Tottenham Hotspur have been criticised by Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas for “patting themselves on the back” after their Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat on Wednesday night (Sky Sports News).
Spurs welcomed Bundesliga high-flyers RB Leipzig to North London hoping to make the most of home advantage but Jose Mourinho and co now have it all to do in the second leg as the visitors ran out 1-0 winners, courtesy of a Timo Werner penalty in the 58th minute.
Indeed, the scoreline ended up flattering Tottenham, who were second best throughout, with Hugo Lloris denying Leipzig time and time again with a superb goalkeeping display, though he was very much powerless to keep out Werner’s spot kick.
Nicholas was not only critical of Tottenham post-match actions but he also wondered what Spurs’ “out-ball” would be, as Lucas Moura does not link play up, and reckons the North Londoners are missing Christian Eriksen.
“Tottenham were patting themselves on the back after their match against RB Leipzig. But why? They turned up for 15-20 minutes,” Nicholas wrote on Sky Sports News ahead of Spurs’ Premier League meeting with Chelsea this weekend.
“Heung-Min Son is now injured, so what is their out ball? Lucas Moura played on the shoulder when he was scoring, so he could get in behind. But he does not link the play up; that is not his game. You can already see why they miss Christian Eriksen. They did get some fabulous money for him but you can see the difference in where Tottenham are going.”
Nicholas may have his prior connections with Arsenal but he does make some good points here – Tottenham definitely did not have a good game against Leipzig and, although they seemed to put on a brace face, some of Mourinho’s comments in his press conferences following the Son Heung-min injury update tell a different story.
With Harry Kane also out, Mourinho has some serious thinking to do in terms of how he can restore some attacking nous to the team, but on the plus side, Steven Bergwijn and Giovani Lo Celso have been in great form attacking-wise – and could Troy Parrott perhaps be given a chance in the coming weeks despite his manager’s reservations?