trevor Sinclair wasn't happy with another of the Argentine's decisions.

Attacking midfielder Dele Alli played the full 90 minutes at White Hart Lane and even set up Kane's goal with a superb backheel, but largely looked out-of-sorts, and certainly not to the high standards he has set for himself during a phenomenal debut Premier League season.

Now, former West Ham and Manchester City midfielder Sinclair has told BBC Sport's Match of the Day 2 Extra that Pochettino should have at least taken Alli off to try and help him heal an ankle injury picked up in the pre-match warm up against Swansea City last month.

Sinclair urged Pochettino to give the 'clearly not fit' Alli a rest and let him recover, getting back to his best ahead of the title run-in over the next two months.

"I think [the criticism for Pochettino] is valid because, for me, Dele Alli was clearly not fit," said Sinclair. "He's got a problem with his ankle, and it's brilliant for the player to want to play - usually if a player gets a broken eyelash and they're out for two weeks - but he clearly wasn't moving right. He's made his mark this season with his intensity, his fitness, his work rate, his tackling, but he's not able to do that. I thought Pochettino probably should have at least brought him off at some stage in that game."

"He did make the goal, but I just think that Dele Alli needed to rest, he needs to rest that ankle to get back to where he needs to be, and if you keep playing him, it's not going to heal quickly," he added.

Are you concerned about Alli's fitness?

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