13/07/2023 232comments  |  Jump to last

In an emotional and revealing interview with Gary Neville, Dele Alli has opened up about his past and recent struggles, admitting that he recently decided that it was time to take the bold step of seeking professional help to address his mental health.

Dele’s dip in his football career, first at Tottenham Hotspur after Mauricio Pochettino left the North London club and then the failure thus far of his subsequent move to Merseyside, left many people wondering what was happening behind the scenes and the 27-year-old sat down with Man Utd legend Neville for the latest episode of The Overlap where he laid bare his mental problems and battles with addiction.

Neville shared the interview on his social media channels, describing it as, "the most emotional, difficult yet inspirational conversation I’ve ever had in my life," where Dele describes how the news of the surgery he needed last season to correct a hip problem was the moment where he felt he needed to seek counseling, spending six weeks at a facility in an effort to get this life and career back on track. 

In the interview, Dele confesses to his past dependence on drink and prescription sleeping pills and the fact that, in a moment he described as "heartbreaking", he contemplated retiring at the age of 24, well before the usual peak in a footballer's career.  

“Now is probably the right time to tell people what’s been going on,” Dele began. “It’s tough to talk about because it’s quite recent and it’s something I’ve kind of hid (sic). I’m scared to talk about it but it’s the right thing to do.”

He explained that, when he came back from Turkey, he was “in a bad place mentally” contemplating the operation and on the back of what was largely a failed loan spell with Besiktas.

With pictures surfacing of him at a party surrounded by alcohol and laughing gas canisters splashed across the tabloids, the former Spurs and England star says that he decided to go to a rehab facility in the United States for “mental health, addiction and trauma”.

“I was in a bad cycle,” he confesses. “I was relying on things that were doing me harm and I was waking up every day, winning the fight, going into training showing that I was happy but inside I was definitely losing the battle and it was time for me to change it.

“Because when I got injured and they told me I needed surgery, I could feel the old feelings that I had when the cycle begins and I didn’t want it to happen anymore.

“Everton were amazing about it and supported me 100%. I’ll be grateful to them forever, whatever happens in the future… for them to be so open and understanding, I couldn’t have asked for anything more at that time.

“I was making the biggest decision of my life; something I was scared to do and I’m happy I’ve done it and, to be honest, I don’t think I could have expected it to go as well as it did.”

Dele revealed that the roots of his troubles lie in events when he was much younger that prompted him to do “stupid things that I blamed myself for” like drinking and becoming addicted to sleeping tablets which he was taking during the day on his days off to "numb" the feelings that were dogging him.

However,  his time in rehab opened his eyes to what he was dealing with and how much of it was out of his control before he learned how to understand and process it all.

He spoke of how he had always wanted to cope alone with the trauma of the abuse and instability he suffered living with his biological family — including being molested by a family friend at the age of just 6, being sent to Africa "to learn some discipline" with his father by his alcoholic mother, using and selling drugs by age 8 — and found it impossible to let his "amazing" adopted family in even though they could see he was struggling.

Then, though he credits the game with saving his life, Dele admitted that the stresses of being in the glare of the spotlight of top-level football took a different toll: "Mentally, I don't think anyone will ever understand unless you're in it what it can do to you – you know, rejection, being told you're not good enough, fighting every day, even losing a game can affect you mentally."

Though he is still recovering from the surgery he underwent in the spring, Dele admitted that he is feeling as though he is in a very good place heading into the new season.

“I think this is the first time in a long time where I can say, yeah [I’m okay] and mean it," he said. "Mentally, I’m probably in the best place I’ve ever been and I feel good. I’ve got that passion back for football, so I’m doing really well.

"I know what I can do on the pitch; I think I've shown people what I can do on the pitch. Now I've got the feeling back like before I went to Tottenham when I had a lot to prove, I wanted to fight and I had a lot of passion and love for football — I have that back which, for me, is something I've missed for longer than I wanted to.

"I want to be a better player [than I was at my peak]. I want to be a better person. I'm looking forward and the journey from here is just exciting to me." 


Reader Comments (232)

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Marc Hints
1 Posted 13/07/2023 at 08:15:24
Great interview with Dele, really worth watching.

Bryan Houghton
2 Posted 13/07/2023 at 09:48:22
A big recommendation to anyone who wants to understand wtf has happened to Dele – listen to The Overlap just dropped today on Youtube (with Gary Neville) – 45-minute interview with Dele.

Fascinating, and certainly paints a different picture, and a potentially positive future for him, and us.

Here's hoping, because the prospect of a re-energised, motivated and sober Dele at Everton is tantalising. Exciting even. But then again, it is the hope that kills us!

Alex Gray
3 Posted 13/07/2023 at 10:00:38
As an addict who's in recovery, I remember saying to my old man something wasn't right with Dele a few years back.

It's a really fascinating interview and it's good that despite the things that've happened to him he took some accountability to help himself. Hopefully the lad is in a better place and is getting the support he needs.

I'd love him to become a success but with the money owed to Spurs if we play him it's a huge risk I don't see the club making sadly.

Sam Hoare
4 Posted 13/07/2023 at 10:17:59
Well done, Dele. Never easy to open up about these things and I hope he gets the support that he will need.

Nice to hear that Everton have acted appropriately towards him and Dyche comes out of it well too, a manager with a genuine interest in how his players are doing as people and not just footballers.

Barry Hesketh
5 Posted 13/07/2023 at 10:25:53
It just shows that the person behind the headlines can be very different to the one portrayed or even destroyed by the media.

I wish Dele well, but because of the current financial state of the club, I can't see him having a major impact with Everton on the pitch. I can however, see him returning to Spurs or perhaps his former boss Pochettino will take him to Chelsea?

Good luck in life and on the pitch to Dele, it's a very brave person who can be so truthful about their lives, and even if we don't see him at Goodison in an Everton shirt, he deserves so much support from everybody connected to him.

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 13/07/2023 at 10:28:18
Astounding some of the things he's able to talk about after the rehab.

Being sent to Africa (and his biological father), 'for discipline' at age 6.

Later, his mother and father going to the press criticising his adoptive parents.

He comes across very well... extremely courageous to talk about it. Neville does a brilliant job just talking to him as a concerned fellow professional. Very moving.

Jack Convery
7 Posted 13/07/2023 at 10:45:52
Kenwright should approach his good mate Daniel Levy and ask him to defer the 1st payment until July 2024, for the lad's sake. This will give him the chance to rehabilitate, in surroundings he obviously trusts and enjoys.

Come on, Mr Levy – give him a break,

Whatever happens, good luck to Dele Alli.

Michael Kenrick
8 Posted 13/07/2023 at 10:46:54
Jose calling him lazy – that's in the Amazon documentary.

Jose apologizing... that's not in the documentary.

Eric Dier, one of his good friends at Spurs but still hiding from him what was really going on… very tough.

Gotta respect his 'scepticism' of the media, and recognition of his response. Something we really take for granted that top footballers have to deal with.

"Battle against himself"

Brilliant job by Gary Neville – not one of my favourite people.

Paul Hewitt
9 Posted 13/07/2023 at 10:54:15
I'd actually offer Dele a new 2-year deal, make the lad feel wanted. Pay Spurs the money.

This lad's got more football ability than most in the Premier League. Rice and Grealish both went for £100 million. Dele is better than both.

John Raftery
10 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:09:43
That very public admonition from Mourinho might have been beneficial for someone in a robust mental state, although that is highly debatable. For an individual with Dele’s background it must have the last thing he needed.

Fly on the wall documentaries generate money but pose obvious risks for participants. Despite our need for new income streams I hope our club steers well clear of them.

Paul Ferry
11 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:21:19
Steady on Paul Hewitt (9); I'll file that under spontaneous emotional reaction to a very moving personal narrative.

It is a very moving interview and reveals so much about a life that has the highest ups and the lowest downs - and everything in between - and, quite frankly, it would be astonishing if that was not reflected in mood-swings, concentrated depression, and some eratic experiences and decisions.

I greatly admire Dele for having the strength to do this for himself and others. Make no mistake, this will give encouragement to thousands. Many on here would have been through or been on the borders of addiction of some sort and can empathise with what Dele has gone through and what he has become.

It's good to see the club supporting and working with him. This also makes me think of the mental n health impacts of footballers in the 16-21 year age-range who get rejected and lose their way and dream (and we at Everton know of more than a few who stumble and end up in terrible spirals with addiction etc.).

I have a real feeling that something good will come out of this and that, eventually, Dele's legacy might well be here as well as all the good he has done on the pitch. He will earn the respect and understanding of many - on here and everywhere else in the football world - who turned their backs on him and even lambasted and lampooned him.

It would be wonderful to see Dele regain control of himself and his career. That would be great for him and us and I wish him all the luck in the world.

Michael Kenrick
12 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:33:23
To follow up that support from the club, they have issued this statement on Twitter:

The Club has been supporting Dele in both his return to fitness and overcoming the personal challenges highlighted in his interview with The Overlap.

Everyone at Everton respects and applauds Dele’s bravery to speak about the difficulties he has faced, as well as seek the help required.

The physical and mental welfare of all our players is of paramount importance. The Club takes very seriously its responsibility in protecting the confidentiality of players and staff. Dele will not be conducting any further interviews in relation to his rehabilitation, and we ask that his privacy is respected while he continues his recuperation from injury and receives the full care and support needed for his physical and mental wellbeing.

That last part seems very strange... but typical Everton I suppose. Almost sounds like the club were blindsided and knew nothing of this interview, now determined to lock the stable door after the horse has done a runner?

Or am I getting paranoid?

Chris Hockenhull
13 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:37:45
As someone who spent most of his working life within the world of Mental Health – its causes, its effects – I can relate to much of this. (And as someone who it personally affects even at this moment I too only know how it feels – and I don't have the answers.).

The admission and recognising potential causes is the massive hurdle that needs to be addressed and he has finally done that which is the beginning for potential recovery, potential solutions and readdressing ways forward. Support and guidance has to be there but it has to have personal motivation to change and consider all options and advice and that is up to him to look to begin to take control of issues and not the issue control him.

He states the club has supported him, that is good to hear as employee support and recognition of the illness is – from my experience – something that is lacking to this day.

To those who don't understand this illness, the “get a grip and pull yourself together, lad” mentality doesn't work. It's a very lonely life and how much wealth you have doesn't come into it.

Jack (7) what a positive scenario that could / should be. If Kenwright was to do something like that if it's the last thing he does would be admirable. He is at the crossroads now. He's got this far and I wish him well.

Gary Neville shined too during this piece and he deserves credit for his handling of the item. If he remains with us, he could be a success, and the adulation he could receive from our supporters could be the greatest medicine he could ever wish for.

I wish you well, Dele Alli. Go for it, son!!

James Newcombe
14 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:39:31
Dele’s clearly been carrying something around with him for a while. Hopefully getting this stuff off his chest will help. I feel really bad for him.
Clive Rogers
15 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:40:17
Feel sorry for what's happened to him and wish him well in the future but regaining the physical and mental aspects of the game after letting them slip is not easy or likely. It must be 3 years now since he showed his top form.
Barry Hesketh
16 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:41:30
Michael @12,

The club probably hadn't realised how much would be revealed in the interview, or hadn't even known that an interview was going to happen at all.

That last part of the statement protects the manager and the other members of staff from being asked to comment on Dele's health in the future.

Peter Carpenter
17 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:47:44
Incredible interview — worth 43 minutes of anyone's time.

Quote from near the end, 'the other side of fear and change, there's usually only positive things.'


Christine Foster
18 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:48:48
Michael, you're probably right, it doesn't feel as though it's been done with the full knowledge of the interview or the depth of disclosure. But it's refreshing honesty rather than the bland pr speak we are so used to.

Tend to agree we should go back to Spurs and renegotiate, but it's Levy... he will probably ask for Pickford in exchange...

Mal van Schaick
19 Posted 13/07/2023 at 11:51:31
It's good that he has talked about his issues. I was one for saying get rid of him, but I didn't know of his issues at that time.

Get yourself in a better place mentally, put it behind you, be happy playing football, scoring goals and celebrating them, and prove to yourself and everyone else, that you can be the player that you used to be.

Whatever happens. Good luck.

Lester Yip
20 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:11:06
Bryan, just watched that clip. Yes, there's hope as he's opened up. It could be a new chapter for him. If he becomes a good player for us, then great! If not, it's also good to see someone back on his feet.
Dan Nulty
21 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:12:40
Powerful stuff. I cant help feeling this should have come out before we signed him as part of the due diligence. It was obvious he wasn't in a good place mentally.

Poor bloke though. Hopefully he can get fit mentally as well as physically. I'd imagine we can't afford for him to play one more game as I think we were due to pay £10M so it will be interesting to see if he ends up in Saudi Arabia.

John Daley
22 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:13:35
The most striking thing for me throughout that interview – over and beyond the big revelations that are obviously going to grab all the headlines – is his continual refusal to lay the blame at anyone other than himself.

Let's be clear, there are people who were involved in his early life whose actions were utterly despicable and also immeasurably damaging to the development and well-being of a child. That Dele prefers instead to firmly focus on personal accountability for the difficult place he's found himself in augurs well for the prospect of future healing ahead.

As for the club statement appealing for his privacy to be respected at this time, that strikes me as a pre-emptive measure. With the usual press outlets being left out the loop up to this point they are belatedly going to be scrabbling to be all over the more shocking aspects of the story.

As Dele expressed himself, it wouldn't be surprising for people directly involved during his early days to start popping up to say “some shit”, or for them to be specifically sought out by the more scummy rags to give ‘their side' of the story.

Peter Carpenter
23 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:16:53
The most important thing is his mental well-being and it looks like he's on the right path.

One of many interesting points he made was when Neville asked him if he could get back to the player he was. He said, no, he wanted to be better than that. Worth the £10M?

Dan Nulty
24 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:17:05
As for those thinking the club was potentially blindsided, I read it entirely differently.

He talks in the interview about being forced into it by tabloids contacting his 'team' saying they've found things out and will be reporting on it. It was clear he doesn't trust the media at all so if he was going to do an interview he would rather do it with someone he trusts won't have an agenda given it is his ex-England coach.

I think the last paragraph of our statement is us and Dele sticking two fingers up to the wankers who have been desperately dogging up dirt on him over the years and trying to blackmail him into telling his story before he was ready.

I read it with his words in mind that the club have been 100% supportive.

Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:17:35
Chris (13),

Can you explain what rehabilitation means, is it different to each person suffering from their mental state? Not sure if Dele has asked to go through the rehabilitation course or is it a continuous programme that can take quite a while?

Whatever it is, I wish him well and he can overcome these serious issues and enable him to enjoy the rest of his life. Certainly getting his career on track would help him enormously but that should be second to his mental well-being.

