Tottenham’s young squad could use experience, leadership amid slump according to an article by ESPN
The article says that “Inconsistency has always been the curse of the next big thing” and that we are now discovering that there is very much a flip-side to beating Real Madrid and hitting four past Liverpool.
It says how Young players, coached by a young manager can have a sort of vibrancy and fearlessness but this can also lead to naivety and a search for reassurance and leadership at times of turbulence something which on the playing field we don’t have.
The article goes on to say the latter is the situation in which Mauricio Pochettino and his Spurs squad find themselves after four defeats in nine games since defeating Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley on Oct. 22, a run that it is largely down to inconsistency and our consistent inability to win when playing poorly.
It’s added that in that nine-game run, we have hit the heights of securing Champions League victories against Real and Borussia Dortmund, but we’ve very much have hit the lows having lost at Manchester United and Arsenal, been eliminated from the Carabao Cup by struggling West Ham (after leading 2-0) and taken just two points from our last three league games in what was a seemingly straightforward run of fixtures against West Brom, Leicester and Watford.
It goes back to October, “after Liverpool had been swatted aside”, we appeared to be the most realistic challengers to leaders Manchester City, however just six weeks later, we are down in sixth position, four points adrift of the top four and sixteen off City.
The article raises concerns about Dele Alli, that aside from his two-goal display in the 3-1 win against Real, he has been poor for Pochettino’s team while Christian Eriksen has blown hot and cold. It’s also slightly concerning that Harry Kane has scored just three goals in his last seven games and it points to Pochettino’s handling of Danny Rose — selecting the England left-back one minute and dropping him from the squad the next which the article says hints at disharmony behind the scenes, which always becomes more apparent once results take a nosedive.
It does add that we remain a team capable of beating any opponent on our day, and it would be foolish to dismiss their chances of winning at City on Dec 16, but our inconsistency is now beginning to cost us.
The article does refer to former Liverpool captain Alan Hansen’s infamous declaration that “you can’t win anything with kids,” following a youthful Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1995-96 season, they did win the League and FA Cup double that season with those kids — David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil — however that squad also had the experience of Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce and Brian McClair alongside them to provide guidance and leadership when times were hard
It adds that that United squad had Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, a man with trophy-winning credentials and the authority that comes with silverware in the cabinet. So when the young players suffered dips in form, they were carried through them by the older heads and their “been there, done it” manager.
It adds that now that we are struggling for results, the likes of Kane, Alli, Eric Dier and the rest have no one apart from Pochettino turn to for advice, guidance and leadership?
The article points to recent history in the Premier League being littered with examples of managers using the knowledge and presence of an old head to carry younger players along, however Mauricio Pochettino has continually resisted the opportunity to add a veteran to his squad. It’s added that Jose Mourinho signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic at United 18 months ago in order to alleviate the goalscoring burden on youngsters Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, and that Ferguson signed Henrik Larsson to do a similar job at United 10 years ago.
The article concludes by saying a “wise old head” on the pitch, would be able to help change the narrative, however if Pochettino remains reluctant to add that type player to his squad, he will have to put them back on track on his own and find a way to end the age-old problem of young players being knocked off their stride by inconsistency.
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