Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day last night (04/05/2019), two former Tottenham Hotspur midfielders were clearly not happy. Jermaine Jenas and Danny Murphy were disappointed with the displays of two substitutes for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Juan Foyth and Victor Wanyama came on to replace Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier, with both on yellow cards. Pochettino clearly did not want another man sent off, after Heung-min Son’s earlier dismissal.
It backfired, with Foyth seeing red himself and Wanyama failing to mark game-winner Nathan Ake for Bournemouth’s goal.
Murphy criticised Pochettino for taking off the Belgian:
“He’s just brought on, a young lad, (with) adrenalin pumping. He’s come on for Alderweireld, who’d been booked in the first half. Why he (Pochettino) felt the need to take Alderweireld off I don’t know?
“He’s an experienced guy who’s played many games with a yellow card.”
Jenas, meanwhile, was baffled at Wanyama’s role in the Cherries winner:
“Unfortunately, it was his two substitutions that let him down as well. This is ridiculous from Wanyama. I don’t know what he’s thinking. You can see there, he’s outside of players that need to be picked up. He should be in there using his strength to stop that run.”
Tottenham are clearly starting to struggle to balance this squad at the tail-end of the season. With one eye on the Champions League second leg with Ajax, Pochettino had some tough decisions to make.
The Foyth for Alderweireld decision, however, looks like a rare mistake. As for Wanyama, he simply had to come on, with Eric Dier lucky to still be on the pitch.
The problem here, is that Wanyama no longer looks up to the level needed for Spurs.
It is easy to lay the blame at Pochettino’s door. However, Tottenham’s squad is simply too thin for their current needs. Hopefully, he can lead Spurs to a turnaround in Amsterdam. If not, this season could go very ‘Spursy’ in the next couple of weeks.