Joe McMahon
26 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:27:55
I hope he can come back to a safe space in his life, what he went through as a child would scar anyone.
Simon Jones
27 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:37:16
He's an Everton player, he's our lad, we need to support him. Whether he plays or not, raise the roof for him, even if he's only named on the bench or sitting with the first team.

I know we can sometimes be horrible as a bunch of fans, but this lad needs us to show him some love.

Andrew Keatley
28 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:44:58
Extraordinary interview. Strongly recommended to anyone with a curiosity about trauma and mental health issues. Dele Alli and Gary Neville both show incredible insight, and are articulate throughout.

Let's hope it marks a threshold for Dele Alli and for other people affected by similar issues – which is an awful lot of people. My hat is off and I am on my feet.

Robert Leigh
29 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:46:24
Incredible stuff.

Funny really, £10M for Dele 5 years ago would be seen as robbery, and given fees now I really don't think we should worry about it.

If he can score 5 goals a season and assist the same that is good value.

Robert Tressell
30 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:47:47
Wow, absolutely heart rending stuff. Just awful that any kid should have experienced what he did and inspirational to hear what he's overcome already to get to where he is in life.

He comes across very well; articulate, intelligent and humble. I think he's very sincere about wanting to get his career back on track and he clearly appreciates the support he's had from Everton so far.

Let's hope so, obviously that would suit us for all sorts of selfish reasons but really you just want the guy to continue his recovery as best he can.

Sean Roe
31 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:49:51
It was fairly clear to see it was a mental health issue, not many fall out of love with the game and a player of that quality doesn't suddenly become a bad player.

Good luck to him, I hope he gets back to his old self both on and off the pitch, and I hope it's with us.

Christine Foster
32 Posted 13/07/2023 at 12:54:21
Sometimes in football we jump to conclusions with the headlines, never having a content or a balanced perspective. Mental illness, depression, addiction all play second fiddle to reality.

I am proud that the club has stood by him, living up to their alter ego of EitC, but you have to question Spurs and Levy in particular for getting rid in the manner they did, probably knowing full well he was in a bad way.

I almost feel the club should buy him and help him to be that better footballer while exposing Spurs for their silence. Can we do it? Of course we could... no matter what happens, I want to see him succeed in a blue shirt.

Jon Bentley
33 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:02:32
Simon @27.

100% agree mate.

If the fans are able to show him support and appreciation, then I don't doubt it will give him extra motivation and a lift to show it back. Once a Blue.

Even if he doesn't come good again from a footballing perspective, from a human one, it's still worth showing him that love.

Kim Vivian
34 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:05:44
Michael - not wishing to be a pedant but what happened at aged 6 was a different part of the interview. I think he was 11 went he was sent to Africa (before being sent back after 6 months). Apols if this has already been raised.

All-in-all, an outstanding episode of overlap and respect to Gary Neville for the way he conducted it.

We may be pleasantly surprised this season and if so Everton should just bite the bullet and cough up any dues.

Duncan McDine
35 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:05:45
Wow - didn't expect to be left with a lump in my throat following a Gary Neville interview!!

I now have massive respect for Dele for doing this and I'd be amazed if his football doesn't improve since the rehab. It would be all the sweeter if we could enjoy watching a revitalised Dele at Everton.

Kevin Molloy
36 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:11:03
Setting aside the personal details which I've not read, that interview just cost us a loan deal. No-one is taking him now.

You could see his problems from a mile away, but when we we're on our knees we decided to put in a £40M bid for this chap. It's not a mystery how we got in this mess, we are a disgrace from top to bottom.

Duncan McDine
37 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:12:01
Kim, you're also wrong (and I don't mind being pedantic). He was molested at 6 and sent to Africa aged 7 to learn discipline (came back after 6 months). Started smoking and then selling drugs at 8.

Tbh, whatever age he was when these things happened, it was a shitty and traumatic childhood by any standards.

Kim Vivian
38 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:17:51
Ah Duncan, I'll take your word for it. I must have heard it as 11! Everyone who knows me knows my hearing is busted. :-)

I think my memory is as well - someone remind me what injury he has?

Ian Jones
39 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:22:45
Kevin, @ 36. Interesting take on the situation.

Moving on, I remember seeing him being shown around Finch Farm when he signed. I'd love to know what he was thinking at the time. I also remember Frank Lampard greeting him with a comment something like 'We did it'.

I wonder if, with this being revealed by Dele, there was a plan with Levy and BK to get him away from Spurs and the environment he was in, perhaps get some 'respite' with Everton, hence the almost Pay as you play deal. All sides potentially getting something out of it.

Anyway, whatever happens with Dele and wherever he is, let's just hope he gets the right support.

Sean Turtle
40 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:24:32
#36 - wow, just, wow. Won't put any more than that as most people who dare to criticise comments on here get lambasted.
Kevin Molloy
41 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:30:02
We're paying him £7M a year, Sean. And we can't play him or we will have to pay up to another £40M.

He's obviously got a compelling backstory, but now was not the time to tell it.

Barry Rathbone
42 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:38:15
I referenced in another thread that his dead eyes were that of a man unduly affected by chemicals. How he got through medicals at Spurs and here is beyond me.
Ian Jones
43 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:38:34
Kevin, I think now is the perfect time for him to tell his story before any dodgy media outlet does it first which I read somewhere was likely to happen.
Mike Hayes
44 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:40:47
Kevin Malloy - is there ever a right time?

It takes guts to come out with things like this: alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling and this is one of the worst atrocities to happen to any child.

Not having a go, just pointing it out. 💙

Kevin Molloy
45 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:40:50
Ian, yes, fair enough… if he was going to get rumbled, that does change the dynamic.
Kevin Molloy
46 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:43:48
Mike, yes, I should underline I didn't read the article, just got the gist.

I don't mean to downplay these terrible things, it's just I don't think you'd choose to do this in this manner for a number of different reasons.

Why tell the world about this? and why now? I'm just not seeing the benefit.

Will Mabon
47 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:47:16
Nothing surprises me here. He's looked fragile and haunted since his early playing days, and again for several years recently. Perhaps the golden period was the blip, a temporary escape.

I'm not enamoured with the open arena angle. It's become normalized to hear such as the public good and spreading awareness lines. I don't see how it helps anyone to have this out there.

Maybe he has no-one solid to turn to, no real support in the genuine sense, no one advising him impartially.

Hopefully he comes through and doesn't lose himself.

Will Mabon
48 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:48:52
Kevin - yep.
Duncan McDine
49 Posted 13/07/2023 at 13:51:03
Kim - good question!…

I'm also unable to recall hearing about his injury (assume it was picked up during a game in Turkey?).

Can anyone else please enlighten us?

Ian Horan
50 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:16:45
Interesting and very positive that the club supported Dele, and I have nothing but admiration for Dele. Courage and ownership of his addictions.

One question. From me of the club, shame they didn't support Gylfi, instead of hanging him out to dry!!!

Bill Gall
51 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:17:09
I think Dele Alli – from what little I know of what he and other people who have gone down the same path in life have gone through – has with this interview taken the first steps back to recovery.

I think he is very fortunate being at a club, regardless of all the negativity we all write about, that has a structure with knowledgeable people in it that can help his future.

There is no guarantee that he can recover his football ability, that would be a bonus, but finally he will be able to talk to people that will help him get over this period in his life and maybe he will even help other unfortunate people who have gone through the same experiences.

Good Luck in your future, young man.

Kim Vivian
52 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:17:43

Not an article to read. Suggest you get on You tube, make yourself a cup of tea and listen to the interview.

Then come back on here.

Catch ya later...

Trevor Powell
53 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:18:51
As a sufferer from chronic clinical depression, it made me reach for Ry Cooder's 'Chicken Skin Music' blues song "Always Lift Him Up"

Other songs are available.

James Hughes
54 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:25:27
Steve Brown
55 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:48:08
I didn't read the article, or watch the video, got the jist and decided to come on and comment anyway.

If you are too lazy to watch the video – it is extremely powerful and poignant – then why not give us all a pass on reading your posts on it?

Peter Mills
56 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:55:20
This is a riveting interview, top marks to both parties for how they handled it.

Well done to Dele for addressing his problems, recognising them is his first major step towards recovery. I suspect he has chosen to speak out so that he is in charge of the narrative, rather than “sensational” revelations being made by our despicable press.

As for his footballing future, I would love to see him at his best in an Everton shirt, but that is complex. We have very little money, can we afford to gamble £10M in the hope we can get 24 decent games out of him before being faced with paying another £10M? £400k per game.

On the other hand, his value as a player must be very low at present. I think I'd be on the phone to Mr Levy saying “Listen, waive the £10M, we'll look after him, give him games if he shows he's ready, and hand him back to you at the end of the season worth far more than he is now”.

However it pans out, very best wishes to him.

Brian Williams
57 Posted 13/07/2023 at 14:56:46
Talk about opening yer gob and digging a hole, then digging some more............

And talk about opening yer gob and stating things which are basically incorrect.

I have no words.

Ray Roche
58 Posted 13/07/2023 at 15:21:20
Knowledge is understanding.

Now we are aware of the demons that have tormented Dele, and understand what he's been going through, maybe we can, as supporters, actually support him? Get behind the lad and appreciate what it's taken to come out and open up about his life.

Kudos to the club and to Dyche for the manner in which they have supported him.

Sorry, but expecting or hoping that Levy would show a shred of humanity and reduce the fee or rethink the contract to allow Dele to become the player and person he was before... dream on! That little creep worships money and nothing else.

Will Mabon
59 Posted 13/07/2023 at 15:22:54
I've just watched the interview.

Whilst Dele says he feels sharing the details may help others and himself too, he did indeed, Peter, say the news of his rehab had got out. He wanted the truth to be heard, and that the media in general would not provide that.

I must say that's about the most relaxed and human I've ever seen him; no ghostly air and an ability to converse like never before. He seems ultra positive and relieved of his burdens. Getting himself right is above all else and it looks like he has a great chance.

As mentioned above, it's nice that part of what is the quality in Everton that matters to us, is still present amid the turmoil, and the shift in the modern game.

Paul Kossoff
60 Posted 13/07/2023 at 15:49:41
I wish this lad all the best in his recovery, both mental and physical, but have we not got a case that, if Levy knew Dele Alli was not fit and had problems, then we should have been informed about that?
James Flynn
61 Posted 13/07/2023 at 15:52:30
Good for him.

Get yourself better, young man.

Hopefully, all those clubs see and remember your talent, but won't touch you with a barge pole, have a change of heart.

So, you can move on and re-start your career.

And Neville broaches the subject of mental health with a number of players he interviews.

And I find him a fine interviewer in general.

Joseph Terrence
62 Posted 13/07/2023 at 15:55:17
Have to agree with Will #47.

That said, I wish Dele Alli all the best and hope that he'll find some inner peace.

Steve Shave
63 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:00:03
I am pleased he has come out and spoken of his difficulties, that can't have been easy for him. I posted something on here about 6 months ago for those immediately dismissing him and his character and I said at the time that none of us had walked life in his shoes. I had read about his upbringing and knew that this was likely to be trauma that was affecting him.

As a psychotherapist who specialises in this type of trauma, I can say with some degree of certainty that the past trauma would have likely caught up with him and he was trying to numb it with prescription medication. I hope now he is seeing a specialist who can help him process the past – coming out and telling the world might help but it won't heal the memories. That can be done though with the right support. I'd love to treat him myself, give me a buzz, Dele!

Let's get behind the lad, as others have said. I'd love for Levy to waver the condition in the sale (or even for us to give him say £3M to let it go) so that we can give Dele a full season with our backing.

Howard Don
64 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:08:01
When Dele was at his best at Spurs, I read an article about his awful background and the wonderful family of his mate, who more or less adopted him and gave him stability. His loyalty to them when his real parents tried to diss them was admirable.

Always had a real soft spot for him after that. I'd love to see some arrangement with Spurs over deferring payment for a season to give the lad a chance of getting back on track. It's brave what he's done and he has undoubted ability.

Kieran Kinsella
65 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:15:09
Barry Hersketh makes a good point back at #5.

If, as everyone with a heart hopes, he is able to get his career back on track, can Everton actually afford to play him?

We've sold a number of players since January and are seemingly sniffing around for free transfers and loans. It would be unfortunate if he does have a turnaround but finds himself still out in the cold because of the club's finances rather than his own issues.

Tony Everan
66 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:28:45
Well done to Dele for talking about it, and getting it all
out there, it must have been very difficult to do. And well done to Everton for being supportive.

Tottenham now need to follow suit and also be supportive. The only meaningful way they can is by waiving the poorly thought out 20-game £10M transfer fee.

With our financial situation, Everton won't pay it. It's far too much of a financial gamble on a player who is firmly in recovery from a long-term trauma.

Tottenham need to set him free so he can have the motivation to win and keep a place in the Everton side. If there is no clear pathway to playing again, it's going to have a negative impact on him. He needs stability and clarity of his position.

Good luck, Dele.

Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:36:53
He's a courageous young man to do this. He will have need of that courage going forward.

And he has certainly had need of it in the very recent past. The relentless criticism he experienced this season at Besiktas must have been searing for Dele. His manager claimed he was "missing" and "didn't deserve to play", the fans reportedly booed him, and the DOF kissed him off by saying, "...the coach started using other players and then Alli stopped struggling. He can't handle adversity." I can't even imagine how those blows must have landed on a young man in this condition.

Chris #13, you were the first TW poster I thought of when I saw this, and I'm glad you jumped right in with your perspective. We have a few other mental health professionals here as well... smart people saying wise things, more than compensating for the few who aren't and don't.

Gary Brown
68 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:39:23
Daniel Levy knew he was selling a broken car…..but still tried to get Porsche money following the new owner's attempted restoration. A true snake oil salesman of a human, and found his dumb victim in us.

Don't blame Dele for a second for his predicament, what he's been through would break anyone at some stage. We need to be supportive, even if it means he sits in rehab being paid for the last year, that's what we need to do. We've wasted bigger money on far less deserving.

As others have said, the right thing to do is for Levy to release the £10M handcuffs. Let the boy choose if he wants to play or not. Maybe Levy could do so with a view that any further contract signed between us and player would trigger it instead of number of games. If he uses playing to get life back in order, everyone wins.

Current situation = everyone loses.

Get well soon, kid.

Ed Prytherch
70 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:44:07
Don't blame Levy, Spurs or anyone else for non-disclosure when we signed him. He was keeping it secret.

Someone very close to me was in denial for years before she hit rock bottom last year and went into rehab. She was resident for 5 weeks and part-time for another 3. Eight months later she is a new person. It was the best $25k that I have ever spent.

