Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tottenham’s Champions League exit not a surprise

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino needs to find solutions to his teams current poor run of form

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino needs to find solutions to his teams current poor run of form

Tottenham were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday night having suffered a 2-1 defeat at Monaco.

The best that Spurs can now achieve is a third place finish in the group and a place in the much-maligned Europa League.

The defeat was not that surprising considering Monaco are in good form. Tottenham’s poor recent form is surprising though and a worry to their fans.

Spurs struggling for wins

Tottenham may be unbeaten in the Premier League this season, but their recent form has been poor.

The men from north London have won just one of their last nine games in all competitions. Spurs remain fifth in the table just four points behind leaders Chelsea with plenty of games left in the league campaign.

However, four points would not be considered a lot if Tottenham were showing any sort of form. Spurs have drawn far too many games recently and if the side from north London wants to be considered the real deal then they must find ways of winning games.

It is all well and good being unbeaten, but a team does not win games and trophies by just drawing games. The real top teams find a solution to difficult situations and grind out wins.

The fluid style that Spurs produced last season and in flashes earlier this season has now been lost. The Tottenham players no longer look confident.

Tottenham need more quality

That was the assessment of Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. On paper Tottenham’s starting eleven is very good and could probably give most teams a run for their money. However, recent injuries to key players such as Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane have hampered Spurs form.

Kane has now returned and scored four goals in three outings since his return. However, the lack of depth in the Spurs squad was illustrated by their Champions League exit. Spurs summer signings were just not good enough. The likes of Vincent Janssen and Moussa Sissoko were gambles by the club and they just have not paid off.

The Tottenham hierarchy seems to be unwilling to back the team’s boss to make the sort of moves that the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City make in the transfer market. The lack of quality back-up is only displayed when the north London side has injuries.

For much of the campaign, Spurs have not been at their best. The high number of games has not helped their cause. However, that has not stopped the likes of Arsenal and City maintaining decent runs in the top-flight this season.

Questions asked of Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham boss Pochettino is acknowledged as one of the best young bosses in the Premier League. He has been highly praised for much of his managerial career in the English top-flight. His team’s current run of form is the first real test of his managerial reign at Spurs.

Questions must be asked of Pochettino’s rotation policy. On Tuesday night he decided to leave defensive regulars Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen on the bench. Instead, he fielded Kevin Wimmer and Eric Dier at centre-back, with Kieran Trippier at right-back.

The decision backfired as neither Dier nor Wimmer looked comfortable. The decision contributed greatly to the defeat. Maybe Pochettino has not been given the backing needed to sufficiently strengthen his squad.

Yes, his first choice eleven are good when everybody is fit. However, if the Argentinian needs to be more flexible the options at his disposal are not the greatest. The likes of Janssen, Sissoko and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou do not currently look good enough for Pochettino to count on to change games.

Pochettino has a plan A, but it seems due to his lack of real quality alternatives he has to stick with it. The Argentinian has talked about the team being flexible, but at the moment he may not have the right players to be that flexible.

Tottenham face a real challenge this weekend as they travel to Stamford Bridge to face league leaders Chelsea, who are favourites to win the game at odds of 8/11.

Pochettino needs to find solutions to his team’s problems if Spurs are to keep progressing this season. If not then Spurs may once again be relegated to the limbo that is the fifth to seventh places in the Premier League table for foreseeable future.

Does Tottenham need more quality players?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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