Two Daniel Sturridge goals eliminated a young Spurs team from the EFL Cup as Mauricio Pochettino’s men went down 2-1 at Anfield. Cameron Carter Vicker, Harry Winks, Josh Onomah and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou were all handed starts and all performed admirably in a difficult baptism.
Going out early from the league cup is a disappointment, but Tottenham are in a strong position in the league and can still top their Champions League group. Though they have failed to win any of their last four in all competitions, they have suffered from some key injuries through the spine of the team. Despite their exit, Pochettino was pleased with the performance at Liverpool last night:
“I’m pleased with the performance but not the result. We fought until the end and created chances. It was a great experience and we can take a lot of positives. This will improve our confidence for the future.
“The young players are very important for our future, to be a better squad.
“I think it was a fantastic opportunity to show their quality and a great experience to capitalise on, to take positive things for the future.”
The former Southampton manager has done a superb job at White Hart Lane by any barometer, but possibly needs to rubber stamp his reign with some silverware. Tottenham’s last major honours was the 2008 League Cup when they triumphed over Chelsea in the final, and there have been some disappointing cup exits under Pochettino. He put out a weakened team away at Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League last season; essentially writing off a very prestigious competition.
It should be stressed that Spurs were going great guns in the league at the time, but not going for a European trophy left a sour taste for some fans. There are many ways to measure ‘success’, and Pochettino has had plenty of it at Tottenham, but nothing beats tangible silverware.
Elsewhere, Sky Sports pundit and former Spurs player Jamie Redknapp had his say on the showings of youngsters Winks and Onomah, and believes the pair should be loaned out. Start striker Harry Kane bounced around the Football League with various loan moves, but reaped the benefits in the end. Redknapp said:
“I look at young Harry Winks, Josh Onomah and they’re good footballers, but they need to play.
“If it means going out on loan, they’ve got to go and get some game time because it’s difficult, the pathway is closed at Tottenham, as I’ve said before for midfielders.”
“They need to go and play because they’re good footballers but they need to show it, be it in the Championship so they can showcase their talent.”
Finally, last night did see summer signing Vincent Janssen get his second goal for the club, and both have been penalties in the EFL Cup. It would be unfair to judge the Dutchman when he was surrounded by so many young players, but with Harry Kane due to return soon you feel Janssen may have missed a big opportunity to impress. He has been full of endeavour when in a Spurs shirt, but has lacked a little composure at times. That said, Spurs have not been creating many clear cut openings recently and have struggled against deep plying defences.
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