I am optimistic that Dele will be a different footballer now.

Steve Shave
71 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:45:38
Can we start some sort of movement to pressure Levy publicly to waver the clause? Operation Get Behind Dele.

If he won't, then I think we need to give him until the January transfer window, play up to 20 games and then make a decision.

Anyone know how to do this on Twitter?

Rob Halligan
72 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:46:22
Already been mentioned a couple of times, but if Daniel Levy had an ounce of integrity in that greedy mind of his, then he would waive the £10M owed to Spurs should Dele Alli play the required number of games in order to trigger the payment.

The lad is still young enough and sounds determined to get his career back on track. He could be a valuable asset for us this season, providing he can get fully fit, and he sounds confident enough that will be in the next few weeks, but more importantly he, and us, don't have this £10M payment hanging over his / our heads.

Barry Hesketh
73 Posted 13/07/2023 at 16:54:27
Ed @70 has probably got it right: nobody other than the player himself would have known the reasons for his 'bad behaviour' or his lack of passion for the sport – until now.

It's a great opportunity for Spurs and Everton to acknowledge the ravages that poor mental health can have on anybody in any walk of life – they could agree to donate the agreed fee to a mental health charity, even if it was in Everton's case donated in installments.

There's possibly some reason other than the goodwill of the clubs to prevent this from happening, but I'm sure that the authorities could arrange something that would be positive for all involved parties.

Kevin Prytherch
74 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:01:43
I can't see Levy waiving any instalments; however, he should consider increasing the number of games for the next payment to give everyone a chance. Even if it's just 5-10 games extra - at least it gives him the chance to play and hopefully resurrect his career.

Levy has got more chance of seeing his money if Alli has longer now to prove himself.

Mark Ryan
75 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:04:21
Very brave and very balanced young man. I hope Everton get to see him relaunch himself and his career. It could be a great story and it would be great if Everton were the club to make him achieve that.

We took a gamble. It might be about to pay off. We'll done to everyone at Everton who is helping him and well done to the lad himself. Top man.

Steve Shave
76 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:04:29
Exactly, Kevin, let's get it trending, now's the time!

A full season with us could springboard him back into a place where he can reach his old levels.

Jamie Crowley
77 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:10:41
I haven't watched the interview, and I will watch when time allows, but it isn't difficult to get the gist of the narrative, and I read something above that I'd comment on.

John Daley @ 22 says:

The most striking thing for me throughout that interview – over and beyond the big revelations that are obviously going to grab all the headlines – is his continual refusal to lay the blame at anyone other than himself.

Reading how tragic this revelation is, it seemingly through John's comment bears mentioning:

In a day and age when personal responsibility for one's actions isn't overly vogue, Dele should be lauded to the rooftops for his approach. It is so admirable to read about someone seemingly going through quite an ordeal (and again I'll watch the interview soon) still taking responsibility for their actions.

Normally I'm a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" kinda guy. If what John says is true – and John is as straightforward a contributor as there is and I have no reason to doubt his statement – Everton have done incredibly well and Dele Alli is a hero for his approach to his demons and difficulties. If he is taking ownership of his actions, no matter what wickedness was laid before him, surely he deserves support and praise.

It's just heart-warming to me that a man stands up and owns everything.

Now I can't wait to watch this interview.

Brian Wilkinson
78 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:11:13
If only we could have offered the same support for Sigurdsson, instead of treating him as guilty as charged. I thought the club let the player down; hopefully they have learned their lesson, with the recent support and backing for Dele.

Well done to Dele for speaking up, and getting support and help he needs.

Rob Halligan
79 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:14:01
Kevin # 36,

The only money guaranteed to Spurs was the £10M after playing 20 games. We do not, and probably will not, have to pay £40M. I'm pretty sure the rest is made up of add ons etc, such as winning the Premier League, a cup or a European trophy, or maybe a further set number of games.

It would be fantastic though, if we did end up paying Spurs a total of £40M, as it would mean success for us.

Barry Hesketh
80 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:14:59
Brian @78,

I don't feel there is any equivalence between the Icelandic player's situation and that of Dele Alli. Plus we don't know what Everton Football Club did or didn't do on behalf of Sigurdsson – the player may have asked to be taken out of the spotlight during that period, we'll never know.

Mike Hayes
81 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:15:12

I understand what you are saying – I don't think myself there's a right or wrong time.

It could be he's been asked to stop all the negativity at his failing ability – it's like when players, athletes etc come out with either being gay, transitioning, or coping with a mental or medical illness – they may get to a point were they need to “come out” as it were?

If it saves one person from suicide or a perpetrator being caught and dealt with, then it will have been the right time.💙

Mark Taylor
82 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:16:21
There's a human side to this and a football side.

On the human side, while I think many were aware Dele had a difficult childhood that may have scarred him, I'm not sure it was apparent that stretched to being molested at the age of 6. Nor am I persuaded it was only once, given the environment he was living in and the low life around him.

I was like many, hugely impressed with how he seems to have handled it, above all, how articulate he was, given he has had a reputation for being a bit thick. Seemingly not so, he spoke very eloquently. Also, physically, he glowed with healthiness and I hope he truly is in a better place now.

On the football side, it seems we are doomed to be unlucky, paying tens of millions for someone, seemingly through no fault of his own, who was just not fit to play football. This is on top of the tens of millions wasted on Sigurdsson. Someone up there doesn't like us.

What next?

Being hard-headed, we can't afford to risk yet more money we don't have to play him. I agree with others: Levy should step in and agree a re-structure of the deal.

Without that Dele risks not having a chance for a new start and while I'm not entirely confident that will work out well in the end, I'm in no doubt after that interview, that he at least deserves a crack. So over to you Mr Levy. Are you human or not?

Jamie Crowley
83 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:16:43
I'd add, in my opinion, why John's comment affects me so positively: real men don't make excuses. Actions have consequences. Real men own everything and die trying to fix anything laid in their path.

I truly believe that. And before someone claims I'm being overly sanctimonious, be assured I've fallen short on that count numerous times in my life. It's easy to make excuses, and as my Mum always used to say, "Life isn't fair." You do the best with the cards dealt to you.

If we have a player doing the best they can with the (seemingly horrific) cards dealt to them, get behind them 100%.

Ian Bennett
84 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:22:09
He's got what 7 league games before the £10M is triggered.

So play him, and make an informed decision if it's worth it or not before the cutoff.

This is his last chance despite how sad it all is.

Anthony Jones
85 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:22:47
It would be great if he came good for us. He is our best footballer.

I think I agree with the comments above though that we are in too much of a pickle to take risks right now.

The lad has relocated to the north (surely) and will have a fair amount of time on his hands plus a boatload of dosh.

He will have to be moved on.

Steve Shave
86 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:24:58
So I've been thinking about this a lot and made some time at the end of the day (should have been working of course) to watch the interview, very moving and he comes across as a really nice guy, a gentle soul.

I decided to look through the TW archives and found my post (June 2022) on Robert Tressell's excellent article "What does Dele Alli need?". Needless to say, there was a lot of bigoted negativity (On ToffeeWeb? Never!) to the article and especially to my initial post in response to the article. Below is what I wrote at the time:

I too have vented words of frustration towards Dele on a number of occasions following some of his less successful cameos last season, so I would be a hypocrite to say I hadn't. In fact, further up this thread, I have expressed some concerns about us getting caught up in the payment structure of this deal.

However, after seeing some ignorant comments above, I feel a need to post from a different angle. As a psychotherapist who specialises in treating psychological trauma, I hope we can start to see a shift in footballers talking about their mental health more. Calvert-Lewin spoke bravely recently; others have in the past – though usually once they've retired when it feels safer.

There is physical health and there is mental health, we all have both and they fluctuate. They are intrinsically linked. Both are as important as one another; however, despite positive changes in public perceptions around mental health in recent years, it still seems much easier for footballers to talk about one and not the other.

In my world, they are spoken of in the same breath and it is liberating. There are many reasons for this which I won't go into but the legacy of two world wars and subsequent narratives around emotions – eg. "Don't feel, don't complain, stiff upper lip, get on with it" – continue to silence and burden us as a nation.

It's easy for us to say Dele is finished; it's easy to call Dom a shit-house who doesn't care about us because he made about 8 appearances last season. We wouldn't say these things if they had a torn muscle or a leg break – something visible to soothe our judgments. If footballers felt empowered to speak about these problems openly, then it would create a better understanding amongst the club, the fans and players.

I'm not getting on my high horse – I am a flawed emotional fan like the rest of you. I am merely commenting on something (one of the only things actually!) I know something about. Now I am not Dele, nor am I his therapist but I want to put this to you all… imagine the following scenario, imagine you are Dele:

You are born into a chaotic home, your mother has her own trauma history and suffering which has not been healed, she jumps from relationship to relationship. She has 3 different fathers to her children. She falls into drugs and alcohol spirals. Dele witnesses a lot of domestic turmoil (much of this has been well documented), abuse and experiences neglect as a child.

You are wrenched between your mother and father, Nigeria, USA and back to the UK where your mum is abusing alcohol and drugs to an extent you are about to be removed by social services. You are falling into the local gang culture for a sense of cohesion and connectivity, there's a lot of concern about you and football is the only positive outlet in your life.

A local family (parents of your footballing chum) take you in aged 16 to stop you going into care and they oversee your rise to footballing stardom. You just concentrate on football without healing any of the above (this is pure speculation of course, I have no idea if he saw a therapist or indeed if that was effective) and you suddenly find yourself out of form for the first time and Mourinho as your manager.

You are scapegoated, embarrassed, humiliated and 50k adoring fans turn on you, saying that you don't care, you are finished. I would imagine this was extremely triggering to his past traumas around neglect and invalidation (pure speculation of course, all in the spirit of trying to change a few opinions) – all this time, you haven't healed from the past. Then you arrive at Everton in the midst of the most toxic fan revolt we've seen in years and guess what, they are saying the same things. All this time, you haven't healed.

They are human beings who are trying to do a job; yes, there are some who probably don't care about the club they are playing for, just like that guy coasting along in your office who the whole team carries. Let's not make assumptions about someone's attitude when their form drops off a cliff.

When past trauma catches up with people (it inevitably does) it's horrible, it can cause people to have flashbacks to the past, strong uncontrollable emotional outpourings, relived past terror, dissociated numbness… and the only way people often feel able to cope is through avoidance of the world around them and numbing strategies.

You are Dele and you've only mustered one good half for your new team, just one start, and before the new season has even begun, many of your fans think you are a waste of space.

Barry Rathbone
87 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:25:05
Hopefully cathartic, he needed something dramatic to wake him up. His perspective should be one of joy being a pro togger player.

Nonetheless, I'm still puzzled by the timeline – why did things from the past not affect him constantly? I mean why was he okay in his early Spurs years but not of late?

Barry Hesketh
88 Posted 13/07/2023 at 17:40:13
Barry @87

I'm far from an expert on this subject, but I imagine that it's like having a time-bomb without a timer, you just never know when or what will trigger a particular response.

The lad has likely always been aware that something was bothering him, he's just never admitted to himself that it was / is a real issue, which was / is having a detrimental effect on him and his career.

Jay Harris
89 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:08:19
I actually think it was a mistake for him to go public with this although I feel a lot of sympathy for him.

The media scum and keyboard warriors will be out in force over this and I can see the "noise" affecting him.

Julian Wait
90 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:08:59
Renegotiate with Spurs - say £5M for 40 games with the following additional conditions:

1) Spurs get right to buy back for £35M
2) Everton get unilateral right to extend for our choice of 1 or 1 years on the current terms
3) If we stay up, Spurs get an extra £5M, pro-rated for number of minutes played across the league season, plus £50,000 per cup game

Meaning we will give Dele Alli the chance to play and, if he does well, everyone wins.

Ricky Oak
91 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:10:06
He had stability in Pochettino, Barry R, he was controlling his feelings with drugs.

Pochatino left, and he was unstable again, drugs didn't work, made things worse... and yeah, to cap it off, he ends up in our world. We all know how we feel at the moment with bellend Bill running the place into the ground.

How amazing could it be if he wants to stay, galvanised the squad, helps resurrect and restore some respect to Everton?
Could be the proper use of Everton that...

Andy Crooks
92 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:23:47
Barry @87, in my view, trauma increases as one gets older and more reflective.

Also, what was the increasing, and likely frightening, realisation that all the success and money in the world wasn't going to make this better.

I know a little bit about this stuff and know that it can and will get better for him. Write off no one.

John Pendleton
93 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:28:28
For Dele's sake, I wish he'd sought help earlier. A toxic Spurs spell and exiled in Turkey wouldn't have done him much good. That said, I'm glad he's done this on Everton's watch.

How we treat Dele from now on will go a long way to influencing our reputation amongst his fellow professionals. And god knows we need it right now.

For me, his only memorable contribution of note was the Crystal Palace game. Who knows how he may train and play in the future without the weight on his back and the stone in his shoe?/p>

In the light of this interview, we must try and renegotiate terms because what we are desperately trying to sign now is an experienced, creative, attacking goal scorer.

We may have had one all along.

Brian Denton
94 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:32:14
A moving interview. I'd like to think he can rehabilitate himself at Everton.

If we managed it with Reid and Gray, maybe we can resurrect another career!

Dale Self
95 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:33:16
Good stuff, Andy.

It looks like he is taking his first real steps at healing himself. This absolutely does not look like a PR/image rehabilitation.

Let's show the human being some respect and support and he could turn it around just when we all need it most. Humans play football.

Mike Gaynes
96 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:41:52
Magnificent post, Steve #86. Thank you for bringing your expertise and empathy to the discussion.
Frank Sheppard
97 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:44:50
Good for him doing this, hope it helps him.
Si Cooper
98 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:50:45
I will get round to watching the interview some time but I've not seen anything in the various reports to suggest we are about to see a rebirth of his career.

It may be the first time he's gone public (pushed by the tabloids) and seeking professional help to get off the sleeping pills, but hadn't he already found love, purpose and stability with his adoptive family and his early career?

Steve Shave will know better than me if there is still something in his past that's actively derailing his career but could it just be that he's simply an average Joe when he has to pull himself together when his form nose dives?

Dale Self
99 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:51:15
And Steve too. Good move Mike, I hadn’t read that far up yet. We are Everton we are Human. Yay.
Kieran Kinsella
100 Posted 13/07/2023 at 18:54:52
Jay Harris

You bring up an interesting point.

I recall about 2 years ago Jesse Lingard making a confession about personal issue. He didn't go into great detail and certainly didn't imply that he suffered to the level of Dele as a kid. But basically, explained that he had mental health issues affecting his game due to family or personal trauma etc going on.

