Dele Alli: Tottenham miss worst in Premier League? Probably not

By Chris OsborneBBC Sport
Dele Alli
Even Shay Given looked surprised to see Dele Alli's shot hit the post

One touch to bring the ball under control. Another to take it away from the defender. One more to push it around the keeper - delay, delay, delay to perfection.

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli was doing everything right as he coasted past Stoke keeper Shay Given - just the post to beat. Ah.

Former Leicester midfielder and BBC Radio 5 live pundit Robbie Savage declared Alli's miscued effort in Spurs' 4-0 win on Monday as one of the "greatest misses in Premier League history".

Dele Alli on SnapChat
Alli saw the funny side of his miss, using Tottenham's Snapchat account to post this self-mocking picture of himself

As it happens, 20-year-old Alli has the world at his feet - and more often than not he'll stick that world into the net, as he showed with the two goals he did score at the Britannia Stadium.

So, just to make this rarest of English talents feel a bit better about himself, here are some other magnificent Premier League misses.

Ronny Rosenthal - Aston Villa 4-2 Liverpool, 19 September 1992

Ronny Rosenthal
There was a bobble, right Ronny?

The daddy. The benchmark. The gold standard.

Without Ronny Rosenthal, there would be no yardstick with which to measure all of the other howlers that football gifts us. It's almost as if open-goal gaffes never existed until this beauty came along.

They did, apparently.

Chasing a long punt upfield, the Liverpool striker rounds Aston Villa keeper Nigel Spink and, from almost right on top of the penalty spot, pokes the ball against the crossbar. It's possibly the sound of leather against metal that makes this all the more satisfying.

It's a credit to the quality of this miss that Israeli Ronny is better remembered for this act of squandering than he is for an FA Cup fifth-round replay hat-trick for Tottenham in a remarkable comeback from 2-0 down to win 6-2 against Southampton.

Fernando Torres - Man Utd 3-1 Chelsea, 18 September 2011

Fernando Torres
If a picture could sum up Fernando's Chelsea career...

Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres wanted the world to eat him up after this shank in a 3-1 loss at Manchester United.

The Spaniard, having already scored, looks in fine fettle as he executes a textbook step-over to go past the approaching David de Gea. From six yards out, he connects quite cleanly with his shot and, had the goal been three feet to the left, it would be a corker of a finish.

Fortunately for Torres, he is offered immediate support and condolences by a sympathetic throng of United fans in the Stretford End.

What they said on Match of the Day:

Jonathan Pearce: "Torres! Oh my goodness me. He did everything right. It looks like the old Torres - oh not it's not. The miss of the season with the goal gaping and ghastly in front of his disbelieving eyes."

Lee Dixon: "No disrespect to Ronny, but Fernando is a better player. So to miss that with an open goal - it'll now be called a Nando, not a Rosenthal."

That didn't quite take off, did it Lee?

Edin Dzeko - Man City 1-0 Stoke, 22 February 2014

Edin Dzeko
Edin Dzeko made a better connection when he booted the post in anger after this miss

It's not up to the standard of his miss for Roma earlier this season, when Edin Dzeko elegantly stroked the ball across a gaping net.

But this is an underrated miss from the former Manchester City striker, simply because he makes such a poor connection on the ball, it never has the chance to either roll past or strike the post.

City winger Jesus Navas rolls across the tastiest of tasty balls to the Bosnian, who is four yards out (at best) and connects with his right foot, before swiftly turning into a defender and blocking it with his standing left foot. Top multitasking.

What they said on Match of the Day:

Jonathan Pearce: "What a miss. He's kicked the post in anger. If he made the same impact on the ball as he did on the post, it would have been 2-0."

Nwankwo Kanu - West Brom 1-2 Middlesbrough, 14 November 2004

Nwankwo Kanu defied the laws of physics to send the ball over the bar from less than a yard out

The headline, somewhere, surely, must have been 'Kanu believe it?!' If it wasn't, then that could well be as gargantuan a missed opportunity as Nwankwo's back-post horror show.

If the Nigerian were any further up the pitch when he connects with this ball, he would have been under the crossbar.

The old cliche 'it was harder to miss than score' is flat out inappropriate here. West Brom boss Bryan Robson, in his first game as Baggies chief, almost got it right at the time when he said it was "almost impossible" to miss.

From 0.7 yards out, it was IMPOSSIBLE to miss. But Kanu defied the laws of physics to scoop it over.

What they said on Match of the Day:

Jonathan Pearce: "Kanu. Onsiiiiide. How did that stay out? The West Brom captain is a yard from goal - what a miss."

Cristiano Ronaldo - Sheffield Utd 1-2 Man Utd, 18 November 2006

Cristiano Ronaldo
How can a man with 539 career goals miss from here?

We'll finish on this one just to make us all feel a bit better about ourselves.

One of the best players of a generation, 539 career goals and more than £90m in transfer fees. Yet Ronnie, when he really puts his mind to it, can still do a passable impression of a middle-aged, podgy, hungover bloke called Keith on a park in Smethwick.

After some vintage trickery from Wayne Rooney and a precise square ball from Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo can select from roll, poke, prod or pass for the finishing touch - instead he chooses balloon. Great fun.

What they said on Match of the Day:

It seems a lot of these stinkers are played out against the backdrop of Jonathan Pearce's commentary. Coincidence? We'll let you decide.

Jonathan Pearce: "Giggs picks out Ronaldo. How did he miss from there? That is the miss of the season. All he had to do was nudge it. He'll see that in his nightmares. for years to come. Sorry Cristiano, it was awful."

  • Is there a worse miss than those on this list? Let us know in the comments section below.


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