A worrying familiar scenario played out on Wednesday night as Tottenham let slip a one-goal lead against Fulham to draw 1-1 and failed to gain significant ground on the teams above them.
The result means Jose Mourinho’s side have dropped 10 points from winning margins this term, an amount that even 50% of would see second, as opposed to the sixth-place they occupy.
After a positive opening, in which Harry Kane scored an outstanding diving header to give Spurs the initiative, the hosts then began to sit back, allowing Fulham onto them.
As the Cottagers increased in confidence, so did their control on their game and Ivan Cavaleiro’s second-half equaliser was no great surprise.
Tottenham did hit the woodwork through Son Heung-min but a lack of energy, killer instinct and overall efficiency in the final third is proving a continual undoing.
Sat on the bench as an unused substitute was a certain dynamic goalscoring midfielder who looked tailor-made for such a situation, even as a starter or substitute.
Dele Alli has played just 75 Premier League minutes this season and after producing a mature display in the heart of the midfield against Marine on Sunday would have been forgiven in thinking he’d be in contention to play against Fulham.
But Mourinho failed to turn to him, using just two of his replacements in Erik Lamela and Carlos Vinicius.
An unfortunate decision for Alli given he was mooted to start against Fulham prior to Christmas before the fixture got rearranged due to positive Covid tests.
Within 30 minutes of full-time, Alli posted the image below on his Instagram Stories with a less-than-impressed expression across his face, which doesn’t take too much imagination to read between the lines.
Alli remains the subject of transfer talk with the 24-year-old desperate to play first-team football and admirers across the Premier League and into Europe.
However, Spurs appear unlikely sellers due to uncertainty over injuries and overall fatigue in what is a compressed season riddled with absences.
With Mourinho insisting he’s not expecting any business into the club, Alli will just have to continue biding his time and waiting for his opportunity.