For a bit, suddenly everyone was sympathetic to him again after calling him a "waster." Now he has had a disappointing spell at Forest, suddenly he is just a "waster" again.

Paul Turner
101 Posted 13/07/2023 at 19:03:10
Huge respect to Dele, who I hope can rekindle his love for the game – and not just because he's currently on our books.

And kudos to Gary Neville. I'm no expert, but I think I detected a light has returned to Dele's eyes. Keep going, young man...

Ajay Gopal
103 Posted 13/07/2023 at 19:06:01
Interesting that this interview – which I haven't seen yet – comes just 2 days after his former manager Pochettino said that he would like to talk to Dele to find out what is happening with him.

Reading all the supportive comments and reading about how the club have supported Dele makes me a proud Blue and TWer.

Can you imagine the roar that would go up around Goodison Park when Dele comes on as a substitute in the 75th minute of our opening home game of the season? I bet it will be louder than the one that was heard when Doucouré scored against Bournemouth.

Ray Robinson
104 Posted 13/07/2023 at 19:11:26
Steve #86,

I rarely read long non-football related posts on ToffeeWeb but I have to say your contribution was brilliant.

I'd have to see the whites of Dele Alli's eyes to appreciate the sincerity of the guy but, giving him the benefit of the doubt in the face of what appears to be a horrific upbringing, I will give him an extra cheer if he ever pulls on the shirt again.

Some people sadly don't have the sort of happy upbringing that I and many others had.

Gaute Lie
105 Posted 13/07/2023 at 19:13:05
Hope he recovers. Creds to him for his honesty.

Now, can he be what he was? If so, he would be the team's best player by a mile.

If he doesn't recover, money and addiction equals a short life. With a few exceptions.

I truly hope he gets up to speed. What a miracle that would be!

Barry Rathbone
106 Posted 13/07/2023 at 19:20:25
Barry @88 and Andy @92,

I'm loathe to add much commentary to anything regarding mental health issues, being a strong-willed type myself.

Had a lad working for me who always appeared to be crying wolf, threatening to jump off the multi-storey car park and the like. But he always sent a text and was "rescued".

He would pop into the local centre for counselling every 6 months and it would sort him out. Then one day he shoved a load of tablets down his gob in the toilets at the train station and his missus didn't read the text. He was dead a few hours later.

Ya just don't know with people.

Steve Shave
107 Posted 13/07/2023 at 19:32:57
Barry Hesketh @88,

That's a pretty good stab at answering Barry's question "Why did things from the past not affect him constantly? I mean why was he okay in his early Spurs years but not of late?" —which of course is a totally sensible question.

Essentially, humans are very adept at burying traumatic memories. We have a tendency to think that we can only call horrific abuse memories trauma, or war experiences etc. However, this is very far from the truth. To talk about what deserves to be labelled as trauma and what doesn't is a redundant argument, to do so means to engage in meaningless comparisons of horror.

What we know about psychological trauma is that it is not what happens but the meaning of what happens and whether or not one remains stuck in that appraisal made in that moment of horror or distress in the past.

Trauma becomes encoded in our nervous system and stored within our bodies, our bodies literally hold onto it and these feelings, memories, physiological responses can be re-triggered repeatedly until it's healed. Which is why I had previously hypothesised that Dele may have been triggered by fan negativity.

Psychological trauma doesn't always manifest in PTSD symptoms; however, it can (if not fully processed) cause all kinds of other mental health problems. PTSD (or Complex PTSD which I suspect Dele has) usually catches up with people as Barry alludes to in his post.

We might be able to keep it at bay but often this requires maladaptive coping mechanisms and we play the trauma out in other ways in our behaviour typically. Dele spoke insightfully about having a chaotic home as a footballing professional which mirrored his own chaotic family home. The sleeping pills he was addicted to undoubtedly played a big part in his increasing need to numb his emotional responses.

Typically, for trauma held at bay like this in CPTSD cases, there is usually what I call a "barn door" trauma, a more recent event that triggers or overlays on past traumas and "blows the bloody doors off" (said in a Michael Caine voice). It is entirely likely that this happened around the time his form fell off a cliff. He has likely struggled ever since with PTSD symptoms and addiction. As I tried to say in my post last summer which I have copied and pasted above, no wonder he has struggled.

The wider topic of interest for me here is when considering the poverty, neglect and social deprivation many of our footballers will have grown up in, how many other Deles are there out there in the spotlight? Bloomin' tons I'd like to wager. When they don't perform like dancing monkeys for us, we abuse them all over again.

My final comment in the last paragraph will no doubt "out" the usual bigots on here who feel that everyone should have perfect mental health, never make mistakes, and just "Get on with it", all because they are well paid and play for Everton FC.

To Dele Alli – respect, brother! If you don't know already, there is a wonderful and very powerful treatment called EMDR therapy and it works a treat for your condition and can help you process all these horrible memories. I for one truly hope you do.

Anthony Dove
108 Posted 13/07/2023 at 19:38:06
I hope he will be okay for whatever he decides to concentrate on for the rest of his life.

Obviously he enjoyed many years of success where he didn't seem to be affected by his childhood problems.

Brian Wilkinson
109 Posted 13/07/2023 at 20:06:26
Okay, some valid points on Levy giving a bit of leeway on the deal. I cannot see that happening by the way, but an interesting talking point in regards to our one discrepancy charge in October, although it is pure guesswork, with many suggesting it might be the Dele transfer

If the one charge is in relation to the Dele transfer, then this is going to be very tricky and cause an elephant in the room for those bringing the charge against Everton.

Does anyone have any idea over the above possibility?

Jonathan Oppenheimer
110 Posted 13/07/2023 at 20:49:54
Steve 86, brilliant post. As a fellow psychotherapist, I’d simply second everything you said. I’d also add how painful it is having worked for many years with people with mental illness to read the way we fans demean, mock, and endlessly criticize players we know nothing about. I, too, don’t want to get on my high horse and pretend I’m above the criticism — it’s our right as fans — but we can do it without being overly harsh. For even if the players aren’t silly enough to read fan sites, that kind of anger bleeds across the fan base and at times creates a terribly toxic atmosphere at the stadium, in pubs, and of course on the internet.

I haven’t yet watched what sounds like an incredibly moving interview, but I can say already how proud I am of Dele. The cinematic ending is of course what we as fans all want, where he leads us up the table, finds a place back on the national team, and has songs made up for him that last a lifetime. But even if he never gets anywhere back to his old footballing self, the steps he’s taking to heal are far more heroic.

Let us also not forget as we cheer him on and off the pitch that when we needed him most, he came through and helped save the club against Palace. If he warrants a place in the squad going forward, why wouldn’t we pay the money? I assume the billionaires who fund our team — whether Moshiri, MSP, or Usmanov — can find it in the couch. Levy owes us nothing, though, as much as we all wish he’d make it easier for us. We took a chance on Dele and it’s on us to see it through.

Brian Williams
111 Posted 13/07/2023 at 20:50:00
I believe the charge has nothing to do with the Dele transfer.
Brian Wilkinson
112 Posted 13/07/2023 at 20:54:56
Is it to do with Big Sam's expenses then for the Lobster Pot, Brian?
John Graham
113 Posted 13/07/2023 at 21:12:16
Good luck Deli.
Hopefully you can get back to being the great player that you have been in the past, hopefully it's with Everton, but if not then wherever you go turn on the style and enjoy your football.
Phil Lewis
114 Posted 13/07/2023 at 21:32:56
An extremely powerful interview which transcended football. Full marks to Gary Neville for his sensitive approach. This was genuinely heart rending stuff. Nobody was playing for the cameras. This was for real.
In the macho world of football, physical injury is all that is considered. There is little empathy, understanding of, or sympathy for mental illness or addiction. Addiction in my opinion being a form of mental illness. No doubt the cynics will think otherwise, but this was a courageous step forward by Dele Alli to reveal his innermost demons and to share how he is attempting finally to deal with them. If he never kicks a football again, I truly hope he gets well. I believe his wish to help others in doing so, was genuine.
If he continues to be honest with himself and treat his condition one day at a time, then he has every chance of a return to normal living. A bonus of course, would be if in doing so he recaptured the form which made him one of the most exciting players in world football not that long ago.
This revelation today leads me to Andre Gomes. I've believed, that for a long time, his issues have been in his head. When he was at Barcelona he received a certain amount of unwarranted criticism from sections of their crowd which ultimately led to him being transferred. Since his horrific injury with us, he's never looked the same player and no doubt he's been aware of sections of the Goodison crowd giving him similar treatment to that he received at Barcelona.
He's had a magnificent season in France and is still only 29. What's to say that given the opportunity, regardless of the difference between French and English football, that he couldn't rediscover the form that made him the first name on the teamsheet at one time.
How wonderful for the team and both of these young men if they can prove their doubters wrong.
Form is temporary. Class is permanent.
Christy Ring
115 Posted 13/07/2023 at 21:38:15
Hope his demons are gone, and he can enjoy life and football at Everton.
Ian Jones
116 Posted 13/07/2023 at 21:47:32
This has been one of the best threads I have read on ToffeeWeb. Fascinating input from those who work in the field of mental health.
Andrew Bentley
117 Posted 13/07/2023 at 21:47:40
Credit to him for getting rehab and trying to deal with his issues. I wish him well as we often forget the “human” behind the player. If this helps to get him back on track in life, and back to enjoying his football then paying the additional fees for him would be well worth it. He’s got real quality that so many of our recent squads don’t have/didn’t have (bar James). Is he worth the gamble - 12 months ago I would have said no, but if by confronting his demons he can get back on track then now I would go for it. Him in the number 10 role off a fit DCL could be sensational but I’m obviously stretching things too far thinking a) he can get back to his best (or better) and b) DCL stays fit!
John Burns
118 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:03:32
Having never suffered mental illness or been subject to such a tragic upbringing as Deli, I firstly thank God for that. I am as guilty as anyone for not sympathising with the human element of the modern day football. ‘They’re paid enough so the should perform. No excuses’, has been my unspoken mantra.

This interview has been so educational for someone like me. I just hope Deli continues to go forward from this time on. I don’t really know if he can ever be the player he was, but somehow that seems unimportant today. I wish him all the best and I also thought Gary Neville was superb.

Christine Foster
119 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:14:15
Phil 114# excellent comments, Gomes has had a very good season and initially reports, admittedly the Echo, indicate he is in good form in training. It occurs to me that Dyche may have the option to use Gomes rather than loan out again, a blessing in disguise?
Dele deserves time, but it's a financial as well as a footballing risk. The club should sit down with Levy and explain that if Dele rekindled his form it's in the best interests of both clubs so more leeway should be given, extenuating circumstances as such. If he goes out on loan Levy can kiss recouping any money for him goodbye. It's a win win...
We have no money to buy players. We have two class midfield players out on loan, unused costing us money. Common sense requires a rethink...
Peter Fearon
120 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:20:00
I suspect Everton had planned to cut him loose and now this interview has raised fans' expectations and made that more difficult without making us look like we're callously giving up on someone who has been so broken and bravely worked his way out of so much hardship. It's a quandary for the club and I think you can read that between the lines of their statement. I think we should give him another season. He has a lot better chance of making a significant contribution that a former Aston Villa player I can think of. God forbid we let him go and he gets his form back someplace else. Good luck, Dele.
Phil Lewis
121 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:21:27
My thoughts are drawn to Gary Speed, God rest his soul. How sad that he was unable to unburden himself and receive the treatment that he obviously so desperately needed. Whatever was tormenting that poor lad, resulted in his dreadful death at the end of a rope.
That is one injury no one ever recovers from.
Phil Lewis
122 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:26:43
I agree entirely Christine.
David West
123 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:33:30
Wow eye opening!! Alot of fans me included give players stick when you don't know what's going on in their heads. They are not robots.

I can't be arsed with my job when I've got other shit going on in my life, why should we think footballers are any different? Cos they are paid loads ?

From the minute he signed for us I've always said get even 50-60% of the old dele and he's our best player.
If he really can put his demons to bed we could have a quality player with a point to prove.

The old dele at spurs was good, a more mature dele with a point to prove could be exceptional.

It's a gamble, maybe a renegotiation of his contract if we pay the fee to spurs ?
When Holgate is attracting a 10m fee it puts into perspective that this could be a steal if he gets back to anywhere near his best.

How does the contract work if he and Everton come to an agreement that he sees out his contract at Everton without playing the games to hit the fee. Them sign him as a free agent?

Dale Self
124 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:33:33
Ian 116, thanks for saying that so plainly. Sometimes I get caught up in back and forths and miss the beauty that does often happen here.
Oliver Molloy
125 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:39:03
I think I said the other day maybe the Saudi's might do us a favour and come in for Dele along with Gray before the end of window, I still think that would be the best outcome for Everton FC.
These last few years have been a sad time for this young man and his upbringing has been a tough one, but he came out of that and has earned himself money most people can only dream about.
I want what is best for Everton, other than the other way about.
The club has a duty of care and has already demonstrated this.
But if he stays and earns himself a place in the team and can discover some form, am I right in saying he could leave on a free this time next year after costing us a fucking fortune - please correct me if I am wrong ?
If I am right. with the money on offer from the Saudis that's where his "team" will be looking - guaranteed ! - cynical of me I know, but that's what I think.
David West
126 Posted 13/07/2023 at 22:56:52
If we have helped the lad. If we have facilitated his recovery, shown faith in him, supporting him through it and he can get back playing to a good level.
Wouldn't you think he'd want to repay that back to us ?

Negotiate with him so we can sign him for free when his contracts up.

Let Dele get one one over on levy.

Soren Moyer
127 Posted 13/07/2023 at 23:04:41
All the best to dele. He's been through so much. And his childhood! Say no more.
Neil Lawson
128 Posted 13/07/2023 at 23:28:23
I commend everyone who has posted positively and in support of Dele.

Why then, did DCL take such a hammering for speaking of his efforts to overcome several injuries ? His " issues" can not compare to those of Dele but both of them are battling to regain fitness and form.

Give them both the support they deserve.

Phil Lewis
129 Posted 13/07/2023 at 23:28:40
Oliver #125
With respect, did you watch the interview? I fail to see how anyone who did, could not be moved by the honesty of it.
I take your point, but what is at stake here is much more than football or money. It's a person's sanity. Dele Alli has a monumental task ahead of him. Mental health rehabilitation is a much longer process than recovery from physical injury. Twelve months from now should not be his priority, living each day as it comes is what counts for him right now. I'm sure he is under no illusions about that.
Whether Everton are prepared to take that risk is another matter. We all want a happy ending, but sometimes they only happen in Fairytales. For now, after him opening up, everyone should support him. The rest is very much up to him.
Alan Corken
130 Posted 13/07/2023 at 23:31:29
My heart bleeds for you! Now let's get rid of him. He was never any good and should never have been here. Total bloody liability!
Brendan Fox
131 Posted 13/07/2023 at 23:32:27
Having watched the interview Dele came across as a sensible and articulate fella who has showed tremendous courage to open up like this.

