Joe Cole has praised Tottenham Hotspur defender Serge Aurier during BT Sport’s post-match coverage of Spurs’ win over West Ham (broadcast on 23/11; 14:45), admitting that the right-back has been terrible this season.
Jose Mourinho’s tenure has begun with a win. Spurs went 3-0 up inside 50 minutes at the London Stadium. And while the Hammers managed to set up a fairly tense finish, it never seemed as though Tottenham were going to let the points slip from their grasp.
The goal that proved to be the winner was scored by Harry Kane. But it was Aurier who set the striker up with a sumptuous cross into the six-yard box.
It has been a tough season for the 26-year-old. There have been some high points. But he has come in for a lot of criticism in the wake of Kieran Trippier’s departure in the summer.
And Cole – who, of course, enjoyed the best spell of his career playing under Mourinho – suggested that Aurier’s moment of brilliance deserves the plaudits coming his way, before insisting that he has now set the benchmark.
“Credit to Aurier as well because he’s come in for a lot of stick because he has been terrible,” he told BT Sport. “But today, he was excellent and that’s the standard he has to play at every week.”
Crucial time for Aurier?
It looks set to be a crucial spell in Aurier’s Tottenham career. Spurs fans will probably be wary of getting carried away as they have been let down by the full-back before when their hopes have been raised.
But it is not uncommon for new managers to oversee incredible transformations in players. And Aurier is an international who is capable of outstanding performances at his best.
With January not too far away, the coming weeks could be key in determining Aurier’s future. If he can shine on a consistent basis before the window opens, perhaps Mourinho will keep faith with him.
But as previously mentioned, Spurs fans will probably not get carried away off the back of one bright performance given what has come before.