Graeme Souness slams Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after Spurs loss
Graeme Souness has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 19/9; 18:39) that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could have prevented Chelsea’s second goal and slammed the Spurs star for not closing N’Golo Kante down.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men somewhat capitulated after a bright first-half display against the Blues at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The visitors took the lead four minutes after the break. And they doubled their advantage shortly after when Kante’s effort from outside the box deflected off Eric Dier.
Hugo Lloris could do little about the attempt, which, agonisingly, trickled over the line after coming off the post.
But Souness believes that Tottenham could have easily prevented that goal.
However, Hojbjerg seemed to stay on the edge of the box rather than close the Frenchman down. And following the game, Souness criticised the Dane for standing off and not doing more to prevent Kante from getting a shot away.
“These are basic things. If you’re Hojbjerg, a central midfield player, there’s certain things you do in a game where you’re on autopilot, they just come natural,” he told Sky Sports.
“The ball’s gone back out, I’m out, I’m not standing there holding hands with Dier. I’m useless, I’m not doing anything.
“He’s just walking out, he’s not interested. Get out and engage Kante now, sprint. Sprint now, and that’s not a goal for them.”
Spurs’ second-half display vs Chelsea likely to worry Nuno
Chelsea are going to comfortably beat a lot of teams this season. And Tottenham can take some confidence from their first-half showing.
But there are some extremely worrying signs. Obviously, they have suffered two defeats by the same scoreline in their last two top flight games.
There were moments when it appeared that they had given up during the second-half. And it will concern a lot of supporters.
A lot of the optimism that emerged in the opening weeks of the campaign has evaporated completely.
Next up for Spurs in the league is the North London derby. Another abject performance could be a very ominous sign for Nuno.