Kevin # 36 WTF give your head a wobble and think about it from a human perspective, he's a young fella who's been dealt a shit hand and has had a breakdown, he's been through the mill and sought help to get his life and career back on track and brave enough to open up about his struggles.

If Dele gets himself fit enough, finds form and rekindles the passion he has previously had for the game and with it match winning contributions and EFC have to pay Spurs the necessary installments agreed on his transfer then I like many would be happy to see that happen.

All the best whatever happens going forward Dele.

Derek Thomas
132 Posted 13/07/2023 at 23:58:44
The lad has - and I know next to nothing about this stuff - done what is said to be the hardest part - he's admitted to the problem...not to trivialise it in any way, but having thank God, not much exposure to mental problems, I have to put it in terms I can understand.

He's been feeling bad for ages and he's spewed up the dodgy curry, yes, you still feel rough and wobbly, but you know you'll be all the better for it.

How better, how soon, who knows. But a decent pre-season work out will help.

One step and one game at a time is the way. We all know how good he was, he might not hit those heights again but if he gets to within a fair percentage of it he will be an asset, not a liability.

Levy needs to come to the party on this too, I get the feeling, unsurprisingly, he was less that forthright with us.

It'll be like signing a new player - for both of us.

Phil Lewis
133 Posted 13/07/2023 at 00:06:44
I expected such ignorance from certain quarters. But your comment that he was 'never any good' is as astounding as it is incorrect.
Or are we expected to take your view of the Dele Alli of say five seasons ago as Gospel, given that practically every commentator, pundit, manager and player alike on the planet, were heralding him as the greatest talent seen in many years.
Obviously you saw something they didn't Alan. Perhaps you should put in for the England job, the next time it becomes available.
Alex Parr
134 Posted 14/07/2023 at 00:07:45
Sorry,late on and don't know if someone's mentioned this already (will catch up on the chat tomorrow)
I'm sure about 5 or 6 years ago, Dele made it clear he wanted no reference to the name 'Alli' on his shirt as he had effectively disowned his biological parents. The current context puts more reason why he wants to distance himself. I'd prefer to see the 'Alli' surname dropped and I'd like to know Dele's views on that. Or if he'd like to be Dele Hickford, etc. If he becomes that superstar he was on the trajectory to be, ill call him whatever he wants.
Stay strong DELE and anyone else who has been affected by such fucking rotten deeds. Take care everyone.
Sam Hoare
135 Posted 14/07/2023 at 00:09:39
Difficult to know what exactly Dele wants but it sounds like maybe some time away from the pressures and rigours of PL football may be the best for him. Time to process and rebuild.

A year out to work on himself and then I’m sure he’ll have some offers if he can get himself fit. Or maybe he’ll decide the world of football is not for him. Best of luck to him and well done for being so brave and candid.

Justin Doone
136 Posted 14/07/2023 at 00:19:15
All players, some more than others, should use a form of 'head therapy' just like they use a masseuse. It's a part of maintaining good condition rather than trying to fix something once damaged.
Many clubs and other sports and billionaire companies have incorporated this.
Everton need to catch up, but football in general need to do more to help past and present players, coaches etc.
It's surely just a part of sports science?
In Dele's case, this is just the start. I'm not expecting him to ever be the top class player he once was.
To be brutal, in the interests of Everton, he's not worth £20M should he play another 6 games or so.
Dale Self
137 Posted 14/07/2023 at 01:21:55
Thanks for doing that Phil.
Alan J Thompson
138 Posted 14/07/2023 at 03:20:05
Good luck to the lad and I hope he comes to terms with his problems, the first and probably most important step being to admit there is one.

However, I can't help but wonder if Spurs knew of these problems at any time and, without having any knowledge of the procedures, why any addiction or substance abuse doesn't show up in a transfer medical.

Ed Prytherch
139 Posted 14/07/2023 at 04:15:58
Alan @138,

Dele stated that the stuff he was abusing was prescribed by the club doctor and Gary Neville agreed that it was common practice to take one the night before a game.

These drugs have a half-life and a day or two off them will reduce blood levels to a "normal" level. A medical when he was transferred would be unlikely to detect them.

Alan J Thompson
140 Posted 14/07/2023 at 04:31:10

Thanks for that, but I always thought, without actually knowing, that players undergoing a transfer medical had a dossier of their past injuries and treatments and if so, why it isn't shown or queried at the time, which perhaps it was and as you say, regarded, unfortunately, as almost standard practice.

Unfortunately, I doubt past traumas are ever discussed and can be carried for a lifetime and may appear to others as either shocking or fairly minor as the effect is mostly unknown except to the sufferer.

Karl Meighan
141 Posted 14/07/2023 at 05:15:29
Hasn't stopped him sleeping with all kinds of models or going out on the piss. Seems like good timing from his point of view.

Having been paid handsomely by Everton, there are plenty of others that will be getting my sympathy before him.

James Flynn
142 Posted 14/07/2023 at 05:20:21
I'd be surprised if people inside the game didn't know that Dele was a party-boy.

Levy, long-proven hard-nosed businessman, allowed a "only pay me if he plays" stipulation into the deal? If form holds, we'll pay Levy nothing.

I have no problem concluding that Levy agreed to that just to get Dele out of Spurs.

And Kenwright, for once, insisted on the stipulation on playing time because he already knew signing Alli came with risks.

Steve Carter
143 Posted 14/07/2023 at 05:37:51
Look, one has considerable sympathy for people who have had difficult personal lives, have suffered drug addiction, etc. (I don't say that facetiously - I can personally identify with some of what has befallen Dele.)

However, the fact of the matter is:

(a) Everton has a business to run of which most indicators are that it is in poor shape;

(b) Any competent business when recruiting significant employees does their due diligence, and if those responsible at Everton had done so, it beggars belief that they would have touched Dele;

(c) Everton is not a charity (despite a number of appearances to the contrary); and

(d) As Karl [141] points out, rather than do the honourable thing and take time out to address his personal 'issues', Dele was only too happy to sign on and take our money knowing full well himself that he wasn't worth it and couldn't deliver.

We have to friggin' harden up. There is no way the likes of Bill Shankly, Sir Alex Ferguson, Catterick, Clough et al would have picked up Dele, even if he had offered to pay to play.

Danny O’Neill
144 Posted 14/07/2023 at 06:24:34
It took a lot of courage for him to do that interview.

I draw a line between criticising the footballer and the individual. I try to judge a player on the pitch on performance as a footballer, not as an individual.

As the interview demonstrates, he is mixed up through his life experiences. We all have life experiences. Some are strong and cope, others eventually break down through trying to be strong on the outside when on the inside they are struggling but put on a brave face and a smile.

His personal life aside, it is often important to remember the goldfish bowl life the system puts these players into from a very young age and the pressure put on them in the public eye. It's easy to say "Well, they get paid well enough" and in some respects that could be considered a fair shout.
However, I don't buy that. Supply and demand. They grow up and live in a bubble with intense media focus. They have a normal life ripped away from them. Treated as commodities and assets. There is a human being behind that.

We never really know what's going on in the background in anyone's life, no matter what their profession is or how much they are paid.

I have experience of PTSD. I was trained in spotting the signs of trauma and having to deal with it first-hand. Young people who had witnessed things they thought they could deal with in foresight, but when they did experience traumatic experiences, reality hit. The important thing was to identify it early and get them to come out. Don't hide behind it trying or pretending to be strong.

If I'm honest, I think I had a mild form after my Afghanistan tours. I was angry and intolerant for a period. But I had my dogs, family and Everton.

People deal with it differently. Some cope, some hide it, some gradually get back to normal, some need help.

I hope Dele finds his peace and can focus on the game he loves. I hope that is with Everton, because, with his mind focussed, he is a very talented footballer. The important thing is that he takes care of himself.

I still love that clip on the Tunnel Access footage after the Palace match where he runs down to grab Tom Davies (being interviewed) and drags him back to the changing room. Smiling and happy. Enjoying what he does best.

I hope this helps him take a weight off his shoulders, find himself and find his love of football again.

Respect from me.

Dale Rose
145 Posted 14/07/2023 at 07:29:56
Good luck to him. Hope this marks a renaissance for him.
Tony Everan
146 Posted 14/07/2023 at 07:30:53
I think it was more wage related, Levy desperately wanted Dele's huge wage off the books but also cover himself fee wise. The teary, naive Kenwright was royally duped and it's cost the club £100k per week for 2½ years, £12.5M less whatever Beskitas paid in wages.

I think the only hope for Dele's career in the short term is for Spurs to set him free from this debilitating contract. Everton are never going to pay the £10 million fee on top of his £100k per week. If Levy cares one iota about Dele, he'd do something about it now.

Rob Dolby
147 Posted 14/07/2023 at 07:41:15
Steve 143, You are right in hindsight, I don't believe for one minute we would have bought him knowing the burden he is carrying. Though I do think we are the perfect club for him now, given his illness and our history of caring for players and ex players.

The former players foundation, Eitc, the people's hub are all things to be proud of as a blue at a time when the footballing side and management of the club are a shambles.

We took a gamble on a player out of form, that's the market we are in. We can't afford what Bournemouth, Brentford or even Forrest are paying for players.

Tony Abrahams
148 Posted 14/07/2023 at 07:53:58
Alan Mullery, once thought Everton were interested in him because he kept getting followed and everyone in football knew that Everton, used to do proper due-diligence on any player they were interested in signing. He said he was very disappointed when it turned out he was getting followed by the television producers of This Is Your Life.

Everted have lost a great deal of professionalism since Moyes left, imo, and Deli Ali, wouldn’t have been so lucky to have signed for Everton in another era, but I’m glad the club is giving him the support he needs.

Knowing Dyche, it would be obvious to me that he would help Ali, (because he’s a decent human being) and when you hear his story, it’s very sad that he’s been kicked from pillar to post when it comes to the people who should have been there to help him.

I’m glad Ali, has got his adopted family, because they must have helped him get away from his dysfunctional blood relatives, but these people have made his life is very difficult because there is nothing worse than being surrounded by liars.

Steve Shave
149 Posted 14/07/2023 at 08:01:18
Jonathan Oppenheimer - thanks for your comments. I agree whole heartedly, it's like fans see players as fair game for abuse just because they are well paid to play the beautiful game.

Apply that logic to any other profession, models can be abused because all they do is earn loads of money for walking up and down a catwalk! Absurd when you think about it. Footballers are human beings, some have had it easy, some brought up the hard way.

I for one hope to see more players come out and speak about mental health, I think it will bridge a gap between them and fans. To the person above who may as well have said "well what's DCLs excuse then? He only had depression" how the hell do you know what is underneath his depression? It may well be trauma, often is. Thankfully there are some really insightful and measured folk on here as well.

Jonathan, nice to know there is another therapist on here, maybe we should start a support group for our long suffering fans? Maybe get a joint paper published on a new and debilitating mental health disorder called "Evertonitis", it's a debilitating condition after all.

Lastly, Dupont, well done mate for emailing Spurs about Dele's clause. I'm serious, how can we get "save Dele's career Daniel Levy" trending? Put some pressure on the oily bugger.

Andrew Ellams
150 Posted 14/07/2023 at 08:05:08
Sam @ 135, not sure a year out is maybe what he needs right now. If he can use his football as a focus and possibly even his therapy it gives less time for those demons to creep back in.

I'd be interested to know what his living arrangements are and if he's on his own or even still in a hotel would it benefit him to move in with some of his team mates?

Phil Lewis
151 Posted 14/07/2023 at 08:23:26
Alcohol, Prescribed Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Cigarettes, Junk food Steroids and fizzy drinks. All of these substances can prove to become addictive, sometimes to the point of death. Most certainly when abused, they take over people's lives to the point of helplessness. This is the root cause of addiction. It centres in the mind regardless of the substance used, to the point where the user loses control of his or her ability to function without the drug of their choice. Dele has been given the gift of desperation and has taken a massive step forward in seeking help.
The alcohol or drug is in the bottle. Provided it stays there he will be OK. His problems centre in his mind. That is what he needs to continually address. The substance is the detonator, he himself is the Dynamite. If he can keep the two apart, he has a fighting chance of recovery. His youth is a double edged sword. It assists his physical recovery. But mentally there are so many temptations out there, that the people around him will be crucial to his return to a normal healthy mind and body.
Alan Corken
152 Posted 14/07/2023 at 08:34:06
Phil@133...You say, 'every commentator, pundit, manager and player alike on the planet, were heralding him as the greatest talent seen in many years' There is a moment pal, when exaggeration to make a point turns to preposterous puffery. It requires no answer other than to be repeated back.
On the wider question of sympathy. Well let's not put anymore pressure on the poor lad by paying 40m and raising expectations for him to perform. Far better to send him back to his home club, where they know and no doubt love him. Best solution all around. I dare say they would love to have a fully recovered world beater, in their squad.
Eddie Dunn
153 Posted 14/07/2023 at 08:50:51
Read all about this interview but just sat down and watched it for myself. The lad felt he had to tell his story as the media would have put their version out if he didn't.
He seems to have come through a very dark period. Only time will tell if he can find his mojo on the pitch, but it is clear that he needs to be happy to perform.
Gary Neville really let him talk - a great piece of interviewing.
Te financial complexities of our deal with Spurs are the main sticking point but I suppose that he still has 9 or 10 games to show Dyche what he can do.
I hope he can get to where he wants to be.
John Pendleton
154 Posted 14/07/2023 at 09:18:45
There are plenty of times when players would be well advised to avoid ToffeeWeb (particularly in the heat of the live forum).

This is a notable exception.

I hope the Everton players are giving him what he needs too – inside and outside of Finch Farm.

Andy Crooks
155 Posted 14/07/2023 at 09:34:36
Loads of really good comments on here, and I include those which are resentful of Dele. It is perfectly understandable to resent him, to be angry at him and to think pragmatically of what it means for Everton.

However, for Dele, for Everton, for every troubled soul who hears him, is it not better to try to understand and support him? There's no downside to that.

Ernie Baywood
156 Posted 14/07/2023 at 10:07:35
Steve Carter #143 - David Moyes certainly wouldn't have gone near him. He was far too smart for that.

Having finally got around to watching the interview I see two sides. There's the young man who has experienced a lot, has struggled, and is trying to find himself. Unequivocally I wish him all the best and I wouldn't even want to speculate or debate anything about what he's gone through and is going through.

