Though Spurs comfortably beat a poor Southampton aspect 5-2 at Wembley on Boxing Day, the overall consensus is that this season the group haven’t produced the identical degree of performances that we’ve come to count on from Mauricio Pochettino’s vibrant younger aspect in recent times.
The Lilywhites lie in fifth place within the league, and whereas they nonetheless have each likelihood of qualifying for subsequent yr’s Champions League, their current humiliating Four-1 loss away to Manchester Metropolis exhibits that they’re nonetheless a way off difficult for the title this yr.
So what has been going flawed on the north London membership on this marketing campaign?
5. Damage to Toby Alderweireld
Arguably probably the greatest centre-backs within the league, Alderweireld’s presence within the Spurs group can’t be understated. He hasn’t performed since tearing a muscle once more Actual Madrid within the Champions League on November 1st, and Spurs have solely stored three clear sheets within the league since then.
The Lilywhites confronted comparable struggles final season when the Belgian missed 10 video games from mid-October to December with a knee damage; they gained solely two of these 10 video games. With Alderweireld prone to be out till February, Spurs might properly proceed to leak targets.
Four. An Over-Reliance on Harry Kane
Spurs rely a lot on Kane’s targets that after they do not come profitable video games turns into an entire lot tougher.
He struggled after a hamstring damage towards Man Utd, and though he has burst again into life not too long ago with two consecutive hat-tricks, you are worried for Spurs if he have been to get injured once more.
His understudy, Fernando Llorente, appears to be affected by the identical mysterious insecurity that current big-money strikers Roberto Soldado and Vincent Janssen endured at Spurs – with Llorente but to attain for the membership within the Premier League.
It appears Pochettino does not belief the Spaniard to begin, however with fixtures coming thick and quick across the Christmas interval, absolutely he may have no alternative however to relaxation Kane in some unspecified time in the future.
three. A Disillusioned Group of Gamers
When Danny Rose controversially slated Spurs’ wage coverage in the summertime he was extensively condemned, and later apologised. However behind the scenes rumours proceed to develop claiming that some huge names have had sufficient.
Dele Alli is one who has regarded out-of-form and never precisely bursting with enthusiasm on the pitch this yr, and with Rose apparently nonetheless wanting out, it solely takes a couple of dangerous influences off the pitch for the entire group to develop into affected.
2. The Summer season Sale of Kyle Walker to Man Metropolis
However his skills as a participant, the sale of Walker despatched out all of the flawed messages relating to Spurs as a membership.
Tottenham have tried for a few years to shake off their repute as a ‘promoting membership’ following big-money departures of the likes of Dimitar Berbatov to Man Utd, and Gareth Bale and Luka Modric to Actual Madrid. Permitting Walker to go to direct rivals Man Metropolis with out even a lot as a struggle appeared weird on the time, and much more so now.
Spurs’ finest gamers shall be wanting enviously at Walker – excelling at Metropolis, incomes more cash and extremely prone to end the season with a Premier League winner’s medal – and questioning whether or not the grass actually is greener on the opposite aspect.
1. Champions League Glory Might Be the Precedence
The three-1 win towards Actual Madrid at Wembley on November 1st ranks as certainly one of Spurs’ most memorable nights of their current historical past, and it was fairly some achievement to prime their group.
Having skilled the glamour and glitz of that win, nevertheless, maybe the gamers have discovered it arduous to come back again all the way down to Earth and play video games towards much less trendy opponents reminiscent of West Brom and Leicester Metropolis with the identical motivation as earlier than.
With Man Metropolis wanting successfully out of attain for any group on the prime of the league, possibly subliminally the Spurs gamers merely aren’t as centered as they need to be on home video games, and see European glory as their major purpose this yr.
With two tasty-looking Champions League video games towards Italian champions Juventus on the horizon, do not be shocked to see Spurs’ league type endure once more round that point.