4 Points: Dele's return, Mourinho's folly, Middlesbrough's return and West Ham's need

4 points 28/12/2017

Here are four points discussing current footballing issues. Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Middlesbrough and West Ham United feature.

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on December 26, 2017 in London, England.

Dele Alli is finding form at the right time

Prior to Boxing Day's game against Southampton, Dele Alli had been pretty poor for an unreasonable amount of time. The Englishman just looked lost and frustrated, unable to make good on his obviously massive talent.

It didn't help that other Tottenham players were doing so well. But the bottom line was that Dele looked a far cry from the mercurial game-changer he had been in 2016/17.

Then Southampton came along, and after Harry Kane gave Tottenham a first-half lead Dele went to work. A gorgeous through-ball led to the second, a stunning placed effort scored the third, and then two perfectly weighted passes created the fourth and fifth.

A masterclass from Dele, who rounds back into form just as the new year begins and Tottenham look to make a charge up the table before the return of the Champions League in February.

Adrian of West Ham United looks on during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2017 in Bournemouth, England.

West Ham must sign a goalkeeper

It'd be easy to blame West Ham's problems on any number of things that aren't Marko Arnautovic and Arthur Masuaku, but in truth there is just one major issue: the goalkeeping one.

Look at all the goals scored by Bournemouth against West Ham: all of them were set-pieces that either reached their target or bobbled around in the area as West Ham players indecisively flailed at thin air.

Yes, you could put this down to centre-backs, but in truth it is a goalkeeper who must command his area. A goalkeeper who must marshal the space in front of him.

Clearly Adrian is incapable of doing that and David Moyes obviously doesn't trust Joe Hart to do it either. The solution? West Ham must enter the transfer market.

Tony Pulis the head coach

Middlesbrough will be promoted this season

Nevermind that they appeared to have already turned a corner under Garry Monk, with the appointment of Tony Pulis there can be no doubt that Middlesbrough are heading for an immediate return to the Premier League.

It may come directly, it may come via the playoffs, but Tony Pulis will absolutely guide Middlesbrough back into the top-flight. After all Boro are not a side short on talent, Britt Assombalonga is a superb striker, Stewart Downing is an experienced pro, and Ben Gibson is a superb centre-back that Pulis even tried to sign at West Brom.

The squad has the skills, Pulis has the sense, this is going to be spectacular(ly defensive).

Manchester United's Portuguese goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira (2L), Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (C) Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera (2R) and...

Mourinho's attempts to play nice have backfired at Manchester United

When José Mourinho took charge of Manchester United, his reputation as a surly curmudgeon was at an all-time high. This meant that many doubted he could be friendly enough to last at a club like United.

Mourinho thus went on a charm offensive to prove that this time it was different and he could play nice. The downside to this is that he couldn't be as ruthless as he needed to be with a squad full of dead wood.

This led to him only attempting four transfers per season, and United's current state where their back-line is full of players who weren't good enough in the latter days of Sir Alex Ferguson's reign and sadly have not improved much if at all since then.

Now the Red Devils need to sign about four new players in order to make their squad as strong as it should be, although it won't come in time to help them stop Manchester City's inexorable march to the Title.

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