But then there's the Everton side of things and I can't help but talk about that. I see a guy who hasn't produced in a long time. A guy who was addicted to pills and drinking. I see a guy who has been out of rehab for 3 weeks and is still injured. Sounds harsh doesn't it, but which bit of that isn't 100% true?

I'm glad he feels great now but it's far too early to say he will be great when the slog starts again. He'll cost us a lot of money if we play him, and he hasn't performed for a long time at this level so there really isn't too much upside.

It would be great on lots of levels to see him back to his best and doing it in a blue shirt but the odds are overwhelming that it won't happen and we'd be throwing money away by trying to force it.

Actually there's a third side... do you think for one second this club won't use this for their own agenda? I don't see any level they won't stoop to anymore.

Robert Williams
157 Posted 14/07/2023 at 10:09:06
Christine @18,

Why would Spurs renegotiate?

Did we renegotiate with the Italians over Moise Kean? I don't think we did, we stood firm – not sure we've ever had the money tho'!

Christine Foster
158 Posted 14/07/2023 at 10:39:29
Robert, 157# because if they don't the chances are they will end up with nothing, Everton lose, Spurs lose, the player loses. Career over because no one now with pay up to 40m or even 10m.
The risk to Everton is high, cost once 20 games reached and one season left.. not going to work is it? If Deli does get his form back with Everton, Spurs are likely to benefit much more than if he is shipped out on loan.
Si Pulford
159 Posted 14/07/2023 at 10:44:31
Thankfully the vast majority on TW are empathetic, understanding and balanced. Some lovely comments really well written and thoughtful.

No issue with people resenting the money. But the idea that money is a cure-all is a bit mad when the lad has all the money in the world and is clearly broken?!

However, there are some head-the-balls on here… like:

‘Time to put on your big boy pants…..' type stuff from the real tough guys.

Absolutely clueless and embarrassing.

When your point of view is at odds with just about everyone else it just might be time to have a close look at your point of view. I'm not saying people should instantly change or follow the crowd. But just take a look, reflect and think about it.

Phil Greenough
160 Posted 14/07/2023 at 10:56:06
100.000 x 30= £3m in wages, plus his £10m fee is not really a gamble in the great shape of things, is it? I know we can't afford it at present, but how many silly transfer fees have we spunked up the wall thus far?

If, and it's a big if, Deli comes good, for once something will go right for Everton. And, if nothing else, Deli is at the right club to continue his recovery from drug abuse.

Dave Abrahams
161 Posted 14/07/2023 at 10:57:07
Christine (158), So is the situation at the end of this season if Dele stays with us but doesn’t complete his twenty game he goes back to Spurs, or is he a free agent?

If he becomes a free agent then the suggestion made by David West @(126) becomes a good one, providing Dele gets himself back in shape mentally and physically- ie that we agree with Dele ( and his agents) now that he will sign for Everton under new terms and let Dele get one over on Daniel Levy.

Might seem pie in the sky at the moment but you never know.

Ernie Baywood
162 Posted 14/07/2023 at 10:57:49
Christine, it would be fascinating to understand what Everton knew and what Spurs knew at the time of the transfer.

We may well have accepted Dele's situation as a risk worth taking.

From a football perspective, obviously. We need to keep reiterating that.

Christine Foster
163 Posted 14/07/2023 at 11:03:14
True Dave, can't help feeling Levy must have known at least some, if not all of the background before enticing a deal with the club. Look at it another way and if he does go on loan and does ok, chances are we won't get him back..
It's a bunch of what it's.. but the deal was odd to begin with..
Denis Richardson
164 Posted 14/07/2023 at 12:40:45
Glad the lad has come out with this problems, must be a huge weight off his mind. First step to solving a problem is admitting you have one in the first place etc and doing so in public is very brave.

Hopefully for his sake he can eventually get out of the woods mentally. His contract with us and however much we're paying him is irrelevant for now. If he makes it back onto the pitch half the player he was (for us or someone else) then great for him. However, I'd imagine that's a long way away and also secondary for now.

Football crowds can be cruel, dread to think the abuse he'd get from away fans if he's on the pitch. He'd be better off getting his head straight and if he wants to continue playing go abroad.

From an Everton perspective, I don't think we can realistically expect to see him in the squad anytime soon, if at all this season. Hopefully he can take part in training though, when fit. At least show the other player what real skill looks like up close.

Ray Jacques
165 Posted 14/07/2023 at 12:41:08
Not going to judge the lad because the old saying walk a mile in my shoes still stands true in this day and age.

However, cant help thinking yet again that EFC management have to coin another old phrase had their kecks taken down.

Kevin O'Regan
166 Posted 14/07/2023 at 12:58:28
For the life of me I can't understand anyone ever booing one of our own players, shouting abuse at a footballer or anyone else for that matter.
We have no idea what people are going through - and to be honest, nearly every single person has their cross to carry in some shape or form, at some time in their lives - and most don't show it or speak about it.
So, let's please stop attacking people in the stadiums, screaming at individuals, or sending them sick message or abuse online.
It's much easier to be kind - and if it's not then you need help.
For sure criticise a performance or something someone did - but never the person.
Very proud of Dele here and his bravery to address these issues.
I hope we 'supporters' can actually start to support and get behind anyone in an EFC shirt from now on - this will be even more vital when we move to BMD.

Kevin O'Regan
167 Posted 14/07/2023 at 13:22:22
Karl (141) - if you actually saw the interview you would have heard that he is not asking for sympathy - doesn't want it. He is taking responsibility for what went wrong and facing those demons.
Money is not the issue here - it's actually irrelevant in such cases. But yes, he made wrong decisions and could have made better ones for EFC too. But this is about something way deeper than football - it's a human story and he's trying to make it right. Great that he found the courage to do so in this social media circus of 'get angry at anyone for any reason'.
Karl Meighan
168 Posted 14/07/2023 at 13:55:17
Kevin@167 if he is not looking for sympathy then why do a interview that will be seen by thousands? And if anybody is taking responsibility for anything then why not do it in private.

The fact he has wasted his talent and brought about his own downfall has nothing to do with money. However if he gave back the millions he has banked whilst failing to entertain me in any way on a football pitch, which should be high up on any footballers objectives as well as winning I might have a little more sympathy.

Not everyone has the means to get there stories on TV or in the newspapers so forgive me for being more concerned for the poor fuckers sleeping in shop fronts in the City centre tonight than a footballer who finds it easy enough to get a model on his arm but cant get himself on the pitch for the game he loves so much.

Colin Malone
169 Posted 14/07/2023 at 14:19:41
Good luck lad. What I would say is, try and make peace with your mother.
John McFarlane Snr
170 Posted 14/07/2023 at 14:30:20
Hi all, I find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that some people are unsympathetic to Dele. I haven't seen the interview with Gary Neville, so I can't comment on it, but what little I have gathered from news reports, suggests that he has had an extremely grim childhood. While the vast majority of posts on this thread are understanding, I suppose it was inevitable that there would be someone who would comment on the 'money' he has earned, and say
therefore doesn't deserve sympathy.

Hi Danny [144] and Tony [148] I don't like to have to use this thread to let you know that Part 2 of, "The Ups And Downs Of The Original Twelve" is now featured on the 'General Forum/ Messages' link and I know that you have both said that you were looking forward to reading it.
I fully understand that because of the Dele issue, posts have been whizzing along at breakneck speed, and you may not have seen my post.

James Hughes
171 Posted 14/07/2023 at 14:31:58
Karl #168, sorry but a brainless response lacking of any human empathy or understanding.

If people have addictions or demons in their past it will impact on theiir daily activity and ability to function. Are you familiar with the term functioning alcholic, a person there but not quite there.

There are many people out there who are victims of abuse or addiction who are too scared to ask for help as they are told it is just there problem.

You have just restated that belief

meant to add a link to show how easy it is to fall


Mike Gaynes
172 Posted 14/07/2023 at 14:38:13
Ernie #156, your last paragraph is the most cynical comment I've read here for a long time. I expected a certain degree of acidity directed at Dele like the derisive comments from Carter and Meighan, which you seem to endorse to a certain extent, but Everton?

The club did EVERYTHING right in this situation. Responded to Dele's request for help, arranged the sojourn in America, talked to him, supported him, and kept it all a complete secret until the journos picked up the trail. It would still be a secret if they hadn't.

I think the idea that the club would exploit the situation for publicity is so far out in left field that you couldn't see it with a telescope. No matter the odds of the eventual outcome, Everton has been nothing but class in this situation, and it's just one more reason I'm proud to be a Blue.

Si Pulford
173 Posted 14/07/2023 at 14:52:48
Karl 168. Does having money in tbe bank mean you can’t have personal problems. The lad was abused as a child?

And for some mad reason you say that he should give the millions back and entertain you? You specifically?

Took some doing but fair play, you managed to make all about you.

Brian Wilkinson
174 Posted 14/07/2023 at 16:45:41
Starting 11 v Stade M












Subs Lonegran, Crellin, Astley, Hunt, Welch, Onyango, Doucoure, Okoronkwo.

Kick off 5pm uk time today.

Kieran Kinsella
175 Posted 14/07/2023 at 16:49:48

Interesting line up but I suppose it's probably our strongest 11 given the injuries, suspicious absentees, and players presumably given a break after the internationals.

Julian Exshaw
176 Posted 14/07/2023 at 16:50:38
Loads of Evertonians here. Boiling hot.
Christy Ring
177 Posted 14/07/2023 at 17:00:26
Allí was opening up to Gary Neville of his horrendous physical and mental problems and condition. Is it not a good sign that he’s able to talk about it? Some of the cynical comments on here are eye opening, then again look at the abuse Calvert-Lewin gets, unreal!
Jonathan Oppenheimer
178 Posted 14/07/2023 at 17:03:59
Steve 149, likewise it’s nice to have another therapist on here. What I’m most touched by on this thread is not just the massive empathy directed Dele’s way, but in particular all those above who state how this story has led them to re-think how they feel, think and talk about our players — and hopefully people in general. In a twisted coincidence, I just found out last night that a local politician’s aide slandered me pretty terribly on Twitter a few months back. Knowing how awful this feels, I can’t even begin to imagine how footballers the world over handle the vitriol they receive on a constant basis.

Others have noted this as well, but not only is there unimaginable pressure on players who enter academies as young as age 7 at massive clubs like ours, but that continues for decades, not accounting for the 99% who get tossed aside before they ever play a first-team match. And that’s just for the everyday kid from a stable home, never mind those growing up in environments resembling anything like Dele’s. Add to that the Premier League is the most popular league in the most popular sport in the world, and well, you all get the point. I work with teenagers and they spend their lives online, and if stories like these not only get more players talking about mental health, but get fans to refrain just a bit from being complete dickheads, Dele will have moved the needle just a bit in a positive direction.

There’s so much to unpack in this story and this thread. One other thing that occurs to me reading those who say Levy and Spurs were hiding something or a medical should’ve uncovered just how much pain Dele has been in is that he’s just coming out now and telling his story. He says in the interview how he hid everything, as so many people do who are suffering with mental health conditions, so it’s foolish to think anyone could’ve, should’ve or had the right to know about Dele’s demons. Fortunately for him, or unfortunately given he was pushed into sharing before he was ready, it’s now all out there. As Mike Gaynes said, we should all be proud how Everton has handled this so far; let’s hope they continue to show that kind of class moving forward, wherever Dele’s path takes him.

In the meantime, yes, Steve, let’s start a campaign to get “Evertonitis” into the DSM-6. Or better yet, let’s all hope our own suffering comes to an end before that next edition comes out. If ever our club deserved a turning point in our fortunes, let’s hope that our good karma from how we’ve supported Dele takes him, the fans, and the club to the promised land.

Steve Shave
179 Posted 14/07/2023 at 17:13:27
Ha! Nice one Jonathan, all the best pal.
Lewis Barclay
180 Posted 14/07/2023 at 17:21:28
Dele is very articulate in that interview.

Good luck to him.

Mike Gaynes
181 Posted 14/07/2023 at 17:28:20
Jonathan #178, as they say over there, well in.

Sorry to hear somebody came over the ball on you on Twitter. What I remember about Minnesotans is that they were REALLY nice, almost nauseatingly so. Seems that is no longer the case. Condolences... that ain't fun.

Tony Abrahams
182 Posted 14/07/2023 at 17:42:21
There is obviously a lot more to this story, and with Alli saying he didn't trust the press, then it sounds like things have been brewing in the background.

I wouldn't be surprised to read about counter arguments in the next few weeks, especially when you read about his early years.

Philip Bunting
183 Posted 14/07/2023 at 18:43:01
Just watched his interview, I think it's incredible that he spoke up about his struggles, really felt like he was sincere, open and honest.

Really rooting for him now and would really like to see him prove everyone wrong. Watching that interview made me connect a little more with him.

Peter Hodgson
184 Posted 14/07/2023 at 19:26:03
I have very few words to say on the Dele issue except that I am genuinely sorry for the lad. It must have taken a great deal of thought beforehand to do what he has done and courage to tell the world his story. Very moving and not what you would wish on anyone.

It wasn't his intention, I am sure, to give Everton a problem by telling his story when he did. I also think that he wasn't using his telling of the story to have a go at Levy or Spurs but I am equally sure that he felt more comfortable telling it at Everton because I think he felt more comfortable here to tell it.

As it is, this leaves us in an unenviable position. He saw us as a supportive lot and hope we can help him to ease his way through his problems. I'm sure we will as best we can and demonstrate our common decency but this has all left us with a problem that needs sorting asap.

For example, I don't know today if, even after listening to his very moving story, how long his rehabilitation could take or even if it will work (relapse into his dark days again) or if he will get back to being a quality footballer again. The fact that we are also skint doesn't help.

I feel that the starting point of a potential solution needs that someone (Sean Dyche?) from the Club has to sit down with him and explain all this to him and talk over the possible scenarios with him, explaining our problem and thanking him for trusting us enough to bring this to our attention and then take it from there. All this before sounding out Levy.

Personally, I think we should be clear that, although he had a bad write-up from Turkey, we will not hold it against him because we want to help and Turkey was before he publicly spoke out about it himself, but we won't be prepared to play him in the number games which would trigger another payment to Spurs explaining why and asking him what he thinks would be the best way forward at some stage. It may be a surprising answer.

Ray Smith
185 Posted 14/07/2023 at 19:41:38
Where do I find the interview?
Barry Hesketh
186 Posted 14/07/2023 at 19:45:55
Ray @185

There's a video link at the end of the story, at the top of the page. It's a picture of Dele with a play button icon within the words "Dele Exclusive"

Ray Smith
187 Posted 14/07/2023 at 19:55:20
Thank you, Barry.
Ernie Baywood
188 Posted 14/07/2023 at 21:17:27
Mike #172,

How on earth have I endorsed derisive comments against Alli? That's a pretty damaging statement against my character that you might need to expand on.

