Jenas tears into Cristian Romero during Spurs tie with AC Milan
Jermaine Jenas told BT Sport (broadcast on 8/3; 20:28) that Cristian Romero has a huge flaw in his game after the Tottenham Hotspur star was sent off during their Champions League tie with AC Milan.
Romero picked up his eighth yellow card of the campaign in all competitions just 16 minutes into the clash with the Rossoneri in North London.
And once again, it felt as though the caution was completely avoidable. Romero went to ground with a sliding challenge after Rafael Leao received the ball 30 yards from goal.
Jenas criticises Romero
It was a nasty landing for Leao. So it was absolutely no surprise that the referee decided to book Romero. And that prompted Jenas to criticise the Argentinian for another needless yellow card this season.
“It’s such a huge flaw in his game, this. He’s got the ability – and this is off the back of winning the World Cup – of being a top, top defender,” he told BT Sport.
“The best defenders in the world over the years, they don’t do that time and time again, game-in, game-out. They get there, they stand up, they assess. Or they get there before its happened. It’s too often where he puts himself in a situation he’s in now, 15 minutes in on a yellow card. Where can he go from here? He puts himself under unnecessary pressure every single game.”
Of course, it would get worse in the second-half. Romero received his second yellow card after a similarly rash tackle on Theo Hernandez. And once again, Jenas did not hold back in his criticism.
“It’s a massive flaw to his game, we spoke about it after 15 minutes. I don’t understand why he has to do this all. He is such a top, top player, Cristian Romero. And he is so loved at this place,” he added, after his red card challenge.
“I think he’s a brilliant player, I really do. But, there’s just this side of the game that he really needs to figure out.”
Romero has let Spurs down on a couple of occasions this season. And he probably would have been aware that picking up a yellow card tonight would rule him out of the first-leg if they reached the quarter-final.
The challenge for Antonio Conte is to find a way to find a balance with the centre-back. As Jenas suggests, he has the ability to be one of the best defenders in the world.
But his decision-making is so poor at certain times. He picked up a really silly red card in the win over Manchester City earlier this year. And in the following game, Spurs conceded four times away at Leicester without him.
Tottenham need his aggression. It is clear that that is what gives him his edge in those crucial battles with star strikers. But he desperately needs to find a way to keep himself from crossing the line so often.
Eventually, it is going to get very tiresome for Tottenham fans.