The club appears to have done well by Alli, though it's exactly what I would expect of any employer. Doesn't mean they don't deserve praise.

But, as I said, I no longer see any level they wouldn't stoop to. I'm cynical? Absolutely I am.

Mike Gaynes
189 Posted 14/07/2023 at 22:03:35
Ernie #188, you certainly seemed to support the Carter comment at #143, which in turn endorsed the Meighan comment at #141.

Not sure why you would consider my observation to be a statement against your character -- I said, implied nor intended no such thing -- but if my comment came over that way to you, my apologies.

Andy Crooks
190 Posted 14/07/2023 at 22:25:05
Just read that the Prince of Wales, who launched the Heads Up campaign to raise awareness of men's mental health, has praised Dele as brave and inspirational.

No negative press so far. Hope this is the start for him and he focuses on himself.

Karl Meighan
191 Posted 15/07/2023 at 10:20:38
Si @173, what are you on about? About me, think you don't understand, it's his job to entertain football fans in general.

Do you or James Hughes @171 know Dele Alli? Have either of you have suffered these so called abuses?

Reading something in a book or hearing it on facebook don't make you an expert just like it don't make it fact.

Karl Meighan
192 Posted 15/07/2023 at 10:36:40
@189, Mike Gaynes why is it my comment is Meighans comment and a other fella who you don't agree with is Carters comment but @188 is Ernies, just wondering?
Mark Murphy
193 Posted 15/07/2023 at 10:56:09
Karl - what??
Alan J Thompson
194 Posted 15/07/2023 at 11:31:39
Jonathon (#178); You're beginning to sound like the medical profession closing ranks again.

I queried why his addiction or usage, not his mental state, wasn't noted or picked up anywhere in his medical or notes and while I haven't heard the interview, something you'll probably jump on, it has been stated that he got the sleeping pills from the club Doctor which Neville said was common and that he was taking them throughout the day to suppress his feelings.

Ed Prytherch explained that any testing would not indicate sleeping pill presence after 48 hours of abstinence but why then did the Spurs Doctor not query such a high demand or are we to believe that we didn't get the whole truth? There then is the question if professional footballers face the same drug testing regimes that other sports go through and if not, why not?

Having said that, I don't believe that this is anything but a start to his recovery, albeit a very necessary and difficult first step.

Karl Meighan
195 Posted 15/07/2023 at 11:48:33
Was just wondering Mark why we were called by are surnames and Ernie by his forename. No big deal just wondering.
Ian Jones
196 Posted 15/07/2023 at 12:17:09
Alan, 194, apologies, I haven't read the last day's comments, but just picked up on part of your comment about: 'Why then did the Spurs Doctor not query such a high demand or are we to believe that we didn't get the whole truth?'

If you are inferring why the Doctors are doling out these sleeping pills as and when asked for and seemingly without question, in the interview, Dele indicated that he was able to get the extra pills required elsewhere, if my memory is correct.

Apologies if my interpretation of your comments is incorrect.

You suggest you haven't seen the interview yet.

If you have about 45 mins free, it's really worth watching. Fascinating interview.

Joe John
197 Posted 15/07/2023 at 12:22:01
Ex-Prison Governor here. I've spent a lifetime around people of all shades of crap. Addiction and criminality are not the same, but 90% of the time they're both borne from childhood trauma.

If you can't unquestioningly empathise with some who was sexually abused as a 6-year-old, you're emotionally stunted. You probably won't know it (because you're stunted), but the people you claim to love are likely suffering because of it. Even the scummiest Liverpool fan in Walton would have more genuine empathy than a few on here.

If you've got past 30 and haven't learnt enough about life to understand the various, subtle, non-linear and not-always-logical ways in which trauma can take you off the rails, then you've been sheltered from reality, not spent enough time around different people, and are probably stuck in a bubble of your workmates and the locals down the pub.

The ways in which people in their teens and twenties avoid dealing with their childhood trauma (substance abuse, promiscuity, partying) is usually what most other people would call "fun". Indeed, having done all those things, I can confirm they are. Just because you're damaged doesn't mean you won't try to have fun; if anything, it leaves you in everlasting pursuit of "fun" and the distraction it brings.

For me, it beggars belief that people haven't seen, or at least heard about it, enough in their own lives to know that deeply damaged people occasionally reach amazing heights before going down in a blaze of drugs and sex. (The 27 Club? No?)

The sad thing about the naive, sheltered views of this minority is they're the exact same views that have led to our country being the cesspit it is today. Usually, they're the same people who think society is softer than ever; people who don't realise their recommended approach of "just suck it up" for anybody who is suffering is exactly what every prime minister since Thatcher has been actioning with increasing aggression over the past 40 years.

We're already living in the world of "just suck it up", not some sort of soft liberal fantasy, a fantasy that exists only amongst an even more naive and sheltered minority on Twitter, The Guardian and the BBC.

If our grandparents said "just suck it up" to such things, and they undoubtedly did, then it also wouldn't be the only thing they said or did about the situation. Most would look after family, neighbours and strangers without question. They earned the right to say it through their actions.

Despite all I've said, I still believe the people I've criticised on here are infinitely more in touch with the world than anyone who thinks for a second that Daniel Levy might show some humanity re: this. Such hope is, genuinely, the opinion of someone paying no attention to footballing life outside Everton. The guy is making Kane, a Tottenham legend, choose between winning a single trophy and breaking Shearer's record. He's a button-down psychopath.

The romantic in me would like to see Dele play for us like 2018 Dele. The realist says there's no chance. We either won't take the risk, or the old player is gone.

Dave Abrahams
198 Posted 15/07/2023 at 12:35:24
Jonathon (178),

I don't think any Everton fans were talking about Dele's troubles and trials in his very hard life – rather that his football form had deteriorated really badly in the couple of years or more before Everton signed him. This was common knowledge throughout the game and that knowledge should have been well known to the people who brought and negotiated his extraordinary contract.

Some have said he was worth the risk… but a possible £40M risk? A bit much, I think.

Sean Kelly
199 Posted 15/07/2023 at 12:59:08
Dele I salute your bravery. People on here casting judgement on him should be ashamed of themselves.
Dale Self
200 Posted 15/07/2023 at 13:49:40
Joe John, all I can say after reading that is you do not post enough. Unassailable.
Dale Self
201 Posted 15/07/2023 at 14:06:27
Ooh Karl it is such mystery. I do hope you find tbe answer to that question.
John Daley
202 Posted 15/07/2023 at 14:16:47
Alan @194,

Dele said he received sleeping tablets from the club doctor at first…in a safe and prescribed number….before then seeking them, in greater quantity, from sources ‘outside the game’. As we all know and as he himself put it, ‘if you want something enough, then there is always a way of getting hold of it’.

It was also stated that he didn’t take them during days when he was playing, but would devour them like sweets on his days off to dampen the thoughts/memories swirling around his mind.

As for drug testing, sleeping pills aren’t a banned substance for a start and clubs are fully aware players are taking them, so there would be no cause for alarm. Many such tests simply show whether the medicine is present but are incapable of indicating in what amount (at least, that’s what I’ve been told in the past. Then again, I was also told as a kid that a dirty two pence coin judiciously popped under the tongue was basically an all purpose cloaking device on par with the bulkier one the Predator wore on it’s wrist to blend into the jungle).

Roger Helm
203 Posted 15/07/2023 at 14:24:53
We have to pay his wages anyway, so if he can get fit and help us avoid relegation, the additional fee will be money well spent.
Steve Shave
204 Posted 15/07/2023 at 14:41:53
Totally agree Dale, excellent post Joe John, take a bow and please post more frequently! Careful though, the defended bigots will come for you if you keep displaying such integrity and intelligence. I don't need to tell you who they are, they do that all by themselves.

Roger, if we ship him out on loan for the season we will likely be paying a bulk of his wages yes. The business head on me wonders if the interview will have got a few sitting up and wondering if Dele could make it back to his old self. It might get us a better chunk of his wages picked up. I feel a bit cynical saying that.

We and Dele are unfortunately stuck between a rock and a hard place. The best we could do is play him till Christmas and even then only for 6 games. It is just not feasible for a skint club like ours to pay £10M for one season only to lose him for free at the end of the season.

So we are both buggered really and I feel for all parties here. He can't win, he wants to show us (maybe) that he has something to offer in the PL. We want him to too. But we can't really play him.

As much as the romantic in me wants him to play teams off the park and be a hit this season, my business head knows if we get any kind of permanent offer (MLS or Saudi money) then we can't really turn it down. Incidentally I feel the same about Gomes, otherwise just play him.

Wherever he plays this season, I wish him all the very best. To come out and talk about trauma and sexual abuse whilst still relatively young, playing and in the spotlight is virtually unprecedented and I respect him so much for that.

Ian Jones
205 Posted 15/07/2023 at 16:10:33
I remember there was a time that we had a similar issue with Michael Ball when he was at Rangers. A Google search brought this up, statement from Michael Ball. Can't see this happening now!

''Eventually, when I had to pay Everton £4000 with every game I played I thought there might be problems ahead for Rangers financially.

“There was an agreement that when I played 60 games Everton were due more money. It was only four or five games before I hit the number I found out. I didn't know about it – it was between Murray and Bill Kenwright.

“It took a few weeks of talks before we came to an agreement and it was Murray's idea. He said, ‘I want you to play but can't afford to pay the money'. For him to pull me in and say that it was clear the finances weren't there.

“I suppose alarm bells should have started ringing but back then no one could have imagined it coming to this.

“Murray actually called Kenwright but he wouldn't waive it. So we agreed it would be paid in instalments. I paid £4,000 every time I played and Rangers weighed in with the same.''

Alan J Thompson
206 Posted 15/07/2023 at 19:20:30
John(#202); I understand that it is not a banned substance as such but anything being detected could lead to somebody asking why and if there is a problem.

I believe that a couple of thousand things may be detected in a blood test but never is anything like that number tested for at one go (I'm told that about 200 in one blood test is the maximum but a rarity) but in a medical for assessing any problems that may stall a player transfer that a lot of precautions may be feasible.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease (my immune system attacking my thyroid due to radiotherapy, definitely not just turning Japanese well I think so) while testing for something else. I know, can a price be put on a life but for 40M transfer fee I might like something as thorough as reasonably possible in a players medical.

When all is said and done, it is Dele's recovery and how he comes to terms with his problems that is most important.

Don Alexander
207 Posted 15/07/2023 at 19:54:09
Very droll, Alan (#206).

You, like me, have a condition we need to deal with but I bless the fact that I've always had support. That said, Dele's afflictions are way more complicated to address, never mind manage. I wish him well.

That said, our club is in a total mess with no wriggle room at all when it comes to expenditure of any kind courtesy of Dumb and Dumber these past years. How this affects their judgement on Dele (and it is "their" judgement we, as ever, have to rely upon unfortunately) will tell us much about the pair of them, and us as a club.

Steve Carter
208 Posted 16/07/2023 at 05:05:31
Mike Gaynes [189], it's generally not my habit to respond to critical or contrary responses to my (relatively infrequent) posts on ToffeeWeb – everybody is entitled to put a contrary view.

However, the bad leprechaun on my left shoulder says, "Do it this time, Steve", and the good one on the right one has been unable to persuade me otherwise.

I take issue (mild as I may take such about just about anything these days) that I "directed" "acidity" towards Dele or my comments were "derisive" of him.

Read my post at [143].

First, the first paragraph expressed sympathy and expressed a degree of identification with his personal situation. I am not going to 'overshare' on this site what that amounts to, but the point is: What's 'acidic' or "derisive" in that?

Second, my second paragraph stated four facts:

(1) That Everton has a business to run. It does.

(2) That any competent business when recruiting significant and expensive employees does proper due diligence. They do. (And surely we expect the one that we devote so much of our time and energy on to do so.)

(3) Everton is not a charity. It isn't.

(4) Dele entered into a contract of employment knowing that he wasn't worth what Everton had agreed to pay him and could not deliver to the standard required. That is an indisputable fact, given his disclosure on Mr Neville's podcast.

Third, yes, those facts were coupled with some opinions of mine. However, I submit that those opinions were reasonably founded and not 'acidic' or "derisive" of Dele:

(1) That most indicators suggest that Everton's business is in poor shape. Of course, I have no first-hand knowledge in that regard. However, that opinion is based upon things like the apparently careful analysis of our fellow correspondent, Paul the Esk.

(2) That if those responsible at Everton had done their due diligence, they would not have employed Dele. With respect, I find it difficult to see how that proposition can be challenged.

(3) That contrary to fact (3) above, appearances might suggest that Everton was a charity. Sarcastic I know, but who can't reel off a good number of (costly and underperforming) charity cases that we have acquired in recent years (particularly from Man U - we could all reel off a number) or 'had back' (Jose Baxter, Wayne Rooney, etc.)?

(4) That, given fact (4) above, the honourable thing for Dele to have done was to take time out to address his personal 'issues'. Yes, that is to express a moral opinion, but to suggest what Dele should or should not have done so in and of itself is not to express contempt for him or to ridicule him (which is what "deride" is). Rather, merely to express a view as to what was the morally proper thing to do. The counterfactual is to say it is morally ok to do what he did. Now, some might say that that is to take a 'holier than thou' view, that this displays a lack of understanding of the complexities of Dele's conditions at the time, etc.

However, in response to that, consider:

(a) Nowhere in his interview with Mr Neville did he assert that his signing on with Everton at the time was not an act of freewill on his part done in the full knowledge that he was not going to be able to perform as a Premier League player.

(b) A good number of people in the state that he was in at the time would, I suggest, have taken time out to address their personal issues rather than accept employment to do something that they knew they were not going to be able to do.

(c) This hypothesis: You own a business. You engage an employee for a large amount of money to do an important job, you pay them their significant weekly wage, but it increasingly becomes apparent that they can't do the job that you employed them to do and which they assured you that they could do during pre-employment discussions. You're losing money hand over fist, and the job isn't getting done. Then it comes out that the person does not have the mental capacity to do the job, and knew that they didn't before they accepted the employment. Your reaction?

(5) I cited a number of successful managers who would never have done what Frank Lampard did, even if Dele had offered to "pay to play". Yes, the "pay to play" bit was colloquial, but that didn't personally "deride" Dele; rather simply emphasised that none of the cited managers would have acquired him under any circumstances. Do you disagree?

Alan J Thompson
209 Posted 16/07/2023 at 07:36:00
Don (#207);

I'm sorry, but are you saying that overall you find my posting (#206) amusing or just to the part about the Japanese discoverer of the condition named after him? The least of my problems, medical or otherwise, is taking a couple of tablets an hour or two before anything else.

I can't speak for your support but, where I live, mine has been the medical profession which is available to all who seek it.

My apologies if I've misunderstood but I was trying to make the point that perhaps player transfer medicals are not as thorough as they might be and could possibly have gone part of the way to uncovering such problems. At least we agree that we wish Dele all the best for the future.

Alan J Thompson
210 Posted 16/07/2023 at 08:11:31
Oh, and just to add to my earlier postings, I assume that Dele would have also undergone medical examinations before (and after?) his loan transfer and the hip surgery but this only comes out during an interview with a former player on social media and all the while accessing sleeping tablets (only?) in two countries.

I have over time known a few addicts of various things and I don't doubt their ability to hide these matters, and in some cases not just from others.

Michael Kenrick
211 Posted 16/07/2023 at 08:57:28
Steve (@208),

Something that concerned me about your analysis is the timing implicit in the factual conclusions you ascribe to Dele Alli. It all really hinges on this one, I think:

"Then it comes out that the person does not have the mental capacity to do the job, and knew that they didn't before they accepted the employment."

This echoed the underlying tenet of your analysis from an earlier post @143:

"Dele was only too happy to sign on and take our money knowing full well himself that he wasn't worth it and couldn't deliver."

Taking account of the more insightful posts above from those who have expertise in this difficult area, the impression I got was that sufferers co-exist by employing various behaviours to suppress the memory of traumas and hide their ongoing effects.

Going back to the interview, I may have missed this part but I don't think I heard Dele Alli say that he didn't have the mental capacity to do the Everton job when he signed. Nor that he knew this was his condition when he accepted employment at Everton. I may be wrong on this, so please correct me if so.

Indeed, it seems from what people have said that denial and a resolute refusal to accept the fundamental underlying issues, or their inhibiting effect on mental capacity to do the job, are highly symptomatic of the condition itself. Only when Dele Alli could get past this tremendous hurdle could he make progress in beating the condition.

Going back to the interview itself, perhaps the key thing Dele Alli did say in this regard is: "It's tough to talk about because it's quite recent and it's something I've kind of hid."

It would appear that he needed to go through the course of rehab in order to do this; in which case, he likely would not have recognized nor accepted that he did not have the mental capacity to do the Everton job, and that he did not know this before he accepted employment at Everton.

For me, if true, this would cast some significant doubt on your analysis.

Danny O’Neill
212 Posted 16/07/2023 at 09:25:34
Joe @197. Powerful words. You are correct, we shouldn't confuse criminality with addiction. Often it is a result of something that has gone on in life experience. Some cope better than others but it shouldn't be a stigma that makes people bottle it up and not want to talk about it.

I've had my own experiences. Broken home. Mopping up the blood on a helicopter over South Armagh as the medics desperately tried to save the life of a 19-year-old soldier as we tried to get him to hospital. He died before we got there. Seeing the destruction in Bosnia and what people had done to each other. Heart-breaking. And then losing people or having them receive life-changing, loss of limb, injuries in Afghanistan. Things that live with you for life and never go away.

I was unsure about posting this as I didn't want to sound dramatic, but it seems topical.

People deal with their demons in different ways. In my experience, personal and helping others, get it out there, don't hide from it. It makes you accept and move on. Hopefully Dele can do so and get back to his football and the game he loves. His escape.

Alan @206, a very personal story and your last paragraph resonates through similar family experience. Life is too short. I hope you are well.

Where you named after Alan Ball? My middle brother was and my youngest brother's middle name is Howard. Me? Named after my Grandmother's favourite Irish song. I guess I drew the short straw.

Andy Crooks
213 Posted 16/07/2023 at 10:04:32
Steve @ 208, you make some reasonable and irrefutable points, particularly in the first half of your post. However, I fundamentally disagree with some of your assertions.

In my opinion it is likely that Dele entered into a contract with Everton believing that this just might give him back some control; new beginning, this time, new surroundings, etc, etc.
No one there knows, I'm invisible, all will be good.

The ongoing delusion that is part of what was tormenting him.
The huge change is his courage to stop hiding and his acceptance that they were often his choices.

I said in an earlier post that criticism and suspicion of him is understandable and not totally unreasonable. It seems to me that he absolutely knows that.

Oliver Molloy
214 Posted 16/07/2023 at 11:00:14

I disagree that your army experiences have anything in common with this Dele debate – two sides.

I wish you well.

Danny O’Neill
215 Posted 16/07/2023 at 11:27:24
Oliver, like a lot of things, I am not drawing direct comparisons from very different walks of life.

I am drawing parallels with regards to mental health.

Early life experience. Professional pressure. Life challenges and experiences. The individual character. They all play a part.

Some cope at source. Some try to hide it. Some finally face up to it.

Yes, very different environments, but I understand the sentiment.

Forget me, I've learned to cope. I just hope Dele has found his peace and can get back to what he's very good at.

Christine Foster
216 Posted 16/07/2023 at 11:37:03
Jesus, listening to some people, everything is as clear as day, black and white, he was obviously taking us for a ride, Levy was well within his rights to tell us nothing, and he should man up and shut up (and do one from the club). It was all done for sympathy.

Contrary to that, grey areas exist, best intentions are always stuffed up by an inability to handle stuff… you get the drift.

I don't think Dele is playing us, I honestly thought he came to the club in the hope he could turn his life around; instead, the spiral continued. That's not the club's fault, not even the player's fault. Without help, many of us spiral into bad places. Trauma, depression, paranoia, PTSD – take your pick: human conditions which bite into people's lives.

Take the ridicule of Calvert-Lewin on these pages, his mental health struggle, whatever. Other players too: Aaron Lennon… going back to Gary Speed.

Compassion or ridicule… I doubt some would know the difference.

Oh, and as a footnote, I am currently looking after a family member who ended up getting sectioned in the UK, released and left to his own devices and spiralled down even worse with no support. We got him out here and helping him deal with life.

My thanks go to the brilliant posts on here from those who know what they are talking about, from those who have first-hand knowledge... because it helps me understand that life isn't black and white.

Eric Myles
217 Posted 16/07/2023 at 12:34:38
Michael #211,

"Indeed, it seems from what people have said that denial and a resolute refusal to accept the fundamental underlying issues, or their inhibiting effect on mental capacity to do the job, are highly symptomatic of the condition itself. "

In my experience of dealing with family members and friends with addiction problems they DO KNOW they have a problem, are ashamed of it and try to hide it as much as possible.

They know full well what they're doing.

Christine Foster
218 Posted 16/07/2023 at 12:43:18
Eric, well I can only counter your comments with my own experience whereby they were in complete denial of a problem (not addiction, to be fair) which led in the end to him being sectioned.

Even now, after help and care it's still hard to accept, so the reality has to be that not everyone is aware of the reason or even the cause of mental illness.

Oliver Molloy
219 Posted 16/07/2023 at 13:05:09
It will be interesting to see what happens down the line with Dele after this. I wish him well and hope he can continue to feel better within himself.

I see both sides: his very unfortunate and traumatic childhood which has left scars; on the other side, there are tens of thousands of people that have and are suffering with mental health due to all types of scenarios. The difference is Dele, if he wishes, can seek and receive the very best help.

We did a deal with Spurs and it is Everton who have a duty of care for the wellbeing of him, he is our player. I suspect there will be no renegotiation over the terms of the transfer even though it makes sense.

Football is his escape, so let us all hope he can enjoy the sport that has been so fruitful for him.

Those with doubts regards the interview (and I include myself) are entitled to have an opinion with respect.

There is always an agenda, is what I would say.

Eric Myles
220 Posted 16/07/2023 at 13:05:10
Christine, I can understand. A friend's son has been sectioned more than once and he has no idea why. He does not understand that if he takes medication he will be okay(-ish).

Meanwhile, a bi-polar friend who was having a great time not taking his medication (and getting into lots of trouble) decided to take the ultimate way out.

Kevin Molloy
221 Posted 16/07/2023 at 14:42:45
I've just watched the interview. I'm afraid I don't see this as anything other than an accelerant to his decline.

Six weeks of therapy followed by an interview with this nitwit, and 'corner turned'? I can't see it. I can think of precious few counsellors who would declare 'I think he's ready now for the viral interview with Gary Neville' as part of a proper course of rehabilitation from mental trauma.

Six weeks? Six years is nothing in the land of therapy. He's badly advised if he is advised at all, but I think in a few weeks time he will already be regretting his decision to 'get it all off his chest'.

Anthony Jones
222 Posted 16/07/2023 at 14:47:09
Kevin, I agree.

The tell-all interview that goes into deeply personal issues is very risky. If I had a serious mental health condition, the last people I would tell would be my employers, but he did that and then doubled down by telling the entire world.

It might make a compelling narrative, but I don't think the risk is worth taking.

Mike Gaynes
223 Posted 16/07/2023 at 16:09:42
Steve #208, before I saw your post it was answered much as I would have by Michael #211, Andy #213 and Christine #216. There's no need to restate what they have said. They covered the ground beautifully.

What I will emphasize is that your recurrent assertions that Dele deliberately defrauded Everton are not "indisputable fact" but rather your opinion, and it's an opinion that I consider to be contemptuous of the young man. I see zero evidence of any such lack of integrity in anything Dele told Neville.

On the contrary, I find his new openness about these horrendous circumstances and his outspoken willingness to accept responsibility to be a testament to Dele's character, not a stain upon it.

You are entitled to stand by your comments. I stand by the words I used to describe them.

Andy Crooks
224 Posted 16/07/2023 at 16:18:07
Kevin, perhaps he was pre-empting a story that might be coming, who knows.

I think he needs time away now to get better. I doubt that the fairytale ending of swift redemption in an Everton shirt is coming soon, but he's made a start.

I would guess that some days he will regret coming out with this; sympathy is often short-lived. But I think he did the right thing. Now he needs a private recovery, and it's a long bumpy road ahead.

Alan J Thompson
225 Posted 16/07/2023 at 16:43:53
Danny(#212); No, I wasn't named after Alan Ball, I'm in my seventies and Bally wouldn't have been much more than a toddler himself.

Am I well? Life has been a series of health problems and some may say I've been unlucky but from getting the ability to walk and play sport having been born with club feet to being diagnosed with a head and neck cancer some 16 years ago, I think I've been unusually lucky, slow horses and not enough lotto numbers aside, but that is the top and bottom of it.

Now stop me if you've heard of my hip and eyesight as my memory isn't what it used to be, I think. Cheers!

Steve Brown
226 Posted 16/07/2023 at 16:46:28
Dele is not in breach of contract unless he made a false declaration during his medical in relation to medication or pre-existing conditions.

It is more likely that Everton did not ask him the question about mental health, as it is not common for employers to do so. This is due to a) prevalence – 40% of office workers reported suffering from a mental health issue during a study in July 2021; b) duty of care – employers increasingly see it as their responsibility to support employees when they are suffering from mental health issues rather than try to prove they were suffering them at the time of hiring.

Occasionally, companies do require a drug and alcohol test but the presence of sleeping pill medication would not be seen as a fail. In short, Dele did nothing wrong in what he declared/did not declare when we hired him.

Danny O’Neill
227 Posted 16/07/2023 at 16:54:58
Keep pushing, Alan. You sound like a fighter.

And keep debating.

Your views on Everton and football give great insight.

Take care and god bless.

Forever. I can't wait for the season to start. Starting at Wigan next week.

The wife is on holiday with my son's girlfriend. He's away overseas.

It's me and the dogs talking about Everton this week.

Alan J Thompson
228 Posted 16/07/2023 at 17:00:55
Danny, you get two choices and mine was fortunate enough to be blue.
Michael Pennington
230 Posted 16/07/2023 at 18:46:55
What the hell is wrong with people on here? A small minority agreed but still frustrating all the same.

What does the money have anything to do with any of us? I don't know if Dele Alli will ever be the same player he was but if he is 70% of that player, he's better than anyone else in the squad.

Why can't people see that it will be a great deal for Everton and most of all a great deal for Dele? Scousers have always looked after our own so, when you sign for this great club, you're one of us.

Danny O’Neill
231 Posted 16/07/2023 at 21:06:55
Probably like you, Alan.

I never realised I had a choice. I was told. It just was.

I was Everton from as early as I can remember.

It's probably why I am the idiot I am to this day as I approach my 52nd year come September. I share a birthday with Neville Southall.

I can't get enough of them no matter what they put me through.

More than life itself as the line from the song goes.

I wish they would give me and countless others something back.

They will.

And we'll keep going until they do. I will.

Kevin Molloy
232 Posted 16/07/2023 at 21:56:53
Anthony yes agreed.
Andy, let's hope so. You just never know with footy. He's got more talent in his left toe than the rest of our team, and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say he kept us up in that final game last year. I can't say the omens look good at the moment but who knows what is going to happen.
Jerome Shields
233 Posted 17/07/2023 at 06:14:39
Levy would have been fully informed. Kenwright was involved in the deal. Lampard was actively encouraged by his Uncle Harry Redknapp. The Director of Football would you expect would have been involved. The player agreed to the move to Goodison. Moshiri would have been informed.

The deal agreed was not in the best interests of the player and still isn't. The fact that there appears to have been no attempt to address this really does raise questions of the parties involved and their motivations.

It will all come out in the wash when Dele Alli writes his book.

Jerome Shields
234 Posted 17/07/2023 at 08:40:04
Would Holgate have problems? Since his injury most of his playing errors could be categorised as resulting from poor concentration. A professional footballer's life is full of pressure and lacks real world reality checks.

It occurred to me that Dele Alli's problems are a recurring spiral: Loss of form, pressure, more substance abuse. Till finally collapse.

I suppose a football club is like everywhere else that does not have a substance abuse problem. They just don't know about it.

Chris Badley
235 Posted 17/07/2023 at 17:45:40
just watched the interview - and yes quite a few revelations which go some way to explaining how and why his career has nose-dived in recent years. He came across really well and was surprisingly clear-minded and articulate. I just hope he isn't expecting too much of himself too quickly. Hopefully he's prepared to deal with the inevitable setbacks and doesn't go back into the cycle he refers to. If Everton have been supporting him through this latest phase of rehab etc, then it speaks volumes for the club. The sensible next course of action would be to agree a sensible compromise with Spurs, allowing us to buy a little more time before committing ourselves, if that's in the manager's thinking. I'm a romantic at heart and you can't beat a good redemption story. If Deli gets back near to where he was and we benefit, that would be amazing. But I suspect this is the first understandably optimistic step in a long journey and there will be stern tests ahead. All you can say is good luck Deli - and well done for sharing your story and facing your demons. And remember, the tabloids can't hurt you if you share your problems with the right people.

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